Modelling for catchment management

By:  and 
Edited by: David P. HamiltonKevin J. CollierJohn M. Quinn, and Clive Howard-Williams



Catchment models are useful tools to help describe and quantify the sources, transport, and fate of sediment, nutrients, and other constituents in a landscape. Results from catchment models are used to quantify and understand existing conditions and used in restoration efforts by defining areas with highest contributions (hotspots, where actions would be most beneficial) and describing the relative importance of various sources (what types of actions would be most beneficial). In practice, a continuum of models exists from simple empirical models to complex process-driven models, each requiring different types and amounts of information. Each of these models has its strengths and weaknesses, which should be considered when deciding which model to apply to a specific area. In many applications, a combination of models can be either coupled or run in series to help describe how nutrients and sediment are transported from the field to downstream receiving water bodies. In this chapter, we describe the continuum of catchment models that exist and provide information for choosing specific models for various management applications. We then provide examples of catchment models used to address a wide range of scientific and policy driven issues: two models commonly applied in New Zealand (CLUES and GLEAMS) and one model (SPARROW) applied to a large river basin in the United States (Mississippi River Basin).

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Modelling for catchment management
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-93043-5_2
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Water Science Center
Description 41 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Lake restoration handbook
First page 25
Last page 65