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Key uncertainty sources analysis of water quality model using the first order error method

Author(s): X. Zhao | Z. Y. Shen | M. Xiong | J. Qi

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
ISSN 1735-1472

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 137;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Dissolved oxygen | Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code | Model | Nitrogen | Water quality

In this study, key uncertainty sources analysis was undertaken for a dynamic water model using a First order error analysis method. First, a dynamic water quality model for the Three Gorges Reservoir Regions was established using data after impoundment by the environmental fluid dynamics code model package. Model calibration and verification were then conducted using measured data collected during 2004 and 2006. Four statistical indices were employed to assess the modeling efficiency. The results indicated that the model simulated the variables well, with most relative error being less than 25 %. Next, input and parameter uncertainty analysis were conducted for ammonia nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, total nitrogen, and dissolved oxygen at 3 grid cells located in the upper, middle and downstream portions of the research area. For the nitrogen related variables, input from Zhutuo Station, the Jialingjiang River, and the Wujiang River were the main sources of uncertainty. Point and nonpoint sources also accounted for a large ratio of uncertainty. Moreover, nitrification contributed some uncertainty to the estimated ammonia nitrogen and nitrate nitrogen. However, reaeration was found to be a key source of uncertainty for dissolved oxygen, especially at the middle and downstream reaches. The analysis conducted in this study gives a quantitative assessment for uncertainty sources of each variable, and provides guidance for further pollutant loading reduction in the Three Gorge Reservoir Region.
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