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Web-based modelling of energy, water and matter fluxes to support decision making in mesoscale catchments - the integrative perspective of GLOWA-Danube

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Ludwig, R., Mauser, W., Niemeyer, S., Colgan, A., Stolz, R., Escher-Vetter, H., et al. (2003). Web-based modelling of energy, water and matter fluxes to support decision making in mesoscale catchments - the integrative perspective of GLOWA-Danube. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 28(14-15), 621-634. doi:10.1016/S1474-7065(03)00108-6.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-851B-E
The GLOWA-initiative (Global Change of the water cycle), funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), has been established to address the manifold consequences of Global Change on regional water resources in a variety of catchment areas with different natural and cultural characteristics. Within this framework, the GLOWA-Danube project is dealing with the Upper Danube watershed as a representative mesoscale test site (similar to75.000 km(2)) for mountain-foreland regions in the temperate mid-latitudes. The principle objective is to identify, examine and develop new techniques of coupled distributed modelling for the integration of natural and socio-economic sciences. The transdisciplinary research in GLOWA-Danube develops an integrated decision support system, called DANUBIA, to investigate the sustainability of future water use. GLOWA-Danube, which is scheduled for a. total run-time of eight years to operationally implement and establish DANUBIA, comprises a university-based network of experts with water-related competence in the fields of engineering, natural and social sciences. Co-operation with a network of stakeholders in water resources management of the Upper Danube catchment ensures that practical issues and future problems in the water sector of the region can be addressed. In order to synthesize a common understanding between the project partners, a standardized notation of parameters and functions and a platform-independent structure of computational methods and interfaces has been established, by making use of the unified modelling language, an industry standard for the structuring and co-ordination of large projects in software development [Booch et al., The Unified Modelling Language User Guide, Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1999]. DANUBIA is object-oriented, spatially distributed and raster-based at its core. It applies the concept of "proxels" (process pixels) as its basic objects, which have different dimensions depending on the viewing scale and connect to their environment through fluxes. The presented paper excerpts the hydrological view point of GLOWA-Danube, its approach of model coupling and network-based communication, and object-oriented techniques to simulate physical processes and interactions at the land surface. The mechanisms and technologies applied to communicate data and model parameters across the typical discipline borders are demonstrated from the perspective of the Landsurface object. It comprises the capabilities of interdependent expert models for energy exchange at various surface types, snowmelt, soil water movement, runoff formation and plant growth in a distributed Java-based modelling environment using the remote method invocation [Pitt et al., Java.rmi: The Remote Method Invocation Guide, Addison Wesley Professional, Reading, 2001, p. 320]. The presented text summarizes the GLOWA-Danube concept and shows the state of an implemented DANUBIA prototype after completion of the first project-year (2001). (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.