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Environmental Informatics Archives

ISSN 1811-0231 / ISEIS Publication Series Number P002

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  Paper EIA06-016, Volume 4 (2006), Pages 186-208 = complimentary

Exploring the Variability in Pollutant Concentrations using BASINS-HSPF and Probabilistic Modeling: Implications for Land Use Planning

D. M. Boneva* and X. Wang

School of Planning, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016. *Corresponding author: .

 

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the use of Monte Carlo simulation method together with a deterministic water quality simulation model to investigate the variability of sediment loadings from various land uses in the East Fork Little Miami River watershed, Ohio. The study has two main objectives: first, to obtain estimates for suspended sediment yield from urban, agricultural and forest land, and second, to generate probability density and cumulative distribution functions for those estimates. As a result, we will know not only the range of possible parameter values but also the probability with which those values are likely to occur. In a larger context, this knowledge will be useful in approaching issues of uncertainty and variability in the modeling process. BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Non-Point Sources), a modeling system developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), is used in the analysis to simulate suspended sediment yield. It provides a Window-based interface for the Hydrologic Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF), which is applied to simulate stream flow and sediment loadings from different land use types in a watershed. The daily values for suspended sediment yield from various land uses generated by HSPF are then examined through stochastic modeling and probability density and cumulative distribution functions for the estimates are obtained with the Monte Carlo simulation technique. The statistical software SAS is used to run the random sampling and derive the probability distributions. A comparison of the outputs provides a basis for assessing the impacts of land development on water quality.


Keywords: BASINS, hydrologic response units, Monte Carlo simulation, sediment loads, streamflow, probability distribution

 

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