Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Sensitivity analysis of the Catchment Modeling Framework (CMF) and use in evaluating two agricultural management scenarios

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  • Abstract Watershed-scale fate/transport modeling of contaminants is a tool that scientists and land managers can use to assess pesticide contamination to stream systems. The Catchment Modeling Framework (CMF) is a catchment-scale fate/transport modeling tool. It was developed to help scientists and land managers assess the effects of possible land-use decisions on water quality. This study performed a sensitivity analysis on the CMF using Extended Fourier Amplitude Sensitivity Testing (FAST) methods. The hydrology model and the pesticide model were analysed separately. Additionally, results of a local sensitivity analysis are compared to a global analysis. Finally, the model is used to assess the effectiveness of two possible land-use strategies. The sensitivity analysis showed that initial soil moisture and porosity were the dominant first-order parameters for the hydrology model. Combined, they yielded greater than 50% of the total first-order sensitivity. Results from the local sensitivity analysis compared less than favorably with the global analysis. The sensitivity analysis of the pesticide model showed that initial soil moisture, porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity are the dominant first-order parameters, again combining to yield greater than 50% of the total first order sensitivity. The model was then used to assess the relative benefit of reducing the cultivated area of an agricultural catchment (field size) vs. reducing the amount of pesticides that land directly on the soil. Results show that reduction in field size yields little benefit when compared to reducing the amount of pesticides landing on the soil. Management implications of this finding are explored.
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