Linking External Components to a Spatio-temporal Modelling Framework: Coupling MODFLOW and PCRaster

Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 24, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 1088-1099

O. Schmitz, D. Karssenberg, W.P.A. van Deursen, and C.G. Wesseling

“An important step in the procedure of building an environmental model is the transformation of a conceptual model into a numerical simulation. To simplify model construction a framework is required that relieves the model developer from software engineering concerns. In addition, as the demand for a holistic understanding of environmental systems increases, access to external model components is necessary in order to construct integrated models.

“We present a modelling framework that provides two- and three-dimensional building blocks for construction of spatio-temporal models. Two different modelling languages available in the framework, the first tailored and the second an enhanced Python scripting language, allow the development and modification of models. We explain for both languages the interfaces allowing to link specialised model components and thus extending the functionality of the framework. We demonstrate the coupling of external components in order to create multicomponent models by the development of the link to the groundwater model MODFLOW and provide results of an integrated catchment model. The approach described is appropriate for constructing integrated models that include a coupling of a small number of components.”