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RHESSys is a GIS-based, hydro-ecological modelling framework designed to simulate carbon, water, and nutrient fluxes. By combining a set of physically-based process models and a methodology for partitioning and parameterizing the landscape, RHESSys is capable of modelling the spatial distribution and spatio-temporal interactions between different processes at the watershed scale.
RHESSys (Regional Hydro-Ecologic Simulation System) is a spatially distributed dynamic model of coupled eco-hydrologic processes. Included in the model are mechanistic representations of vertical hydrologic processes (interception, soil and litter evaporation, canopy transpiration, infiltration, vertical drainage); lateral redistribution of moisture, nutrients, and streamflow production; and soil, plant carbon, and nitrogen cycling.
The use of RHESSys as part of the SSCZO allows us to better integrate fields measurements and analysis within a spatial modeling framework. RHESSys is used to both extend estimates of eco-hydrologic variables in space and to provide estimates of eco-hydrologic variables under climate warming scenarios. A close integration of measurements and model parameterization, evaluation is a key component of this work. We use SSCZO measurements to refine RHESSys submodels and to develop efficient parameterization schemes. We also use RHESSys estimates to develop a strategic sampling design that emphasizes watershed scale responses to inter-annual climate variation and identifies gaps in current data collection.
Additional details about RHESSys can be found in Tague and Band (2004), the RHESSys website, or contact Christina Tague (email).