Modeling the environment

A computer model is a representation of some part of the environment that helps us understand and predict potential changes. Weather forecasting, for example, relies on computer models.

We develop these mathematical tools to represent water systems, like a river or Puget Sound. They help us understand what factors contribute to problems in these waters and plan a course of action to manage the relevant factors.

Tools & resources for modeling

We use several tools, some developed by us and some developed by others. Each tool needs to be customized for a certain body of water. Many of these tools are used to identify sources of pollution in water quality improvement plans, or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies. Several of our tools are used all over the world.

Models and tools for water quality improvement links to many tools used in modeling TMDL water-cleanup plans. Also, you can download the models.

Modeling projects and tools

Computer models applied to Puget Sound help us understand if a water cleanup plan is needed. These tools allow us to predict what Puget Sound might look like without the effects of different factors.

Spreadsheet Models for Determining the Influence of Land Applications of Fertilizer on Underlying Groundwater Nitrate Concentrations can be used to quantitatively predict the impact of residual or excess farm-field soil nitrate or mass balance residual on the concentration of nitrate in underlying shallow groundwater. The spreadsheet itself is included as an appendix in the publication summary webpage for this report.