River water quality modelling for river basin and water resources management with a focus on the Saale River, Germany (PDF, 4383KB)
This habilitation thesis focuses on computer modelling issues such as i) uncertainty, including uncertainty in parameters, data input and model structure, ii) model complexity and how it affects uncertainty, iii) scale, as it pertains to scaling calibrated and validated models up or down to different spatial and temporal resolutions, and iv) transferability of a model to a site of the same scale. The discussion of these issues is well established in the fields of hydrology and hydrogeology but has found less application in river water quality modelling. This thesis contributes to transferring these ideas to river modelling and to discuss their utilization when simulating river water quality. In order to provide a theoretical framework for the discussion of these topics several hypotheses have been adapted and extended. The basic principle is that model error decreases and sensitivity increases as a model becomes more complex. This behaviour is modified depending if the model is being upscaled or downscaled or is being transferred to a different application site. A modelling exercise of the middle and lower Saale River in Germany provides a case study to test these hypotheses. The Saale is ideal since it has gained much attention as a test case for river basin management. It is heavily modified and regulated, has been overly polluted in the past and contains many contaminated sites. High demands are also placed on its water resources. To provide discussion of some important water management issues pertaining to the Saale River, modelling scenarios using the Saale models have been included to investigate the impact of a reduction in non-point nutrient loading and the removal and implementation of lock-and-weir systems on the river.