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|Document Type: ||Thesis or dissertation|
|Title: ||A complex systems approach to modelling environmental catastrophe|
|Authors: ||Oxley, Tim|
|Supervisors: ||Allen, Peter M.|
|Issue Date: ||Aug-1994|
|Abstract: ||In recognition of the widespread deterioration of the natural environment, and the
continual emergence of sudden catastrophic environmental changes resulting from
complex interactions of theretofore apparently disparate phenomena, this research
presents a complex systems approach to the modelling of such environmental
Recognizing contemporary views of complexity and evolution, this research presents
a dynamic complex systems model which displays emergent characteristics which can
be directly related to the modelled phenomena - linking acid rain and eutrophication -
and the study region, the Rutland Water catchment.
This is achieved through the definition of a catastrophe indicator which indicates
both the proximity and magnitude of catastrophe arising from the non-linear and
discontinuous acid-phosphorus relationship within the soil domain which lies at the
heart of this Chemical Time Bomb phenomenon. This facilitates assessment of the
vulnerability of the Rutland Water catchment to potential propagation of this CTB
given continued acidification and phosphate accumulation.
The main contributions of this research may thus be found in the following areas:
Development of a dynamic complex systems model - transferable to
alternative catchments due to the minimal data requirements and its generic
representation - which may be used to describe non-point sources of
phosphates as part of assessments of potential eutrophication, overcoming
such limitations found in existing models.
* Definition of a catastrophe indicator( Re)- which highlights both the
proximity and magnitude of catastrophe describing a specific Chemical Time
Bomb phenomenon whereby the soil suddenly changes from being a sink to a
source of phosphates; long-term accumulations of phosphate in the soil being
released as a consequence of soil acidification in the short-term.
Presentation of a complex systems approach - hinged upon this concept of a
catastrophe indicator - to the representation of non-linearities and
discontinuities between heretofore apparently disparate phenomena which are
'competing for a common resource.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD, EngD and MSc by research theses (School of Applied Sciences)|
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