Note that the examples are based on the NTP database version of April 2019
Example 1: Development trends of environmental models
The database might be used to investigate ‘current trends in model development in environmental sciences’. This can be accomplished by asking questions such as:
- What are the most popular models?
- Which model types are in trend?
- Which models have been updated recently?
For example, let’s have a look at the most popular models with the latest release date after 2018. You can do it by adding the next filter to the search field:
Metadata.Latest_version: [2018 TO 2099] AND General_information.Popularity_Index_Pr: [5 TO 100]
Or, alternatively, you can do it by clicking on the relevant fields on the respective graphs and then changing them manually. Moreover, you can combine both.
Example of interactive filtering
According to the results, there are 15 models. Model types are: hydrologic (9), water quality (7), hydrodynamic (5), framework (4), and groundwater (3); mainly developed in USA (7), France (2), and Germany (2); and applied in USA (9), China (8), Germany (6) and Brazil (5). Considering this, we can make a conclusion that current research interests are focused on river flow analysis, water quality, and decision support frameworks. This coincides with an increased number of floods/draughts, ecosystem degradation, and the need for sustainable resource management.
Example 2: Project specific model
Let’s consider an example from sunny but water-scarce Egypt. A recent study was focused on the impact of wastewater irrigation on groundwater quality in Sadat city (Abu-Bakr et al., 2016). From the modelling perspective, this task requires a groundwater model which is capable of water quality assessment and considers irrigation as one of the boundary conditions. Therefore, our search request may look like this:
General_information.Model_type: "groundwater model" AND (General_information.Considered_Process: Irrigation AND "WQ Chemistry")
As an output, we have 4 groundwater models. Two of them are commercial – MIKE SHE and FEFLOW, and two are free/open source – MODFLOW 2005 and OGS. In order to decide which one to use, we recommend you to analyze each of them separately and perform a literature review of the case studies related to your topic of interest.
In general, if you want a quick and easy solution it is better to use commercial models, but if you are planning to extend your research into several dimensions like an additional assessment of crop yields or impact of climate change scenarios, it is better to select open source ones as they provide more flexibility and user control.
In the mentioned above example, authors used MODFLOW.