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SWMOD: A Simple GIS Based Toxics Modeling Framework

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The use of geographic information system (GIS) technology in the environmental field is rapidly increasing. The reasons for this trend are obvious: GIS is a very useful tool to manage, analyze and present spatial information. Although user-friendly and powerful GIS software is readily available for general GIS functions (e.g. layering, map printing), more specialized functions related to individual disciplines (e.g. water quality modeling) are not. These tools are still in the process of being developed and/or integrated into the GIS environment. This paper presents one such specialized tool, a simple GIS-based surface water quality modeling framework.

The model presented here was created as part of the development of an environmental information system (EIS). The purpose of the EIS is to support the administration of past, present and future mining activities on a countrywide scale. The EIS contains a geographic database with various data layers related to mining activities and their impact on the environment (e.g. source locations and rivers). Basic GIS functionality is provided by standard ‘out-of-the-box’ GIS software. To supplement the functionality of the standard GIS software, several extensions (add-on tools) were developed to model the fate of metals in the environment and the resulting risk to human health. One of these extensions, SWMOD, is a simple surface water quality model. The model computes steady-state toxic chemical exposure concentrations in rivers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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