Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 85, Issue 4, pp 2649–2654 | Cite as

A spatial decision support system to allow the investigation of the impact of emissions from major point sources under different operating policies

  • R. A. Wadsworth
  • M. J. Brown
Part VI Strategies For Regional Air Pollution Control Including Economic Aspects


A Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) is being developed for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP). It enables the investigation of the spatial implications of different operating procedures from large point sources of pollution. The environmental effect of emissions is assessed using the critical loads methodology developed at ITE and modelled deposition “footprints”. This approach allows an “effect per unit emission” or “pollution potential” to be determined for each source. Individual sources are modelled and included within the SDSS if their current emissions are above a given threshold. The SDSS provides a graphical user interface (GUI) which facilitates a fast, efficient and effective means to specify and to examine the effect of different operating policies. Mapping, statistical and optimization facilities are provided to help describe the effect of any specified strategy. Maps may be produced as deposition rates or exceedance values. Statistics may be visualised as histograms and scatter plots. The optimization facility uses linear programming to minimise the total environmental impact (estimated from emissions and critical loads) or maximise power produced within environmental limits. The SDSS has been written in the Arc/Info Macro Language (AML) and provides an invisible interface with standard GIS facilities and programmes written in “C”.

Key words

Decision support system optimization air pollution sulphur critical load 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abel D.J., Yap S.K., Ackland R., Cameron M.A., Smith D.F. & Walker G.: 1992, Environmental decision support system project: an exploration of alternative architectures for geographic information systems.Int. Jo. of Geographic Information Systems,6 193–204Google Scholar
  2. Alcamo J., Shaw R. & Hordijk L.: (eds) 1990 The RAINS model of acidification. Science and Strategies in Europe Dordrecht, Netherlands Kluwer Academic Pub.Google Scholar
  3. Bull K.R.: 1991: The critical loads/levels approach to gaseous pollutant emission control. Environmental Pollution69 105–123Google Scholar
  4. Fedra K. & Reitsma F.R. 1990 Decision support and GIS. Reprinted from Scholten, H.J. & Stillwell J.C.H.GIS for Urban and Regional Planning, KLUWER Acc. Pub. NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  5. Green R.J. and Newbery D.M.: 1992 Competition in the British electricity spot market,Jo. of Political Economy 100 929–953Google Scholar
  6. Hornung M, Bull K.R., Hall J.R., Langan S.J., Lovaland P. &Smith C.: 1995, An empirical map of critical loads of acidity for soils of great Britain. Accepted for Environmental PollutionGoogle Scholar
  7. Metcalfe S.E., Atkins D.H.F. & Derwent R.G.: 1989, Acid deposition modelling and the interpretation of the United Kingdom secondary precipitation network data. Atmospheric Environment23 No.9 2033–2052Google Scholar
  8. Newbery D.M.: 1994 The impact of EC environmental policy on British Coal. Oxford Review of Economic Policy9 No.4 66–95Google Scholar
  9. O'Callaghan J.R.: 1995 NELUP: An introduction. Jo. of Environmental Planning and Management38 No.1 5–20Google Scholar
  10. RGAR: 1990 Review Group on Acid Rain. Third Report. Acid deposition in the United Kingdom 1986– 1988. Dept. of the Environment & Dept. of TransportGoogle Scholar
  11. Simon H.: 1960, The new science of management decisions. New York, Harper & RowGoogle Scholar
  12. Sprague R & Watson H.J.: 1986, A framework for the development of DSS. In:Decision Support Systems, edited by R. Sprague & H.J. Watson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  13. Watson P. & Wadsworth R.A.: (in press), A computerised decision support system for rural policy formulation,Int. Jo. of Geographic Information Systems (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Wadsworth
    • 1
  • M. J. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Terrestrial EcologyHuntingdon

Personalised recommendations