Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 469–477 | Cite as

A data exploration framework for validation and setup of hydrological models

  • Karsten RinkEmail author
  • Thomas Fischer
  • Benny Selle
  • Olaf Kolditz
Special Issue


Over the course of hydrological research projects often a large number of heterogeneous data sets are acquired from sources as diverse as boreholes, gauging stations or satellite imagery. This data then need to be integrated into models for the simulation of hydrological processes. We propose a framework for exploration of geoscientific data and visually guided preparation of such models. Data sets from a large number of sources can be imported, combined and validated to avoid potential problems due to artefacts or inconsistencies between data sets in a subsequent simulation. Boundary conditions and domain discretisations for surface and subsurface models can be created and tested regarding criteria indicating possible numerical instabilities. All data sets including simulation results can be integrated into a user-controlled 3D scene and aspects of the data can be enhanced using a number of established visualisation techniques including thresholding and user-defined transfer functions. We present the application of this framework for the preparation of a model for simulation of groundwater flow in a river catchment in southwest Germany investigated in the scope of the WESS project.


Data exploration Hydrology Simulation Visualisation OpenGeoSys 



WESS is supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts of Baden-Württemberg (AZ Zu 33-721.3-2) and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, Leipzig (UFZ).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karsten Rink
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Fischer
    • 1
  • Benny Selle
    • 3
  • Olaf Kolditz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental InformaticsHelmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Applied Environmental System AnalysisDresden University of TechnologyDresdenGermany
  3. 3.WESS, Water & Earth System ScienceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

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