Modeling Lead Pollution In a Watershed — Ecosystem

Gary L. Rolfe
Amar Chaker
John Melin
Ben B. Ewing

DOI: 10.2190/U5QM-XY1Q-QX6P-MGNY


An interdisciplinary study is currently in progress at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under a grant from the National Science Foundation RANN Program. Objectives of the study include understanding and modeling the movements and effects of heavy metals (initially lead) in the environment.

A model has been constructed which simulates the movements and predicts the accumulation points of lead in a 76-square mile watershed-ecosystem in Champaign County, Illinois. The model includes components of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and represents the ecosystem by a network of nodes and branches where the nodes represent the components of the ecosystem in a general sense and the branches indicate possible transport mechanisms between nodes. Results of a two year simulation using a network of 36 nodes and 121 branches is presented.

The model provides a method for the study of pollutant transport and accumulation in ecosystems.

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