Advantages of concurrent use of multiple software frameworks in water quality modelling using a database approach

L.P.A. van Gerven*, R.J. Brederveld, J.J.M. de Klein, D.L. DeAngelis, A.S. Downing, M. Faber, D.J. Gerla, J. 't Hoen, J.H. Janse, A.B.G. Janssen, Michel Jeuken, B.W. Kooi, J.J. Kuiper, B. Lischke, Sien Liu, Thomas Petzoldt, S.A. Schep, Sven Teurlincx, C. Thiange, D. TrolleE.H. van Nes, W.M. Mooij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Water quality modelling deals with multidisciplinary questions ranging from fundamental to applied. Addressing this broad range of questions requires multiple analysis techniques and therefore multiple frameworks. Through the recently developed database approach to modelling (DATM), it has become possible to run a model in multiple software frameworks without much overhead. Here we apply DATM to the ecosystem model for ditches. PCDitch and its twin model for shallow lakes PCLake. Using DATM, we run these models in six frameworks (ACSL, DELWAQ, DUFLOW, GRIND for MATLAB, OSIRIS and R), and report on the possible model analyses with tools provided by each framework. We conclude that the dynamic link between frameworks and models resulting from DATM has the following main advantages: it allows one to use the framework one is familiar with for most model analyses and eases switching between frameworks for complementary model analyses, including the switch between a 0-D and 1-D to 3-D setting. Moreover, the strength of each framework – including runtime performance – can now be easily exploited. We envision that a community-based further development of the concept can contribute to the future development of water quality modelling, not only by addressing multidisciplinary questions but also by facilitating the exchange of models and process formulations within the community of water quality modellers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
JournalFundamental and Applied Limnology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • ACSL
  • Community-based modelling
  • Database approach to modelling
  • DATM
  • Differential equations
  • Model analysis
  • Model implementation
  • Modelling framework
  • PCDitch
  • PCLake
  • R


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