The Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys)

RHESSYS is a hydro-ecological model designed to simulate integrated water, carbon, and nutrient cycling and transport over spatially variable terrain. The model is structured as a spatially nested hierarchical representation of the landscape with a range of hydrological, microclimate, and ecosystem processes associated with specific landscape objects at different levels of the hierarchy. This approach is designed to facilitate environmental analysis that requires an understanding of within-watershed processes as well as aggregate fluxes of water, carbon and nitrogen. RHESSys has been applied in a variety of ecosystem types, including deciduous conifer forested and grassland regions, alpine and Mediterrain-type ecosystems and urban areas.

Further Information

RHESSys Model Home Page:

RHESSys model

Select Model Development Publications:

  • Tague, C., and Band, L. (2004) RHESSys: Regional Hydro-ecologic simulation system: An object-oriented approach to spatially distributed modeling of carbon, water and nutrient cycling, Earth Interactions 8(19), 1-42.

Select BioEarth-Relevant Publications:

  • Tague, C., and Grant, G. (2009) Groundwater dynamics mediate low flow response to global warming in snow-dominated alpine regions, Water Resources Research W07421, doi:10.1029/2008WR007179
  • Tague, C. (2009) Modeling hydrologic controls on denitrification: sensitivity to parameter uncertainty and landscape representation, Biogeochemistry 93 (1-2), 79-90.
  • Tague, C., Heyn, K., Christensen, L. (2009) Topographic controls on spatial patterns of conifer transpiration and ntet primary productivity under climate warming in mountain ecosystems, Ecohydrology 2, 541-554. DOI: 10.1002/eco.88.
  • Christensen, L., Tague, C., and Baron, J. (2008) Spatiotemporal response of transpiration to climate variation in a snow dominated mountain ecosystem, Hydrological Processes 22, 3576-3588.
  • Zierl, B. & Bugmann, H. (2007) Sensitivity of carbon cycling in the European Alps to changes of climate and land cover, Clim. Change DOI 10.1007/s10584-006-9201-8.
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