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Agent-Based Land Change Modeling of a Large Watershed: Space-Time Locations of Critical Threshold

Wenwu Tang () and Jianxin Yang ()
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Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 2020, vol. 23, issue 1, 15

Abstract: Land use and land cover change has been recognized to have significant environmental impacts in a watershed, such as regulation of water quality. However, the identification of potential regions that are sensitive to land change activities for the protection of water quality poses a grand challenge particularly in a large watershed. These potential regions are often associated with critical thresholds in terms of, for example, water quality. In this study, we developed an agent-based land change model to investigate the relationship between land development activities and water quality in eight North Carolina counties that cover the lower High Rock Lake Watershed area. This agent-based model, which is empirically calibrated, is used to identify space-time locations of those regions at critical thresholds of water quality in this study area. Our experimental results suggest that land development as a form of system stress is of pivotal importance in affecting water quality at sub watershed level and the state transition of water quality. The agent-based model developed in this study provides solid support for investigations on the impact of land development under alternative scenarios in a large watershed.

Keywords: Agent-Based Model; Land Use and Land Cover Change; Critical Threshold; Water Quality; North Carolina (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01-31
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