Thursday, 14 August 2008

'Mind, the Gap' Manuscript

Earlier this week I submitted a manuscript to Earth Surface Processes and Landforms with one of my former PhD advisors, John Wainwright. Provisionally entitled Mind, the Gap in Landscape-Evolution Modelling (we'll see what the reviewers think of that one!), the manuscript argues that agent-based models (ABMs) are a useful tool for overcoming the limitations of existing, highly empirical approaches in geomorphology. This, we suggest, would be useful because despite an increasing recognition that human activity is currently the dominant force modifying landscapes geomorphically, and that this activity has been increasing through time, there has been little integrative work to evaluate human interactions with geomorphic processes.

In the manuscript we present two case studies of models that consider landscape change with the aid of an ABM - SPASIMv1 (developed during my PhD) and CybErosion (a model to simulate the dynamic interaction of prehistoric communities in Mediterranean environments John has developed). We evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the ABM approach, and consider some of the major challenges to implementation. These challenges include potential process scale mis-matches, differences in perspective between investigators from different disciplines, and issues regarding model evaluation, analysis and interpretation.

I'll post more here as the review process progresses. Hopefully progress with ESPL will be a little quicker than it has been for the manuscript I submitted to Environmental Modelling and Software detailing the biophysical component of SPASIMv1 (still yet to receive the review after 5 months!)...

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