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PSYCHIC - A process-based model of phosphorus and sediment mobilisation and delivery within agricultural catchments. Part 1: Model description and parameterisation

Davison, Paul S., Withers, Paul J.A., Lord, Eunice I., Betson, Mark J., Strömqvist, Johan
Journal of hydrology 2008 v.350 no.3-4 pp. 290-302
agricultural watersheds, agricultural runoff, nonpoint source pollution, phosphorus, sediment yield, water erosion, hydrologic models, environmental models, soil erosion models, losses from soil, fertilizers, animal manures, crop production, animal production, slope
PSYCHIC is a process-based model of phosphorus (P) and suspended sediment (SS) mobilisation in land runoff and subsequent delivery to watercourses. Modelled transfer pathways include release of desorbable soil P, detachment of SS and associated particulate P, incidental losses from manure and fertiliser applications, losses from hard standings, the transport of all the above to watercourses in underdrainage (where present) and via surface pathways, and losses of dissolved P from point sources. The model can operate at two spatial scales, although the scientific core is the same in both cases. At catchment scale, the model uses easily available national scale datasets to infer all necessary input data whilst at field scale, the user is required to supply all necessary data. The model is sensitive to a number of crop and animal husbandry decisions, as well as to environmental factors such as soil type and field slope angle. It is envisaged that the catchment-scale model would provide the first tier of a catchment characterisation study, and would be used as a screening tool to identify areas within the catchment which may be at elevated risk of P loss. This would enable targeted data collection, involving farm visits and stakeholder discussion, which would then be followed up with detailed field-scale modelling. Both tiers allow the effects of possible mitigation options at catchment scale (Tier 1) and field scale (Tier 2) to be explored. The PSYCHIC model framework therefore provides a methodology for identifying critical source areas of sediment and P transfer in catchments and assessing what management changes are required to achieve environmental goals.