The conceptual model for Southern Sierra CZO involves understanding varaibles along three axes: i) elevation gradient, representing alo gradients in climate, regolith properties, soils, ecosystems, and associated processes, ii) spatial scales, and iii) temporal scales. We use a variety of numerical models, as reflected in pulications and the work plan.

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Modeling overview

The conceptual model is presented in four panels, illustrated at right, and accompanying text. The panels are: Conceptual model, Processes, Spatial scales and Temporal feedbacks.

The REHSSys panel is linked to a description of one numerical model we are using, the Regional Hydro-Ecologic Simulation System.

Refer to the Conceptual and Numerical models pages for details.

Modelling News


Water Resources Research Special Collection: Concentration-discharge relations in the critical zone

30 Oct 2017 - Water Resources Research published a new special collection in September 2017 featuring concentration-discharge research from multiple CZOs.

Research Program Updates: Spring 2018

27 May 2018 - Recent activities and findings, funding opportunities, upcoming events, and other updates

Research Program Updates: Winter 2018

17 Jan 2018 - Recent activities and findings, funding opportunities, upcoming events, and other updates

UCSB graduate team working on collaborative forest restoration strategies in Sierra Nevada

03 Oct 2017 - Five master's students at the UCSB Bren School are incentivizing restoration strategies for private landholders with Sierra RCD.

New SSCZO comic artfully communicates research

19 Jul 2017 - Wonder what soils and sponges have in common? Or why some trees in the Sierra Nevada are dying while others are surviving? Find out in our new comic.

Gobi Desert Dust Helps Sustain California’s Sierra Nevada

28 Mar 2017 - A team of researchers found that dust provides a much greater amount of nutrients to vegetation in the Sierra Nevada than previously thought.

More News >

Conceptual model

Conceptual model diagram
Southern Sierra elevation and climate gradient, with spatial scaling and temporal feedbacks


Conceptual model processes and implications
Drivers of critical zone development must be understood together to address science questions and understand implications


Regional Hydro-Ecologic Simulation System
A spatially distributed dynamic model of coupled eco-hydrologic processes.

Spatial scales

Conceptual model—spatial scales
Variables important for spatial scaling of vegetation differences, water cycles and material fluxes

Temporal feedbacks

Feedbacks across time
Variables important for temporal feedbacks of vegetation differences, water cycles and material fluxes