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

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.

Pushing the Limits on Water Isotope Measurement:  Lawrence Livermore and UC Merced

20 Dec 2016 - Lawrence Livermore and UC Merced researchers are tracking water through the critical zone using cutting-edge technology and new collection methods.

Vegetation Matters: Type conversion could impact Sierra stream flow more than changing climate alone

02 Sep 2016 - This is an excerpt of a press release originally published on 30 August 2016 by James Badham, covering a new peer-reviewed article published by...

White House Water Summit: UC Water joins the call to action with technology pioneered at SSCZO

22 Mar 2016 - As part of World Water Day, the White House is hosting a Water Summit today and released its Commitments to Action on Building a Sustainable...

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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