Muskegon River Mega Model




What is a Model?   

A model is a simplified representation of a system or phenomenon, such as a river system, with any hypotheses required to describe the system or explain the phenomenon, often mathematically.

Geographers have developed models for decades. Many of these models were built to examine the relationship between Model Flow Charttransportation patterns and urbanization trends or to study the relationship between land prices and land use patterns. However, many of the early models, such as those developed in the 1970s and 1980s, did not perform well and required massive amounts of data, much of which was not available at the time. Interestingly, they were eventually discarded and never again used. In the 1990s, with the advent of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and data collected from satellites, more data driven models were developed, such as the one employed here in the Muskegon Mega Model project. These types of land use change models have now become common place for environmental and economic studies around the world.

MREMS is the distributed modeling environment in which researchers linked many different kinds of models to build a consistent and coherent picture of how the Muskegon River Ecosystem functions. Philosophically the approach was to recognize the inherent inaccuracies associated with all modeling, and therefore, to favor redundancy by including many types of models and modeling at multiple scales.  Several models of the same general phenomenon were used because they often employ different approaches, scales, or generate different types of useful output. As a result MREMS can be visualized as consisting of a suite of interacting sets of models, each focused on a particular aspect of the Muskegon River Watershed environment.



This project is funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust as part of the Muskegon River Watershed Initiative.
Contact John Koches at for website information.



Page last modified December 5, 2011