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Water Yield and soil water infiltration measurements
I'm a researcher on a scientific project where we've been using the InVEST model suite to study ecosystem service provisioning and interrelationships in urban landscapes. We're now nearing the end of the project and, among other tasks, are looking to compare model results to real-world data where possible.
One dataset we have collected involves a series of field measurements across our study area of soil water infiltration rates and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, and we are interested in finding a way to compare these to one of the InVEST model outputs we have made use of if possible. Chiefly, I'm wondering if these can somehow be compared with outputs or intermediate results from the Hydropower/Water Yield model. We are fully mindful of the stated cautions against making use of the pixel-based output of this model for analysis purposes, and that our use of the model in urban settings constitutes a far stretch of its original intended purpose. Here we are seeking to use water yield as a broad proxy for both positive (e.g. water provisioning for plant life) and negative (e.g. flood risk) impacts, and wish to explore relative modelled spatial patterns across our study area. Our primary interests are in model responses to different input factors and relationships to other ecosystem services; not any sort of decision support or suitability testing of the model functionality itself.
The model's end result of calculated water yield shares only a tenuous linkage at best with our observations of soil water infiltration, but we're keen to make use of the measurements if possible as they are based spatially within our study area, as opposed to something more distant such as downstream river flow records. What I'm therefore curious about is, does the Hydropower/Water Yield model produce any intermediate mapped data that we might be able to access and isolate somehow, particularly around the calculation of Available Water Content or similar measures that would be more directly relevant and comparable to our measurements? If so, how can we go about getting the model to output and preserve these data so they can be explored at the end of the model run?
Failing this, can you recommend a way that our data could similarly be used in comparison to the output (or intermediate stages) of a different InVEST model such as Sediment Delivery or Nutrient Retention?
I'd be very grateful for any advice you can offer. My apologies if this is a rather odd and awkward question!
Note: this project has been long-term enough that I've done my work with InVEST 3.1.1, so if there's new functionality in the new 'Seasonal water yield' model or something that addresses this, I may have missed it!