Environmental modelling and measures

Environmental modeling aims to represent processes that occur in the real world in space and time. Herein we focus on the processes in agricultural catchments, both within soil and water, including forest and peat areas as well as semi-urban solutions. In addition, models are an integral part of any restoration and/or mitigation and climate change adaptation plans. Therefore, we specifically look for optimal and robust ways to include the effects of mitigation measures, especially nature-based solutions (NBS) into our modeling work. Environmental modeling is widely used within NIBIO to support research and advisory activities.

Photo: D.Krzeminska

Models are used to:

  • Improve understanding of complex systems – simulate and simplify complex reality
  • Provide spatio-temporal extension of the knowledge gained from experimental/monitoring data – predict the unknown in space and time;
  • Test the reaction of these systems to changing conditions – testing hypotheses and scenarios;
  • Support optimization, planning and decision-making
Overview of the model type and scales used in diffrent projects


We divide environmental models into two groups:

  • Management models, as their name implies, are used either in elucidating better management practices or in aiding management decisions and planning. Several of the models are described under "Guide to environmental measures in agriculture"
Guide to environmental measures in agriculture -> "mitigation measures and other tools" (in Norwegian)


  • Research models are used to organize and guide research of a particular system. Models designed for management can certainly utilize concepts from research models but must avoid the complication of them. Research models, however, can be useful for calibrating simpler “top-down” models as recently demonstrated by Raulier et al. (2000).
Overview of the research models used in different projects