Title: Variance-based sensitivity analysis of a wind risk model - model behaviour and lessons for forest modelling
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE vol. 87 p. 84-109
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC101293
ISSN: 1364-8152
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815216308775
DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.10.010
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: We submitted the semi-empirical, process-based wind-risk model ForestGALES to a variance-based sensitivity analysis using the method of Sobol for correlated variables proposed by Kucherenko et al. (2012). Our results show that ForestGALES is able to simulate very effectively the dynamics of wind damage to forest stands, as the model architecture reflects the significant influence of tree height, stocking density, dbh, and size of an upwind gap, on the calculations of the critical wind speeds of damage. These results highlight the importance of accurate knowledge of the values of these variables when calculating the risk of wind damage with ForestGALES. Conversely, rooting depth and soil type, i.e. the model input variables on which the empirical component of ForestGALES that describes the resistance to overturning is based, contribute only marginally to the variation in the outputs. We show that these two variables can confidently be fixed at a nominal value without significantly affecting the model's predictions. The variance-based method used in this study is equally sensitive to the accurate description of the probability distribution functions of the scrutinised variables, as it is to their correlation structure.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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