|New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge|
Challenge Team Abstract
Our project is a detailed simulation of a pond undergoing environmental change. We will compute the levels of oxygen, of phosphates, of nitrates, and of other nutrients as well as acidity and temperature. We will also calculate the amount of sunlight that can break the surface of the pond. All of that information is essential in determining the success of the various species in the pond. The organisms will in turn affect the levels of the various chemicals in the pond and, in the case of surface algae, block out sunlight.
For example, if a power plant begins emptying heated water into one end of a pond, environmental changes can sweep across the entire pond and possibly upset a crucial balance. Increased temperature will affect dissolved oxygen levels and kill certain organisms, possibly depriving the pond of lifeforms that perform indispensable function such as regulating levels of chemicals or decomposing dead matter.
Our simulation's ability to predict the effects of a potentially harmful factory will be useful in deciding whether or not to build such a plant. Since an empirical determination is impossible because by the time any negative effects become apparent, the factory will have drastically damaged the pond.
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