Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 512753
Title The generic danger and the idiosyncratic support
Author(s) Temme, A.J.A.M.; Nijp, J.J.; Meij, W.M. van der; Samia, J.; Masselink, R.J.H.
Source Geophysical Research Abstracts 18 (2016). - ISSN 1029-7006 - 1 p.
Event EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, 2016-04-17/2016-05-22
Department(s) Soil Geography and Landscape
PE&RC
Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
Soil Physics and Land Management
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2016
Abstract This contribution argues two main points. First, that generic landscapes used in some modelling studies sometimes
have properties or cause simulation results that are unrealistic. Such initially flat or straight-sloped landscapes,
sometimes with minor random perturbations, e.g. form the backdrop for ecological simulations of vegetation
growth and competition that predict catastrophic shifts. Exploratory results for semi-arid systems suggest that the
results based on these generic landscapes are end-members from a distribution of results, rather than an unbiased,
typical outcome. Apparently, the desire to avoid idiosyncrasy has unintended consequences.
Second, we argue and illustrate that in fact new insights often come from close inspection of idiosyncratic case
studies. Our examples from landslide systems, connectivity and soil formation show how a central role for the
case study – either in empirical work or to provide model targets – has advanced our understanding.
Both points contribute to the conclusion that it is dangerous to forget about annoying, small-scale, idiosyncratic
and, indeed, perhaps bad-ass case studies in Earth Sciences.
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