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An Ontological Framework for Characterizing Hydrological Flow Processes

Authors Shirly Stephen, Torsten Hahmann

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Shirly Stephen
Torsten Hahmann

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Shirly Stephen and Torsten Hahmann. An Ontological Framework for Characterizing Hydrological Flow Processes. In 13th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 86, pp. 7:1-7:14, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


The spatio-temporal processes that describe hydrologic flow - the movement of water above and below the surface of the Earth -- are currently underrepresented in formal semantic representations of the water domain. This paper analyses basic flow processes in the hydrology domain and systematically studies the hydrogeological entities, such as different rock and water bodies, the ground surface or subsurface zones, that participate in them. It identifies the source and goal entities and the transported water (the theme) as common participants in hydrologic flow and constructs a taxonomy of different flow patterns based on differences in source and goal participants. The taxonomy and related concepts are axiomatized in first-order logic as refinements of DOLCE's participation relation and reusing hydrogeological concepts from the Hydro Foundational Ontology (HyFO). The formalization further enhances HyFO and contributes to improved knowledge integration in the hydrology domain.
  • hydrology
  • flow processes
  • formal ontology
  • participation
  • semantic roles


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