An Information Management Framework for Environmental Digital Twins (IMFe) as a concept and pilot

Buck, Justin ORCID:; Kingdon, Andrew ORCID:; Siddorn, John ORCID:; Blair, Gordon Shaw ORCID:; Kokkinaki, Alexandra ORCID:; Blower, Jon ORCID:; Fry, Matthew ORCID:; Marchant, Benjamin ORCID:; Pepler, Sam ORCID:; Watkins, John ORCID:; Byrne, James ORCID: 2023 An Information Management Framework for Environmental Digital Twins (IMFe) as a concept and pilot. [Other] In: EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24-28 Apr 2023. Vienna, Austria, European Geosciences Union.

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Environmental science is concerned with assessing the impacts of changing environmental conditions upon the state of the natural world. Environmental Digital Twins (EDT) are a new technology that enable environmental change scenarios for real systems to be modelled and their impacts visualised. They will be particularly effective with delivering understanding of these impacts on the natural environment to non-specialist stakeholders. The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) recently published its first digital strategy, which sets out a vision for digitally enabled environmental science for the next decade. This strategy places data and digital technologies at the heart of UK environmental science. EDT have been made possible by the emergence of increasingly large, diverse, static data sources, networks of dynamic environmental data from sensor networks and time-variant process modelling. Once combined with visualisation capabilities these provide the basis of the digital twin technologies to enable the environmental scientists community to make a step-change in understanding of the environment. Components may be developed separately by a network but can be combined to improve understanding provided development follows agreed standards to facilitate data exchange and integration. Replicating the behaviours of environmental systems is inevitably a multi-disciplinary activity. To enable this, an information management framework for Environmental digital twins (IMFe) is needed that establishes the components for effective information management within and across the EDT ecosystem. This must enable secure, resilient interoperability of data, and is a reference point to facilitate data use in line with security, legal, commercial, privacy and other relevant concerns. We present recommendations for developing an IMFe including the application of concepts such as an asset commons and balanced approach to standards to facilitate minimum interoperability requirements between twins while iteratively implementing an IMFe. Achieving this requires components to be developed that follow agreed standards to ensure that information can be trusted by the user, and that they are semantically interoperable so data can be shared. A digital Asset Register will be defined to provide access to and enable linking of such components. This previously conceptual project has now been enhanced into the Pilot IMFe project aiming to define the architectures, technologies, standards and hardware infrastructure to develop a fully functioned environmental digital twin. During the project lifespan this will be tested with by construction of a pilot EDT for the Haig Fras Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) that both enables testing of the proposed IMFe concepts and will provide a clear demonstration of the power of EDT to monitor and scenario test a complex environmental system for the benefit of stakeholders.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Other)
NORA Subject Terms: Data and Information
Date made live: 19 Feb 2024 14:10 +0 (UTC)

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