projects > review and evaluation of a model for simulating the natural hydrology of south florida
Review and Evaluation of a Model for Simulating the Natural Hydrology of South Florida
A multimillion dollar, interagency effort is underway to restore significant portions of the south Florida ecosystem and to enhance the quantity, quality, and timing of freshwater flows to the remaining Everglades. A key component of this restoration effort involves returning hydropatterns (primarily frequency, duration, depth, and spatial extent of water inundation) at selected key locations in the Everglades to those which might have occurred in the natural system before human-induced changes altered the landscape and hydrology, or pre-drainage conditions. The Natural System Model (NSM) was developed to simulate the pre-drainage condition hydrology of south Florida (see explanation above). The NSM has been proposed as the "best available tool" for estimating hydropattern targets for restoration efforts.
A study is being conducted to determine if the NSM can provide a reasonable simulation of south Florida hydrology for pre-drainage conditions, or the natural system, using recent climatic data. The absence of measured hydrologic, topographic, and vegetation data from the natural system for model construction and testing requires the application of novel procedures to determine if NSM results are "reasonable". Only selected components and features of the model are being reviewed because of the limited resources and time available for the review. The review is focusing on issues identified during discussions with the SFWMD, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The study is being conducted by the USGS in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville, Florida District.