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Project Summary Sheet

U.S Geological Survey, South Florida Ecosystem Program: Place-Based Studies

Project: Groundwater Discharge to Biscayne Bay

Web Site: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/grndwtr_disch/index.html

Location: Southeast Coast; Miami-Dade County

Principle Investigator: Christian D. Langevin, langevin@usgs.gov, 305.717.5817

Project Personnel: Raul Patterson, rdpatter@usgs.gov, 305.717.5865; Melinda Wolfert, mwolfert@usgs.gov, 305.717.5855

Other Supporting Organizations: U.S.Army Corps of Engineers and Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resource Management

Associated Projects: Hydrodynamic Model of Biscayne Bay, Greg Nail, Army Corps of Engineers

Overview & Status: The purpose of this project is to quantify the rates of groundwater discharge to Biscayne Bay. Project objectives are achieved through the collection of field data and the development of two- and three-dimensional, numerical models that simulate variable-density groundwater flow. Monitoring wells were installed offshore and inland along three transects perpendicular to the shore of Biscayne Bay. Water samples collected from the offshore monitoring wells indicate that brackish groundwater extends offshore beneath Biscayne Bay. Numerical models calibrated to the field data, also suggest that brackish groundwater is discharging to Biscayne Bay. Freshwater discharge rates simulated by the model average about 10 percent of the freshwater discharge from canals. This was completed at the end of FY2000. The final report will be distributed in December 2000.

Needs & Products: The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) is currently developing a numerical hydrodynamic model of Biscayne Bay. One of the required inputs to the hydrodynamic model is the quantity of groundwater that discharges to Biscayne Bay. The problem of estimating groundwater discharge to Biscayne Bay is difficult because of the complex groundwater flow patterns that exist near the coastal boundary. The complex groundwater flow patterns are caused by tidal fluctuations and density variations that cause a saltwater tongue to form at the base of the Biscayne aquifer. Estimates of groundwater discharge, obtained as part of this study, have been provided to the ACOE and are currently being used in their hydrodynamic model.

Application to Everglades Restoraton: Water managers in South Florida plan to use the hydrodynamic model to evaluate the effects of various water management alternatives on the estuarine conditions of Biscayne Bay.

Study Milestones

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Familiarity

   

xx

xxx

             

Design

   

xx

xxx

             

Field Work

   

x

xxxx

xxxx

           

Data Analysis

     

xxxx

xxxx

xxxx

         

Initial Reporting

     

xx

xxxx

xxxx

         

Credibility Assurance

     

xxxx

xxxx

xxxx

         

Results Published

         

xo

         

Synthesis

       

xxx

x

         

Note: "x" indicates task completed, and "o" indicates task planned, but not completed


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Last updated: 24 April, 2014 @ 12:00 PM (KP)