USGS - science for a changing world

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)

projects > SICS and TIME model linkages and development > project summary

Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) Initiative

Fiscal Year 2006 Study Summary Report

Study Title: SICS and TIME Model Linkages and Development in Support of Everglades Restoration
Study Start Date: 10/00 Study End Date: 9/06
Web Sites:;;;;;
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Southern Everglades and Florida Bay; Miami-Dade County; Monroe County; Everglades National Park
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES), SFWMD/CERP
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Eric Swain, Dr. Christian Langevin
Study Personnel: Dr. John Wang (Rosenstiel School of Marine Science), Melinda Wolfert, Dawn James
Supporting Organizations: Everglades National Park; Army Corps of Engineers; South Florida Water Management District
Associated / Linked Studies: Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS); Canal and Wetland Flow/Transport Interaction, Effect of Wind on Surface Water Flows; Everglades ET measurement and modeling, Flow Velocity and Water Level Transects; Freshwater Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay; Geophysical Studies of the Southwest Florida Coast; Ground Water Flow and Transport for the SICS and TIME Models; Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions and Relation to Water Quality in the Everglades; High Accuracy Elevation Data Collection; High-Resolution Bathymetry of Florida Bay; Southwest Florida Coastal and Wetland Systems Monitoring; Vegetative Resistance to Flow in the Everglades; Everglades Coastal Gradients Study; Florida Bay, Florida Keys Feasibility Study (FBFKFS).

Overview & Objective(s): This investigation makes use of the SWIFT2D two-dimensional surface-water model and the SEAWAT three-dimensional ground-water model to represent flow and transport in the southern Everglades. This successful production of an operation model can be primarily attributed to this projects allocation of the necessary resources and time. Similar efforts outside the USGS have typically been terminated before successful completion. The SICS model, constructed first, represents the southeast coastal region interface with Florida Bay. SWIFT2D and SEAWAT are coupled, allowing leakage to be represented along with salinity transfer. In order to represent regional restoration scenarios, the SICS model has been linked via boundary water levels to the regional South Florida Water Management Model. This linkage allows the simulation of restoration scenarios, defined by the SFWMM, in the SICS area.

The same modeling system is in the process of being expanded to the west and north to include the TIME domain. This encompasses more of the structural controls in the area and allows for the representation of Shark Slough flows. The TIME model is linked to the SFWMM in the same manner as the SICS/SFWMM linkage to represent restoration scenarios. The SICS model output has been coupled to components of the ATLSS ecologic modeling suite, in order to supply the necessary hydrologic information for determination of fish population dynamics. Further application of the SICS model has been in developing optimal water-delivery schemes through parameter estimation. This uses the FBFKFS performance measures as a guide for salinity targets in the offshore areas, and the UCODE parameter-estimation code to optimize surface-water inflows to achieve the salinity targets. This technique is capable of modifying water-deliveries to the SICS area and producing offshore salinities closer to the desired range and with less rapid fluctuations.

Status: The SICS model has been documented in several publications which describe the surface-water representation, a user's manual for the surface-water model, the coupling to the ground water, and the linkage to the SFWMM. The coupled SICS model has a seven-year simulation period producing good representations of field data. Several base scenarios created by the SFWMM have been implemented in the SICS model, demonstrating the utility of the linkage. The TIME model is currently calibrated and implemented for the seven-year standard data-set period. The linkage of TIME to the SFWMM for scenario representation is under implementation. The SICS scenarios are used in ATLSS simulations, which were described in a conference paper at IEMSS in 2004. Further work including the utilization of sea-level rise and optimized water delivery SICS scenarios in ATLSS are to be discussed in a paper for the USGS Modeling Conference.

The water-delivery-optimization model of the SICS area is predicting inflow structure operations which reduce the high-frequency fluctuations in salinity and maintain salinity values closer to the target range. These results are discussed in an abstract for the Florida Bay Conference. Continued research includes additional performance measure zones and longer simulation periods. A WRI report is planned to describe the final results of the optimization modeling.

Recent Products: The documentation of the SICS surface-water model has been published as WRIR 03-4287 "Two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation of surface-water flow and transport to Florida Bay through the Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS)" and the coupling to the ground-water model as OFR 04-1097 "Simulation of integrated surface-water/ground-water flow and solute transport for a coastal wetland and adjacent marine estuary".

TWRI Book 6, Chapter 1, Section B "A model for simulation of surface-water integrated flow and transport in two dimensions: SWIFT2D user's manual" is the user's manual for the SWIFT2D code and OFR 2004-1195 "Assigning boundary conditions to the Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS) model using results from the South Florida Water Management Model (SFWMM)" describes the linkage of SICS to the SFWMM.

The SICS/ATLSS coupling has been described in a conference paper at the International Environmental Modeling and Software Society (IEMSS) 2004 conference.

A presentation and abstract on the SFWMM linkage was given at the November 2004 GSA conference.

The NCER conference in December 2004 featured several extended abstracts and a fact sheet about SICS, TIME and ATLSS.

The user's manual for the modified wetland application of the SWIFT2D code was published as OFR 2005-1033.

A journal article on the ground-water/surface-water coupling and implementation was accepted to the Journal of Hydrology, April 2005.

Planned Products: A paper describing the recent incorporation of SICS scenarios into ATLSS will be presented at the USGS modeling conference in November 2005

An abstract about the TIME model calibration and another about the water-delivery-optimization implementation will be presented at the Florida Bay Conference in December 2005.

The TIME model development and code modifications is planned for completion in FY 2006 as a web-based document

Further SICS and TIME restoration scenarios will be added to the web-based document along with technical descriptions.

A journal article on the use of spectral analysis to determine boundary-error effects on the SICS model has been tentatively approved for publication in Water Resources Research.

A WRI report on the water-delivery-optimization model is planned for completion in FY 2006.

Specific Relevance to Information Needs Identified in DOI's Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida (DOI's Everglades Science Plan): [See Plan on SOFIA's Web site:]:

This coupled numerical model will continue to be a crucial decision support tool. The quantity, timing, and distribution of clean fresh water needed to restore the South Florida ecosystem is a primary concern, and can only be addressed by numerical models which represent the controlling factors and can represent proposed scenarios. The SICS/TIME modeling effort is the only functioning numerical representation of this critical geographic area; simulating the effects of possible restoration scenarios. These scenarios will assist in planning actions to restore, protect, and maintain natural resources on DOI lands in South Florida, allowing a prediction of the results of the planned actions.

The coupling of the SICS output to the ATLSS ecologic models allows the testing of the action scenarios on the recovery of South Florida's threatened and endangered species. The use of the optimization code to design water-delivery schemes with SICS for achieving FBFKFS performance measured is the most relevant capability developed. With this technique, restoration plans can be designed computationally.

All these capabilities makes the SICS/TIME effort essential to Ecosystem Restoration.

Key Findings:

  1. There are multiple exchanges of ground water and surface water as flow proceeds southward through the SICS area. Ground water discharges to surface water as it rises above a salt-water wedge; surface water recharges to ground water as it impounds at the coastal embankment.
  2. The use of boundaries developed from the regional SFWMM model produces results comparable to field data; indicating the utility of the method and creating a base case for comparison with restoration scenarios.
  3. The TIME model area is subject to somewhat different hydrologic conditions than the SICS area. A stronger diurnal tide and a lack of a distinct coastal barrier allow more salinity intrusion and larger yearly fluctuations.
  4. The water-delivery-optimization application demonstrates the ability to improve salinity performance measures through inverse-modeling. Indications are that this technique will be very useful in designing restoration scenarios.

| Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Accessibility |

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
This page is:
Comments and suggestions? Contact: Heather Henkel - Webmaster
Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(KP)