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Project Work Plan

Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies

Project Work Plan FY 2003


Project Title: Tides and Inflows in the Mangrove Ecotone (TIME) Model Development
Project start date: October 1, 1999 Project end date: September 30, 2004
Project Funding: Place-Based Studies
Principal Investigator: Raymond W. Schaffranek
Email address:
Phone: (703) 648-5891 Fax: (703) 648-5484
Mail address: U.S. Geological Survey, National Center, MS 430, Reston, VA 20192

Other Investigator(s): Ami L. Riscassi
Email address:
Phone: 703-648-5877 Fax: 703-648-5484
Mail address: U.S. Geological Survey, National Center, MS 430, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive,
Reston, VA 20192

Project Summary: A critical objective of the south Florida ecosystem restoration effort is to restore and preserve ecological conditions that are consistent with habitat requirements of 68 endangered species. The duration, timing, and extent of wetland inundation in the southern Everglades have been greatly distorted as evidenced by shifts in zoologic and vegetative species. Both regulatory and natural factors contribute to the definition of hydroperiods making their precise evaluation and management difficult. This complexity is particularly problematic in the transition zone between the Everglades wetlands and coastal embayments encompassing the mangrove ecotone where freshwater inflow effects on salinities also must be considered. To investigate flow affects on both hydroperiods and embayment salinities correctly and sufficiently neither hydrologic processes affecting flows in the wetlands nor the dynamic effects of tides and winds can be ignored. This project entails translation of findings from the Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS) project and extension of the coupled surface-water/groundwater hydrodynamic/transport model westward to enable concurrent analysis of wetland and tidal response throughout the entire saltwater-freshwater interface zone along the Gulf coast and Florida Bay boundaries. Extension of the SICS model westward will require the addition of continuous monitoring stations to supplement data from coastal creek stations and control structures needed to provide boundary conditions as well as the synoptic measurement of flows and water levels in the wetlands for use in model calibration and verification.

Project Objectives and Strategy: This project is focused on further developing, extending, implementing, and calibrating a mathematical model to study the interaction between wetland sheet flows and dynamic forces in the transition zone between the southern Everglades and its coastal embayments. The model will be made available to study and evaluate the combined response of hydroperiods in the wetlands and salinities in the mangrove ecotone to inflow alterations. The project effort will include 1) monitoring hydrologic processes and dynamic forces to develop an improved understanding of them individually and of their interaction, 2) translating this information and prior knowledge of processes gleaned from the SICS project into improved empirical expressions and mathematical equations to better represent the processes both individually and collectively, 3) transforming these expressions and their correlation to ecosystem properties into numerical algorithms, 4) integrating these algorithms into an existing numerical model framework, 5) implementing the model to the transition zone of the Everglades that encompasses the mangrove ecotone using prototype data to define critical ecosystem properties such as land-surface elevations, vegetative characteristics, etc., 6) calibrating the model using time series of water-level and flow data collected at strategic intermediate internal points, and 7) documenting the model implementation and any findings using it that are critical to improved management of the ecosystem.

Potential Impacts and Major Products: The major product of this project will be a physically based fine-resolution (500 m) coupled surface-water/groundwater hydrodynamic/transport model of the Everglades National Park area of the Everglades. The model will be consistent with Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) models being developed and used to study and evaluate ecosystem response to regulatory decisions. Through analysis of model results for varied inflows, cause and effect relationships to ecosystem functions and sustainability can be investigated to evaluate and guide restoration actions in conjunction with ecological analyses. Data collected in support of the model development will be made available for dissemination via the Internet and scientific findings will be reported in traditional peer-reviewed literature as appropriate.

Collaborators: Harry L. Jenter (USGS/WRD), Eric D. Swain (USGS/WRD), Christian D. Langevin (USGS/WRD), Eduardo Patino (USGS/WRD), and Kevin Kotun (NPS/ENP)
Clients: National Park Service/Everglades National Park, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District


Title of Task 1: Development of surface-water component of TIME model
Task Leaders: Raymond W. Schaffranek
Task Funding: Place-Based Studies
Phone: (703) 648-5891
Fax: (703) 648-5484
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Raymond W. Schaffranek & Ami L. Riscassi

Task Summary and Objectives: Develop numerical algorithm for treatment of evapotranspiration (ET) in SWIFT2D governing equations and incorporate into TIME model framework. Formulate spatial and temporal discretization method for treatment of precipitation in SWIFT2D governing equations. Develop GIS technique for spatial and temporal interpolation of precipitation from available rainfall gages in TIME model domain. Develop facility for input of precipitation and ET data into SWIFT2D model. Refine present TIME model implementation by extending computational domain westward to include southwest Gulf coast and developing coastal water level and salinity boundary conditions.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Work will involve computer programming the SWIFT2D model formulation and developing GIS techniques using ArcInfo.

Planned Outreach: Conferences, Publications

Title of Task 2: Establish local vertical datum control for Gulf coast water-level stations
Task Leaders: Eduardo Patino
Task Funding: Place-Based Studies
Phone: (941) 275-8448
Task Status (proposed or active): Proposed
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Eduardo Patino; Lars Soderqvist

Task Summary and Objectives: The purpose of this task is to establish local North American Vertical Datum 1988 (NAVD88) reference control for water-level (stage) monitoring stations on the southwest Gulf coast of Florida. The objective is to determine the vertical elevation offset between stage recorders and local previously established NAVD88 benchmark references. Optical (laser) level surveying will be used to tie stage recorders to NAVD88 benchmark control meeting standard USGS closure accuracy for surveying stage recorders.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Stage recorder offsets to local NAVD88 benchmarks are to be determined using optical leveling methods. Twenty-two (9 USGS/WRD and 13 NPS/ENP) water-level monitoring stations are to be surveyed.

Planned Outreach: Conferences, Publications


Data and Software Releases

Simulated water levels and salinities from the SICS model provided to Jon Cline for ATLSS simulations, October 24, 2001.

Salinity animations from the SICS model posted on the TIME website, January 31, 2002.

Public release of the SEAWAT program (, February 7, 2002.

Simulated coastal creek flows from the SICS model provided to the South Florida Water Management District, May 17, 2002.

Abstracts, Publications, and Presentations

Riscassi, A.L., and Schaffranek, R.W., 2002, Flow velocity, water temperature, and conductivity in Shark River Slough, Everglades National Park, Florida: July 1999 - August 2001, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-159, 32 p.

Schaffranek, R.W., Jenter, H.L., and Riscassi, A.L., 2002, Overview of the "Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades" (TIME) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey's South Florida Ecosystem Program, Proceedings of the Second Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference, July 28-August 1, 2002, Las Vegas, NV, 12 p.

Cline, J.C., and Swain, E.D., 2002. Linkage of hydrologic and ecological models and ALFISHES. Second Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 28 - August 1, 2002.

Guo, Weixing, and Langevin, C.D., 2002, User's guide to SEAWAT: A computer program for simulation of three-dimensional variable-density ground-water flow: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-434, 79 p.

Langevin, C.D., and Wolfert, M. 2002. Groundwater component for the SICS and TIME models. U.S. Geological Survey's Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Informational Workshop, Nova Southeastern University-Fort Lauderdale, May 8, 2002. Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Langevin, C.D. 2002. Fundamentals of environmental modeling. Environmental Science and Mathematics Departments, University of Puerto Rico-San Juan, March 14, 2002. San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Langevin, C.D. 2002. Numerical simulation of coastal groundwater flow. Engineering, Mathematics, and Geology Departments, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, March 14, 2002. Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Langevin, C.D. 2001. SEAWAT, a variable-density groundwater modeling code. Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Modeling Workshop, October 16-19, 2001,West Palm Beach, FL.

Langevin, C.D., Swain, E.D., and Wolfert, M., 2002. Numerical simulation of integrated surface-water/ground-water flow and solute transport in the southern Everglades in Florida. Second Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 28 - August 1, 2002.

Swain, E.D., and Langevin, C.D. 2002. TIME/SICS model of the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay. Joint meeting between the USGS and South Florida Water Management District, March 1, 2002, West Palm Beach, FL

Swain, E.D. 2002. Southern inland and coastal systems model development and advancement. U.S. Geological Survey's Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Informational Workshop, Nova Southeastern University-Fort Lauderdale, May 7, 2002. Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Swain, E.D., Langevin, C.D., and Wolfert, M., 2002. Cooperative linking of numerical models for coastal wetland planning. American Water Resources Association's Spring Specialty Conference on "Coastal Water Resources," May 13-15, 2002, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Swain, E.D., 2002. SICS: Coastal numerical modeling and determining flows. Florida Bay Florida Keys Feasibility Study (FBFKFS) Hydrodynamic Modeling Review, Homestead Agricultural Extension Service, June 10, 2002, Homestead, FL.

Meeting Attendance

Schaffranek attended National Academy of Sciences/National Review Council meeting of the panel reviewing the DOI Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative administered by the NPS/ENP on May 6, 2002.

Swain attended Model Refinement Team (MRT) meeting 2/19/2002 to discuss plans for model reviews and uncertainty quantification. South Florida Water Management District Field Station, Davie, FL.

Swain and Langevin attended the SFWMD/USGS Annual Meeting 3/1/2002 and presented the SICS/TIME model development and its relevance to SFWMD concerns. South Florida Water Management District Field Station, Davie, FL.

Swain attended the ENP-SFNRC Performance Measures Workshop for Models Application 3/28/02 to discuss the use of the SICS model to support restoration scenarios. South Florida Water Management District Field Station, Davie, FL.

Swain and Langevin attended MRT meeting 4/2/2002 and presented results from SICS and linkage with SFWMM model. Discussion centered on specifying data, particularly salinity, for restoration scenario simulations. South Florida Water Management District Field Station, Davie, FL.

Langevin attended MRT meeting 5/14/02 to discuss model review strategy and topographic sensitivity. South Florida Water Management District Field Station, Davie, FL.

Swain to attend joint MRT/RET meeting 7/11/2002 to discuss sensitivity of SICS model to salinity variations; an important issue in constructing boundaries for linked scenario simulations. South Florida Water Management District Field Station, Davie, FL.

Course Instruction

Swain taught a session at the Groundwater/Surface water Interactions Class in Denver Colorado 2/25-28/2002 and introduced the latest findings from the SICS model.

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