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projects > TIME and SICS modeling of surface water and interactions with ground water > work plan

Project Work Plan

U.S. Geological Survey Greater Everglades Science Initiative (Place-Based Studies)

Fiscal Year 2004 Project Work Plan


Project Title: TIME and SICS Modeling of Surface Water and Interactions with Ground Water
Project Start Date: 10/00 Project End Date: 9/06
Project Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Principal Investigator: Dr. Eric Swain
Email address:
Phone: (305) 717-5825 Fax: (305) 717-5801
Mail address: 9100 NW 36th St. Suite 107
Miami, FL 33178

Other Investigator(s): Melinda Wolfert
Email address:
Phone: (305) 717-5855 Fax: Same as PI
Mail address: Same as PI

Project Summary: In this investigation, multidimensional coupled surface-water/ground-water models have been developed for the southern Florida wetlands and offshore area. The initial surface-water model, the SICS model, represents the southeast coastal region with the two-dimensional dynamic wave model SWIFT2D. The coupling with the SICS model is to be linked via boundary water levels to the regional South Florida Water Management Model. The same modeling system is in the process of being expanded to the west and north to form the TIME domain. This encompasses more of the structural controls in the area and allows for the representation of Shark Slough flows. Field collection of nutrient data will provide essential information for future modeling developments.

Project Objectives and Strategy: The main objective of this project is to incrementally develop a numerical model, which is capable of representing the difficult hydrology and hydraulics of the surface-water and ground-water in the southern wetlands and offshore areas of South Florida. The strategy is to take the most extensive existing models and expand and combine them to incorporate the most important controlling factors for flows and transport. This strategy involves the use of numerous field and laboratory studies to determine model parameters and formulations.

Potential Impacts and Major Products: The major impact of this project is on restoration planning confidence. The ability of TIME/SICS to supportably reproduce coastal conditions will allow water managers to scientifically analyze the predicted effects of restoration scenarios. Two abstracts, a presentation, and a poster were developed for the Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida Bay Ecosystem, April 13-18, 2003. A book chapter in "Coastal Aquifer Management," is also expected for release in September 2003. The report on the SICS surface-water model is planned for approval before the end of FY 2003. The user's manual for the SWIFT2D code should be ready for publication by mid-2004. CERP managers have recognized the usefulness of this modeling effort in that the Florida Bay/Florida Keys Feasibility Study is funding model expansion to include restoration scenario testing and nutrient transport modeling.

Collaborators: Chris Langevin, Ray Schaffranek, Harry Jenter, Jon Cline, Don Deangelis, Clinton Hittle, Mark Zucker, David Fitterman, Maryla Deszcz-Pan, Greg Desmond, John Jones, Jud Harvey, Peter Swarzenski

Clients: ATLSS model developers, Everglades National Park, South Florida Water-Management District, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers


Title of Task 1: Nutrient tracking in TIME/SICS area
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Task Leaders: Eric Swain
Phone: (305) 717-5825
FAX: (305) 717-5801
Task Status: proposed
Task priority: medium
Task Personnel: Melinda Wolfert

Task Summary and Objectives: This task includes preliminary nutrient data collection in the SICS area. The objective is to develop a data set useful in transport model development.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Field sampling of nutrients in Taylor Slough for development of boundary and calibration data in the SICS model.

Planned Outreach: Interfacing with others at SFWMD and University of Louisiana with information and algorithms to represent nutrient interactions in the wetlands and mangrove zone.

Title of Task 2: Documentation of Coupled Model
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Task Leaders: Eric Swain
Phone: (305) 717-5825
FAX: (305) 717-5801
Task Status: active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Christian Langevin, Melinda Wolfert

Task Summary and Objectives: This task is partially funded by "Ground-Water Flow and Transport for the SICS and TIME Models". The objective is to complete documents that will: 1) Describe the methods and data used to develop the initial surface-water model, 2) Describe the coupling algorithm for surface-water and ground-water, 3) Describe the linkage and boundary generation from the SFWMD 2x2 model.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: By the beginning of FY04 the WRIR describing the initial surface-water model will be in the printing phase. A journal article that describes the FTLOADDS model coupling will be submitted to the journal in March 2004. The users manual for the SWIFT2D surface-water code will be submitted for review in October 2003. An Open-File Report describing the linkage of SICS/TIME with the SFWMD 2x2 model will be ready for review by July 2004.

Planned Outreach: Use of the documentations to present and justify the modeling effort to the scientific community at large and transfer information and details on the model coding, scenario representation, and model results.

Title of Task 3: Implementation of TIME/SICS for scenario representation
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Task Leaders: Eric Swain
Phone: (305) 717-5825
FAX: (305) 717-5801
Task Status: active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Christian Langevin, Melinda Wolfert

Task Summary and Objectives: To develop and utilize the TIME/SICS models to represent the effects on water levels, flows, and salinity of restoration alterations to the hydrologic system.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: The linked model will be implemented with a number of restoration scenario outputs from the 2x2 model. Utilizing a newly implemented review procedure, the results will be authorized for use by water-managers for boundary conditions and decision making.

Planned Outreach: The model results will be presented at interagency meetings, such as the MRT for discussion and analysis.


This project described in this work plan supports many of the hydrologic science objectives listed in the USGS Science Plan and also several of the specific water projects listed in the DOI Science Document. The purpose of this project is to improve the accuracy and predictive capabilities of the SICS and TIME models by including the process of surface water and groundwater interactions. The SICS and TIME models are designed to answer the following questions, which were selected directly from the USGS Science Plan:

  • What are the effects of ground-water and surface-water interactions? The SICS and TIME models are the only models in South Florida that are designed to represent surface water and groundwater interactions.
  • What controls circulation and flushing in coastal and estuarine ecosystems? The SICS and TIME models are designed to represent the interface between coastal wetlands and the Florida Bay estuary, which is why these models are used routinely to isolate the factors that influence circulation and flushing.
  • What are the predicted impacts and benefits of restoration projects on the Greater Everglades ecosystem? A linkage between the SICS and TIME models and the 2x2 model is currently functioning. This linkage allows detailed evaluation of how restoration projects will affect flows, stages, and salinities within the southern Everglades.
  • What are the predicted effects of changes in water management? The linkage to the 2x2 is particularly useful for predicting the effects of water management practices on Everglades hydrology. Alternative water management practices can be tested in the model first before being implemented.
  • How should the water management system be operated to achieve restoration? Output from SICS and TIME is currently being used in ATLSS models to determine water management practices that are most favorable to the environment. This procedure of linking detailed flow and transport models with biological models is an important step in determining optimum strategies for achieving restoration.

Although not discussed here, the SICS and TIME also support, either directly or indirectly, many of the other science objectives listed in the plan.

The Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study is listed as a specific project in the DOI Science Plan with science needs. The specific need is for models to simulate how restoration projects will alter the water elevation and salinity in coastal wetlands, lakes and streams. This is also a specific object of SICS and TIME. Consequently, the SICS and TIME models have been selected by CERP (USACE and the SFWMD) as the models to provide the important link between upland freshwater wetlands and Florida Bay.

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