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projects > linking a conceptual karst hydrogeologic model of the biscayne aquifer to ground-water flow simulations within the greater everglades from everglades national park to biscayne national park-phase 1 > work plan

Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES and ENP CESI

Fiscal Year 2007 Study Work Plan

Study Title: Linking a conceptual karst hydrogeologic model of the Biscayne aquifer to ground-water flow simulations from Everglades National Park to Biscayne National Park-Phase 1
Study Start Date: Oct. 1, 2005   Study End Date: Sept. 30, 2009
Web Sites: See http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/karst_model/ for project information and http://sofia.usgs.gov/people/cunningham.html for information on principal investigator.
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): SE Florida, Miami-Dade County, includes ENP & BNP
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) and ENP Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI)
Other Complementary Funding Source: None
Funding History: FY06, FY07
Principal Investigator: Kevin J. Cunningham
Study Personnel: Melinda A. Wolfert, Christian D. Langevin, Michael A. Wacker, Lee J. Florea, G. Lynn Wingard, Edward Robinson, Joann F. Dixon, Michael C. Sukop, W. Barclay Shoemaker, H. Allen Curran
Supporting Organizations: None
Associated / Linked Studies: Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project, L31N/L30 Seepage Management Pilot Project, Everglades National Park Seepage Management Project, Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement Project, Lake Belt In-Ground Reservoir Technology Pilot Project, and Landscape-Scale Science Needed to Support Multiple CERP Projects.

Overview & Objectives: Research is needed to determine how planned CERP seepage control actions within the triple-porosity karstic Biscayne aquifer in the general area of Northeast Shark Slough will affect ground-water flows and recharge between the Everglades wetlands and Biscayne Bay. A fundamental problem in the simulation of karst ground-water flow and solute transport is how best to represent aquifer heterogeneity as defined by the spatial distribution of porosity, permeability, and storage. The triple porosity of the Biscayne aquifer is principally: (1) matrix of interparticle and separate-vug porosity, providing much of the storage and, under dynamic conditions, diffuse-carbonate flow; (2) touching-vug porosity creating stratiform ground-water flow passageways; and (3) less common conduit porosity composed mainly of bedding plane vugs, thin solution pipes, and cavernous vugs. The objectives of this project are to: (1) build on the Lake Belt area hydrogeologic framework (recently completed by the principal investigator), mainly using cyclostratigraphic and borehole geophysical methods to map porosity types and develop the triple-porosity karst framework between the Everglades wetlands and Biscayne Bay and (2) develop procedures for numerical simulation of ground-water flow within the Biscayne aquifer multi-porosity system. Technologies developed in this program are novel and will be applicable to integrated science approaches needed by decision makers for adaptive management of ecosystems.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified: This study supports several projects listed in the DOI science plan (specifically: Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project, L31N/L30 Seepage Management Pilot Project, Everglades National Park Seepage Management Project, Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement Project, Lake Belt In-Ground Reservoir Technology Pilot Project, and Landscape-Scale Science Needed to Support Multiple CERP Projects) by including development of procedures for numerical simulations of ground-water flow in the karst Biscayne aquifer from the Northeast Shark Slough area, where the CERP L31N/L30 Seepage Management Pilot Project and Everglades National Park Seepage Management Projects will alter current hydropatterns in ENP, and seepage to the east. The development of an expanded conceptual karst hydrogeologic framework planned in this project will be used to assist development of procedures for numeric simulations to improve the monitoring and assessment of the response of the ground-water system to hydrologic changes caused by seepage-management pilot project implementation. Specifically, the development of procedures for ground-water modeling of the karst Biscayne aquifer in the area of Northern Shark Slough will help determine the appropriate hydrologic response to rainfall and translate that information into appropriate performance targets for input into the design and operating rules to manage water levels and flow volumes for the two Seepage Management Areas. Mapping of the karstic stratiform ground-water flow passageways in the Biscayne aquifer is recent and limited to a small area of Miami-Dade County adjacent to the Everglades wetlands (Cunningham and others, 2006a,b). Extension of this karst framework between the Everglades wetlands and coastal Biscayne Bay will aid in the simulation of coupled ground-water and surface-water flows to Biscayne Bay. The development of procedures for modeling in the karst Biscayne aquifer will useful to the establishment of minimum flows and levels to the bay and seasonal flow patterns. Also, these improved procedures for simulations will assist in ecologic modeling efforts of Biscayne Bay coastal estuaries.

This study supports the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands project (BBCW p. 83-84) as it (1) will provide a new karst hydrogeologic framework of the Biscayne aquifer that will be used in development of new procedures for hydrologic modeling in the karst Biscayne aquifer that includes areas adjacent to and within Biscayne Bay; (2) provides data and development of procedures for hydrologic modeling that will be useful in establishing and managing water quality performance targets in Biscayne Bay; and (3) provides data and development of procedures for hydrologic modeling that can be used in research to understand the links between the hydrology and ecology of Biscayne Bay.

This study supports the L-31N/L30 Seepage Management Pilot project and Everglades National Park Seepage Management project (L-31N/L-30N SMPP and ENP SM p. 55-56) as it (1) provides wells and development of procedures for modeling in the karst Biscayne aquifer that will benefit monitoring and assessment of the pilot projects information needs; (2) produces wells, a high-resolution hydrogeologic framework, and development of procedures for hydrologic modeling that can be used in research and possible model refinement to establish operating protocols of the seepage barriers; (3) produces wells, a high-resolution hydrogeologic framework, and procedures for hydrologic modeling that can be used by researchers to define how back pumping and ground-water hydraulic gradients affect the flow of water and ground-water recharge in the surficial aquifer; and (4) produces wells, a high-resolution hydrogeologic framework, and procedures for hydrologic modeling in the karst Biscayne aquifer that will benefit additional research and modeling that is needed to determine how extensive seepage control actions will affect ground-water flows and recharge within the surficial aquifer and ultimate delivery of ground-water between the Everglades and Biscayne Bay.

This study supports the Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement Project (DECOMP; p. 78-79) as it (1) provides data for research to understand the linkages among the geologic, hydrologic, chemical, climatological, and biological processes that shaped the predrainage Everglades and will produce data that can help to understand and reduce the effects of hydrologic seepage barriers on ecological connectivity and (2) produces data useful in research to understand and reduce the effects of hydrologic barriers on ecological connectivity.

This study supports the Lake Belt In-Ground Reservoir Technology project (p. 52) as it provides information that will be helpful in assessing the effectiveness of seepage barriers needed in construction of Lake Belt reservoirs.

This study supports Landscape-Scale Science Needed to Support Multiple CERP Projects (p. 95-96) as it (1) provides development of procedures for ground-water modeling that is needed to address historical, current, and projected ground-water flows between the Everglades and Biscayne Bay; (2) provides a high-resolution hydrogeologic framework of the karst Biscayne aquifer that will be used development of procedures for higher resolution hydrologic model that can help in the ability to predict how fish and wildlife will respond to a given restoration project; and (3) provides new data and development of procedures for hydrologic modeling that can be useful for further modeling and monitoring of the surficial aquifer for the quantitative assessment and monitoring of seepage into the surficial aquifer.

Status: Ongoing project that started in FY06

Recent Products: Several recent relevant publications that are linked to the study area and project goals:
(1) Cunningham, K.J., Renken, R.A., Wacker, M.A., Zygnerski, M.R., Robinson, E., Shapiro, A.M., and Wingard, G.L., 2006a, Application of carbonate cyclostratigraphy and borehole geophysics to delineate porosity and preferential flow in the karst limestone of the Biscayne aquifer, SE Florida, in Harmon, R.S., and Wicks, C., eds., Perspectives on karst geomorphology, hydrology, and geochemistry-A tribute volume to Derek C. Ford and William B. White: Geological Society of America Special Paper 404, p. 191-208.
(2) Cunningham, K.J., Wacker, M.A., Robinson, Edward, Dixon, J.F., and Wingard, G.L., 2006b, A cyclostratigraphic and borehole geophysical approach to development of a three-dimensional conceptual hydrogeologic model of the karstic Biscayne aquifer, southeastern Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5235, 69 p.
(3) Renken, R.A., Shapiro, A.M., Cunningham, K.J., Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Zygnerski, M.R., Osborn, C.L., Wacker, M.A., and Ryan, J.N., 2005, Assessing the vulnerability of a municipal well field to contamination in a karst aquifer: Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, v. 11, no. 4, p. 341-354.
(4) Cunningham, K.J., Carlson, J.L., Wingard, G.L., and others, 2004, Characterization of aquifer heterogeneity using cyclostratigraphy and geophysical methods in the upper part of the Biscayne aquifer, southeastern Florida: relation to rock fabric and sequence stratgraphy. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4208, 46 p.
(5) Cunningham, K.J., Wacker, M.A., Robinson, Edward, and others, 2004, Hydrogeology and ground-water flow at Levee-31N, Miami-Dade County, Florida, July 2003 to May 2004. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map I-2846, 1 sheet
(6) Cunningham, K.J., Carlson, J.I., and Hurley, N.F., 2004, New method for quantification of vuggy porosity from digital optical borehole images as applied to the karstic Pleistocene limestone of the Biscayne aquifer, southeastern Florida. Journal of Applied Geophysics: v. 55, p. 77-90
(7) Cunningham, K.J., 2004, Application of ground-penetrating radar, digital optical borehole images, and cores for characterization of porosity hydraulic conductivity and paleokarst in the Biscayne aquifer, southeastern Florida, USA. Journal of Applied Geophysics: v. 55, p. 61-76.

Planned Products: Several white-paper articles reporting on results.

WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Drilling of approximately 11 test coreholes
Task Funding:
USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) and ENP Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI)
Task Leaders: Kevin J. Cunningham
Phone: 954-377-5913
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status: Proposed
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 1:
Task Personnel: Kevin J. Cunningham, Michael A. Wacker, Lee J. Florea

Task Summary and Objectives: Drill and complete approximately 11 test coreholes between ENP and BNP to acquire rock cores and borehole geophysical data critical to developing a high-resolution 3-dimensional karst hydrogeologic framework of the Biscayne aquifer between ENP and BNP. The framework will be used in the development of modeling procedures to integrate the new conceptual karst hydrogeologic model into simulations of ground-water flow, salt-water intrusion, ground-water and surface-water interactions, and solution transport in the variable-density ground-water model of Miami-Dade County.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Drilling and completion of approximately 11 test coreholes by wireline coring methods.

Specific Task Products: Approximately 11 test coreholes will be installed in Miami-Dade County and available for research requirements of this study and future research needs, such as, selected samples for use in Computed Tomography (CT-scan) rendering that can be used for quantification of hydraulic conductivity using Lattice-Boltzmann modeling, a critical component of developing ground-water modeling procedures.

Task is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of FY07.

Title of Task 2: Geophysical logging
Task Funding:
USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) and ENP Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI)
Task Leaders: Kevin J. Cunningham
Phone: 954-377-5913
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status): Proposed
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 1:
Task Personnel: Kevin J. Cunningham, Michael A. Wacker, Lee J. Florea

Task Summary and Objectives: Acquire advanced geophysical logs (digital borehole image logs, full wave-form sonic, natural gamma ray, 3-arm caliper, fluid resistivity, fluid temperature, spontaneous potential, single-point resistivity, electromagnetic induction, borehole flowmeter) in each of the coreholes completed in Task 1. Data is critical to developing a high-resolution 3-dimensional karst hydrogeologic framework of the Biscayne aquifer between ENP and BNP. The framework will be used in the development of development of modeling procedures to integrate the new conceptual karst hydrogeologic model into simulations of ground-water flow, salt-water intrusion, ground-water and surface-water interactions, and solution transport in the variable-density ground-water model of Miami-Dade County.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Acquire geophysical logs at completion of each test corehole in Task 1. Processing of sonic data to be accomplished using the LogCruncher software. Use of flowmeter and fluid-temperature and resistivity data assists in selection of preferred ground-water flow paths in the karst Biscayne aquifer. Task will produce data necessary to produce a conceptual karst hydrogeologic model by integrating core analyses, (including molluscan and benthic foraminiferal data and interpretation of lithofacies, ichnofacies, and depositional facies), borehole geophysical logs, cyclostratigraphy, and hydrologic data.

Specific Task Product(s): Electronic files of geophysical logs will be archived as electronic files at the USGS-FISC-CWRS office, and paper copies and PDF file versions of log montages of all geophysical logs will be produced using WellCAD software.

Task is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of FY07.

Title of Task 3: Cyclostratigraphy and hydrostratigraphy
Task Funding:
USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) and ENP Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI)
Task Leaders: Kevin J. Cunningham
Phone: 954-377-5913
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status: Proposed
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 1:
Task Personnel: Kevin J. Cunningham, Lee J. Florea, Michael A. Wacker, G. Lynn Wingard, Edward Robinson, Joann F. Dixon, H. Allen Curran

Task Summary and Objectives: Develop a new hydrogeologic framework for the karstic Biscayne aquifer between the ENP and BNP. The framework will be used in the development of modeling procedures to integrate the new conceptual karst hydrogeologic model into simulations of ground-water flow, salt-water intrusion, ground-water and surface-water interactions, and solution transport in the variable-density ground-water model of Miami-Dade County.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Integrate data from core descriptions, thin-section petrography, paleontology of mollusks and foraminifers, ichnology (trace fossils), construction of hydrogeologic cross sections, and measurement of porosity and permeability of core samples to develop a high-resolution conceptual karst hydrogeologic framework of the Biscayne aquifer in the study area. Task will produce a conceptual karst hydrogeologic model by integrating core analyses, (including molluscan and benthic foraminiferal data and interpretation of lithofacies, ichnofacies, and depositional facies), borehole geophysical logs, cyclostratigraphy, and hydrologic data.

Core samples to be described using a 10-power hand lens and binocular microscope to determine vertical patterns of microfacies, ichnofacies, sedimentary structures, and lithostratigraphic boundaries, to characterize porosity, and to estimate "relative" permeability. Limestones to be classified by combining the schemes of Dunham (1962), Embry and Klovan (1971), and Lucia (1995). Core-sample descriptions to be classified as rock-fabric facies and presented graphically. Horizontal and vertical permeability of numerous whole-core samples and porosity and grain density to be measured at Core Laboratories, Inc., Midland, Texas. Borehole images acquired from each test corehole in Task 1 will be used to quantify vuggy porosity using a method described in Cunningham and others (2004, Journal of Applied Geophysics). Molluscan analyses to be conducted by G. Lynn Wingard at the USGS Paleontology Laboratory in Reston. Core samples will be examined under a binocular microscope to observed diagnostic characteristics and compared to published species. Clay squeezes or latex casts will be made of the molluscan molds where appropriate to aid in identification. Identification of benthic foraminifera to be conducted by Edward Robinson at the University of West Indies. Thin section samples will be examined petrographically to observed diagnostic features for identification of foraminiferal type and associated depositional environments. H. Allen Curran, Smith College, will assist in study of the relation between ichnology and highly permeable ground-water flow zones. Research will include Computed Tomography (CT-scan) digitization of highly permeable ichnofacies from the Biscayne aquifer and core analyses.

Specific Task Products: Construction of two-dimensional hydrogeologic cross sections. Development of a three-dimensional conceptual hydrogeologic framework of area encompassed by approximately 11 new coreholes. Model will be output using Environmental Visualization Systems NT-PRO software. STL files of digitized CT scans of porous limestone for use in VRML software. All tasks to be completed by end of FY07. Results will include a draft journal article.

Title of Task 4: Hydrologic Modeling
Task Funding:
USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) and ENP Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI)
Task Leaders: Christian D. Langevin, Melinda Wolfert
Phone: 954-377-5917
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status (proposed or active): Proposed
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 2:
Task Personnel: Christian D. Langevin, Melinda Wolfert, Michael C. Sukop, Joann F. Dixon

Task Summary and Objectives: Initiate procedures for the application of the MODFLOW-2000 Hydrogeologic Unit Flow (HUF) pack to hydrologic modeling of the karstic Biscayne aquifer in the study area and quantify hydraulic conductivity of a highly permeable flow zone of the Biscayne aquifer using Lattice-Boltzmann modeling. Development of modeling procedures for a karstic aquifer will allow more reliable simulations of ground-water flow, salt-water intrusion, ground-water and surface-water interactions, and solution transport in the variable-density ground-water model of Miami-Dade County.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Test use of relations between porosity and permeability using e.g., the Kozeny-Carmen equation, initiate application of the MODFLOW-2000 Hydrogeologic Unit Flow package, and begin application of parameter estimation techniques to apportion the bulk permeability values to individual flow zones.

This work supports the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands project (BBCW; p. 83-84) as it provide a data and development of protocol for hydrologic modeling in a karstic aquifer that will be useful in establishing and managing water quality performance targets in Biscayne Bay and provides data and a protocol for hydrologic modeling that can be used in research to understand the links between the hydrology and ecology of Biscayne Bay. Test use of MODFLOW-2005 and the Conduit Flow Process package, which is currently under development at CWRS may be used, since equivalent porous media models are likely less reliable in linking high permeability ground-water flow paths and low permeability matrix.

Michael C. Sukop, Florida International University, will supervise student research on the application of Lattice Boltzmann modeling to quantify hydraulic conductivity of recently acquired Computed Tomography (CT-scan) data from limestone rock samples of highly permeable Biscayne aquifer ground-water flow zones. The results are expected to substantially increase our understanding of flow processes in the multi-porosity karst Biscayne aquifer. Methods are to compute the hydraulic conductivity of digitized macroporous limestone representative of a substantial ground-water flow zone in the Biscayne aquifer and simulate flow in different sized samples at varying Reynolds numbers.

This task supports the L-31N/L30 Seepage Management Pilot project and Everglades National Park Seepage Management project (L-31N/L-30N SMPP and ENP SM p. 55-56) as it provides protocol for modeling that will benefit monitoring and assessment of the pilot projects information needs and protocol for hydrologic modeling in a karstic aquifer that will benefit additional research and modeling that is needed to determine how extensive seepage control actions will affect ground-water flows and recharge within the surficial aquifer and ultimate delivery of ground-water between the Everglades and Biscayne Bay. This work supports Landscape-Scale Science Needed to Support Multiple CERP Projects (p. 95-96) as it (1) provides protocol for ground-water modeling in a karstic aquifer that is needed to address historical, current, and projected ground-water flows between the Everglades and Biscayne Bay and (2) provides new data and protocol for hydrologic modeling in a karstic aquifer that can be useful for further modeling and monitoring of the Biscayne aquifer for the quantitative assessment and monitoring of seepage into the surficial aquifer.

Specific Task Products: Test use of relations between porosity and permeability using e.g., the Kozeny-Carmen equation, initiate application of the MODFLOW-2000 Hydrogeologic Unit Flow package, and begin application of parameter estimation techniques to apportion the bulk permeability values to individual flow zones. Quantify hydraulic conductivity of a highly-permeable ground-water flow zone of the Biscayne aquifer using Lattce-Boltzmann modeling. Results to include draft of journal article on Lattace-Boltzmann modeling and draft of USGS report on results of Conduit Flow Process application to ground-water flow in the Lake Belt area.

Tasks will be completed in FY07.



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