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projects > effect of wind on surface water flows > 1999 proposal

Effect of Wind on Surface Water Flows

Project Proposal for 1999

Project title: Effect of Wind on Surface Water Flows in the Everglades
Geographic area: SOUTH FLORIDA
Project start date: April, 1997
Project end date: October, 1999

Project chief: Harry L. Jenter, PhD
Region/Division/Team/Section: ER/WRD/NRP
Phone: (703) 648-5916
Fax: (703) 648-5484
Mail address:
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Mailstop 430, National Center
Reston, Virginia 20192

Program(s) (list all programs to which this work plan is being submitted): FRAGILE ENVIRONMENTS

Program element(s)/task(s) (show percent distribution if more than one element/task).

This is a spin-off project from the project designed to address Element 1, Task 1.5, Vegetative Resistance to Flow.

Project summary:

Flows in and through the Everglades wetlands and bordering subtidal embayments are often characterized by very low velocities that are driven or controlled at various scales by wind, gravity, pressure and vegetative resistance. Little is known about the effect of wind on water movement in these environments, and no focused efforts are currently underway to assess its importance. This project is intended to address that fact.

Project objectives and strategy:

The objective of this project is to provide key information regarding the effect of wind on surface water flow to those attempting to model that type of flow in South Florida. This information will improve the representation of the physical processes involved in moving the water in and through the Everglades. In addition, it will improve the design and implementation of data collection efforts necessary to provide boundary conditions used to drive the flow models.

The overall strategy of this study involves three components: (1) a series of experiments using an enclosed wind cowling constructed on top of the indoor flume at Stennis Space Center to study vegetative effects, (2) collection of a number of contemporaneous time-series measurements of wind speed and direction from instruments already deployed at various locations within the Everglades and bordering embayments, (3) combination of results from these two efforts to provide improved wind forcing and boundary conditions for surface water models.

Potential impacts and major products: Describe expected outcomes, both scientific and management/policy-related. What scientific questions and land-management and policy issues does this project help answer? Why is it important to Program priorities? What products will you produce to contribute to the desired outcomes?

This project has already produced a positive impact on the USGSís ongoing surface water flow modeling effort in the Taylor Slough region of the Everglades. Processed and analyzed wind data have been provided as forcing data for the model, and model results using these data indicate that wind is of major importance in obtaining high quality model results. In addition, laboratory flume results to date indicate that under many natural conditions, wind can substantially alter the flow of surface water through sawgrass. This result will be of interest to anyone modeling surface water flows through emergent vegetation such as sawgrass. The main products of this project will include wind data to drive the USGS flow model of the Taylor Slough region, an improved representation of momentum transfer from the wind to the water in that model, and various fact sheets and peer-reviewed journal articles or conference papers describing both the characteristics of the winds in the Taylor Slough region and the results of the flume experiments.

Collaborators, clients:
The project is expected to yield information relevant to the modeling of surface water flows in the Everglades.
There are a number of organizations in which this type of modeling is being conducted. These include the South
Florida Water Management District, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service as well as the USGS.

USGS researchers that have used the results of this study to date include:

  • Jonathan K. Lee, PhD, USGS/ERIWRD/NRP, Project Chief: Vegetative Resistance to Flow Study
  • Eric D. Swain, PhD, USGSJER/WRD/Miami Subdistrict Office, Project Chief: SICS Surface Water Flow Modeling Study
Sources of historical data for this study include:
  • Ed German, USGSIERIWRD/Orlando Subdistrict Office
  • Dewitt Smith, National Park Service
  • Angela Chong, South Florida Water Management District

Time line (FY 1999 to project end): List MAJOR tasks and deliverables by fiscal year and indicate key staff
responsible for each.

Prior to October 1, 1998

  • All wind cowling/flume experiments will be completed and the wind cowling will have been dismantled
  • Preliminary results of both the field data analysis and the wind/cowling flume work will have been presented at a conference sponsored by the American Geophysical Union and one sponsored jointly by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Office of Naval Research.
  • Numerous historical wind data sets will have been assembled from multiple sources, including the USGS, Everglades National Park and the South Florida Water Management District.
October 1, 1998
  • Conclusion of preliminary analysis of laboratory wind-driven flow data and creation of draft fact sheet.
  • Conclusion of analysis of historical field wind data and creation of draft fact sheet.
  • Provision of updated wind data to USGS surface water flow modelers for use in the Taylor Slough region model.
January 1, 1999
  • Formulation of initial wind stress momentum transfer relationships for flow models of South Florida.
  • Conclusion of analysis of laboratory wind-driven flow data and publication of fact sheet.
  • Publication of fact sheet on analysis of historical field wind data in the Taylor Slough region.
April 1, 1999
  • Integration of wind stress formulation into flow model of South Florida and conclusion of preliminary testing of these formulations.
  • Update of fact sheets as necessary.
October 1, 1999
  • Final refinement of wind stress formulations for flow models of South Florida.
  • Directorís approval of peer-reviewed journal article describing wind characteristics of Taylor Slough region.
  • Directorís approval of peer-reviewed journal article describing results of wind cowling/flume experiments.

FY 1999 activities: Statement of the work to be undertaken in FY 1999 and a description of the methods and procedures.

Activities for this fiscal year will consist primarily of analysis, summarization and publication of the data accumulated from historical field sites and the wind cowling/flume experiments. In addition, these data will be processed in such a way that it can be passed along as necessary for use in the USGSís surface water flow model of the Taylor Slough region.

Historical field wind data will be analyzed to identify the important space and time scales of variation. This analysis will be done using simple statistical methods as well as more advanced techniques such as spectral analysis and empirical orthogonal function analysis.

The wind cowling/flume data will be analyzed to construct a formulation by which the momentum transfer from wind to water in the presence of emergent sawgrass can be represented. This will be done by constructing momentum balances for the flume experiments and by analyzing differences in vertical profiles of horizontal water velocities in the presence and absence of wind as measured in the flume.

FY 1999 deliverables/products: Describe in more detail the specific deliverables/products that will result from this work in FY 1999.

As stated in the timeline above, the deliverable products of this project include two fact sheets and two peer-reviewed journal articles or conference papers. In addition, wind data to drive the USGSís surface water flow model of the Taylor Slough region will be provided as needed. Lastly, an improved momentum transfer formulation will be provided for the Taylor Slough region model.

FY 1999 outreach: Emphasizing FY 1999, describe plans to address client requirements, decisions, and deadlines. New directions or major changes for FY 1999 (if applicable):

The fact sheets and articles described above will be distributed and the results will be presented at appropriate interagency meetings where those interested in modeling surface water flow in South Florida are in attendance. Results will also be presented at professional scientific and engineering conferences when appropriate.

FY 1998 accomplishments and outcomes, including outreach:

  • Preliminary results of the historical data analysis and a description of the wind cowling/flume work were presented at the Spring Meeting of the American Geophysical Union
  • Results of both the historical wind data analysis and the wind cowling/flume work are to be presented in September, 1998 as an invited presentation at a conference sponsored by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Office of Naval Research.
  • Current, processed and analyzed high-quality wind data were provided for the USGS model of the Taylor Slough region in the Everglades. These data made a substantial improvement in the behavior of flow in the southern portion of the model.

FY 1998 deliverables, products completed:

  • Presentation at the AGU Spring Meeting as described above.
  • Provision of wind data for USGS modeling as described above.

Names and expertise (e.g. carbonate petrology) of key project staff (list by fiscal year for duration of project):

This project is led by a Research Hydrologist, Harry Jenter, who is overseeing all of the work as well as performing a majority of the data analysis and presentation. This is expected to require full-time involvement for FY 99

Other required expertise for which no individual has been identified (list by fiscal year for duration of project):

Additional personnel, probably at the GS-9 to GS- 11 level, will be required to process the large amount of historical data that have been accumulated to date, and to process the large amount of laboratory data collected. This need is expected for 3-4 months of FY 99 only.

Major equipment/facility needs (list by fiscal year for duration of project):

There are no major equipment needs for this project for FY 99. The wind cowling/flume will have been shutdown by the beginning of this fiscal year.

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