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Numerical Representation of Dynamic Flow and Transport at the Everglades/Florida Bay Interface

Dr. Eric D. Swain

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The coastal area of Florida Bay interfaces with the wetlands of Everglades National Park. The region has been the location of multiple field studies to delineate important processes that affect the hydrology and ecology. Each of these process studies reveals specific details of the hydrologic regime, and an integrated hydrologic representation is needed to tie the results of the studies together. This is accomplished with the Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS) numerical model. Two-dimensional unsteady flow is computed with constituent transport while allowing for drying and rewetting of model cells, flow over hydrologic barriers, wind effects, point inflows, and tidal boundaries. The primary interest in modeling this area is flow quantity and distribution at the coastal interface. The widely accepted USGS SWIFT2D code is used; modified to allow the representation of rainfall, evapotranspiration, and ground-water inflows and outflows. The field process studies yield information on land elevation, flow and conductivity at the major creeks, velocities and gradients in the wetlands, relation of evapotranspiration to vegetation and land type, distribution of wind effects on flow, flow resistance coefficients for vegetation type, location of salt-water interface, and ground-water seepage exchange. This volume of input data allows the development of a numerical model with a minimal calibration procedure. The ability of the model to identify important processes is demonstrated. Water-level and flow reversals at the coast are seen to be wind dominated. With these inland flows, the representation of salinity transport by the model is important. The model simulates flows through the wetlands and at the coast which compare well with the field measurements. Salinity transport is also simulated by the model, and values at the coast are reproduced.

(This paper is from the proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Ecohydraulics CDROM)

Related information:

SOFIA Project: Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS) Model Development

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