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Canal and Wetland Flow/Transport Interaction

Project Proposal for 1998

Project Title: Canal and Wetland Flow/Transport Interaction
Location of Study Area: South Florida Study Area
Project Start Date: January 1995
Project End Date: September 1999
Project Number: 438416500
Project Chief: Raymond W. Schaffranek
Region/Division/Team/Section: Eastern/Water Resources/National Research Program
Phone: (703) 648-5891
Fax: (703) 648-5484
Mailing Address: National Center, MS 430, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192
Collaborators, Clients:

Collaborators: This project will integrate findings of the Evapotranspiration, Vegetative-Resistance, Wind-Effects, Freshwater-Flows and GIS-Interface projects of the South Florida Ecosystem Program to tailor model developments to south Florida ecosystem needs. Findings and products of the NMD High Accuracy Elevation Mapping and GD Florida Bay and Sedimentation projects are relied upon as input for model development and sensitivity testing.

Clients: A model capable of accurately simulating canal and wetland interactions is a needed decision-making tool for water-management agencies such as the SFWMD, NPS, and COE. Models, presently in use by several client agencies, will be substantially enhanced with new capabilities and newly-developed user interfaces stemming from this project effort.


Project Summary: Flows exchanged between canals and wetlands also transport chemical constituents that can affect plant and animal life. Knowledge of this flow interaction, as well as the timing, extent, and duration of inundation that it causes, is needed to eliminate any potential adverse effects of transported constituents on vegetation and biota in the wetlands and other adjoining ecosystems. Comprehensive tools and methods are also needed to assess the effects of nutrient and contaminant loads from agricultural and urban runoff discharged into coastal ecosystems. Models capable of simulating canal and wetland flow interactions can be used to assess the effects of transported constituents on changes in vegetation and biota in order to develop improved water-management plans for restoration and preservation of the south Florida ecosystem.

Project Justification: Canals are a major water-delivery component of the south Florida ecosystem. They interact with surrounding flow systems and waterbodies either directly through structure discharges and levee overflows or indirectly through levee seepage and leakage. As such they provide a primary flow path for nutrients and(or) contaminants dissolved in the water and, thereby, represent a potential dilemma for water-management officials in their efforts to restore the Everglades ecosystem to pre-drainage conditions. Coupled flow and transport simulation modeling capabilities are needed to assess the cause-and-effect relation of flow deliveries on changes in vegetation and biota in order to provide complete information for the formulation of sound water-management decisions. Water distribution strategies and reconfiguration plans for the south Florida ecosystem must identify and account for potential adverse impacts of various system design alternatives. A simulation model can be used in advance to assess a proposed plan and thereby detect potential problems prior to implementation.

Project Objectives: The objectives of this project effort are to investigate canal and wetland interactions and to formulate appropriate numerical techniques for the design, development, and demonstration of coupled generic models to simulate the hydraulics properties and constituent transport mechanisms of the south Florida ecosystem. Project efforts are focused on development of numerical techniques and boundary condition approaches to effect coupled solution of hydrodynamic and transport equations at space and time scales consistent with processes controlling canal and wetland interactions.

Overall Strategy, Study Design, and Planned Major Products: Specific efforts are focused on evaluation and enhancement of existing flow and transport models for coupled simulation of canal and wetland interactions and preliminary sensitivity testing and demonstration of model capabilities using available data from the C-111 canal and wetland drainage system. The C-111 canal between control structures S-18C and S-197 including culvert connections to northeast wetlands and overbank flows to southwest wetlands, which were previously directed through levee cuts, is the model study area. Conventional and GPS surveying techniques are being employed to depict the canal and wetland system at accuracy's consistent with mechanisms controlling canal and wetland interactions. A model and report documenting coupling procedures and model enhancements appropriate for simulation of flow and transport conditions in interconnected canal and wetland systems, as typified by the C-111 drainage basin, will be the major products.


Overall: Enhancement of individual canal and wetland models has focused on development of internal and external boundary-condition treatment for transport simulation and model integration. Analysis of equation-term behavior and evaluation of various formulation and approximation techniques under varied temporal and spatial scales has continued in conjunction with development of model-coupling efforts. Integration of the density-driven pressure gradient term in the canal model has been undertaken. Specific tasks for enhancing the canal model have included incorporation of coupled solution of the advection-dispersion transport equation, addition of hydraulic radius for use in evaluating frictional-resistance effects in canals, extensions of the treatment of hydraulic structures, updates to the external groundwater and transport model interfaces, and development of a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Enhancements of models intended for use as canal and wetland modules have included upgrading code to Fortran 90 standards for interfacing with a Geographical Information System (GIS), converting and upgrading pre- and post-processing capabilities to Windows-based operating systems, and incorporating several functional requirements specific to south Florida environment and ecosystem needs. Various approaches and software systems, including GIS techniques with interfaces to ARC/INFO coverages, for pre-processing model input and post-processing model results are being developed, evaluated, and tested using available data from the C-111 drainage system. Concurrently, newly acquired data from the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) are being analyzed and evaluated for model development. Data from the NMD High Accuracy Elevation Mapping project are being used for determination of land-surface elevation and vegetation grid generation and from the GD Florida Bay and Sedimentation project for definition of coastal embayment bathymetry and bottom roughness coefficients. Digital Line Graph (DLG) data files of the C-111 drainage system have been downloaded and techniques are being developed to integrate these into graphical display routines for analyzing input data and presenting numerical simulation results. Various spatial interpolation schemes and capabilities of ARC/INFO GIS are being evaluated using GPS surface-elevation data from the Glades and Homestead topographic quadrangles. Extension and refinement of the preliminary C-111-model grid is continuing and will be expanded to include synthesis of new survey data, e.g., from the Mangrove-Mapping effort, as they become available. Compilation of data for the surrounding sub-embayments and tidal wetlands of Joe Bay, Long Sound, Manatee Bay, and Barnes Sound will be initiated. Field efforts to collect any additional new velocity and water-level data for system quantification, as well as model calibration and verification, will be undertaken subject to timing of appropriate flow conditions and progress of recently initiated re-engineering efforts for the C-111 drainage system by the COE.

Timeline: The major effort planned for FY 1998-99 will be integration of the enhanced canal and wetland modules in a common framework to provide coupled simulation capability. This will include formulation and development of the final canal-wetland linkage component. Particular emphasis will be directed at evaluation of the sensitivity of the wetting/drying algorithm of the wetland model and wind-stress treatment in both the canal and wetland models. Synthesis of findings of other projects, .e.g. Evapotranspiration, Wind Effects, and Vegetative Resistance, into individual canal and wetland modules will be undertaken as results become available from these process-study efforts. Data from the C-111 drainage system will be collected, as needed, compiled and used for model testing and system verification.

Planned Deliverables/Products: Final product will be a report documenting individual model revisions and coupling procedures. Intermittent products are planned in the form of scientific papers submitted for publication in peer-reviewed Journals and conference proceedings of professional societies. Papers-on the order of one per year-will be prepared and submitted for publication as findings warrant and in accord with conference schedules. Reprints of Journal and conference-proceedings papers will be provided to client agencies via mail or distributed at joint agency meetings as appropriate.

Planned Outreach Activities: A web site is being developed to facilitate communication of model developments and documentation to client agencies. Computer demonstrations of GUI and GIS model interfaces are planned for presentation at annual seminars and workshops. A collaborative project effort has been proposed with SFWMD scientists to investigate equation-term effects and a model workshop has been discussed with SFWMD. Project efforts are routinely discussed at joint meetings with client agencies, e.g., NPS, SFWMD, COE.

Prior Accomplishments in Proposed Area of Work:

New Directions, Expansion of Continuing Project (if applicable): Expanded efforts are being undertaken in conjunction with the SICS model development project of the DOI Critical Ecosystem Studies initiative in support of the ongoing South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.


Accomplishments and Outcomes, Including Outreach: Various enhancements to an interim version of the canal model, resulting directly from project efforts, are about to be announced via a web site describing the new GUI for the model.

Deliverables, Products Completed: An enhanced version of the canal model with a new GUI for Windows-based systems is being prepared for distribution to client agencies via the Internet. The new interim version of the model will be made available for FTP distribution via the Internet through the USGS/WRD Hydrologic Application Software Support unit


Required Expertise: A need exists for someone to look into the collection and analysis of water quality samples, in particular, to evaluate the transport of nutrients, especially phosphates, through canals and into wetlands. Expert assistance is also needed in the quantification of nutrient cycling patterns, including definition of reaction rates and source/sink mechanisms, to facilitate appropriate representation of processes within the transport model.

Names of Key Project Staff:
FY 1998 - FY 1999:
Raymond W. Schaffranek
Philip M. Shackelford
David W. Stewart
Lisa M. Traub
(Summer Student)

Major Equipment/Facility Needs: A secured equipment storage facility with extended access hours is needed in the immediate vicinity of the project study area.

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Last updated: 24 April, 2014 @ 01:01 PM (KP)