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Locally-Forced Wind Effects on Shallow Waters with Emergent Vegetation

Harry L. Jenter and Michael P. Duff

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Over the past century, the Everglades region of south Florida has experienced dramatic declines in the health and abundance of many of the plant and animal species that make it one of the world's most unique ecosystems. These declines have been attributed in large part to anthropogenically influenced changes in the quality and quantity of water entering the Everglades. Residential, commercial and agricultural use of water in south Florida has dramatically altered the timing, location and volume of its delivery to the wetlands.

As part of regional plans to restore the health of the ecosystem and to bolster the plant and animal populations, changes in methods used for water storage, treatment, and delivery are being proposed. Many of these changes are expensive, extensive, and sometimes at odds with each other. Consequently, there is great interest in being able to predict the effects of any changes before they are implemented. Toward this end, a numerical fate and transport model of flow in the Taylor Slough area of the Everglades is being developed at the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) as part of its South Florida Place-Based Study Program.

A reliable fate and transport model requires both sound characterization of the physical processes governing the flow and accurate representation of the domain being modeled. In the Everglades, a model must include characterization of the effects of wind on flow patterns as well as characterization of vegetative resistance, rainfall, evapotranspiration, ground-water/surface-water exchange, and canal/wetland interaction. A model of the Everglades must also include skillful mapping of the topography and overlying vegetation populations. Projects at the USGS are dedicated to the study of each of these.

The project described in this paper was designed to determine the effects of wind on flow in shallow waters with emergent vegetation, such as those found in the Everglades. Little is known about these effects, and very few attempts have been made to include them in numerical flow models (Reid and Whitaker, 1976). Therefore, laboratory experiments, supplemented by the analysis of historical south Florida wind data, were designed and conducted to determine the magnitudes, time scales, and spatial scales relevant to wind forcing in the Everglades and to the USGS fate and transport model.

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

Related information:

SOFIA Project: Effect of Wind on Surface Water Flows

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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:04 PM(TJE)