EPA Science Inventory

Compartment-based hydrodynamics and water quality modeling of a NorthernEverglades Wetland, Florida, USA

Citation:

Wang, H., E. Meselhe, M. Waldon, M. Harwell, AND C. Chen. Compartment-based hydrodynamics and water quality modeling of a NorthernEverglades Wetland, Florida, USA. ECOLOGICAL MODELLING. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 247:273-285, (2012).

Description:

The last remaining large remnant of softwater wetlands in the US Florida Everglades lies within the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. However, Refuge water quality today is impacted by pumped stormwater inflows to the eutrophic and mineral-enriched 100-km canal, which circumscribes the wetland. Optimal management is a challenge and requires scientifically based predictive tools to assess and forecast the impacts of water management on Refuge water quality. In this research, we developed a compartment-based numerical model of hydrodynamics and water quality for the Refuge. Using the numerical model, we examined the dynamics in stage, water depth, discharge from hydraulic structures along the canal, and exchange flow among canal and marsh compartments. We also investigated the transport of chloride, sulfate and total phosphorus from the canal to the marsh interior driven by hydraulic gradients as well as biological removal of sulfate and total phosphorus. The model was calibrated and validated using long-term stage and water quality data (1995–2007). Statistical analysis indicates that the model is capable of capturing the spatial (from canal to interior marsh) gradients of constituents across the Refuge. Simulations demonstrate that flow from the eutrophic and mineral-enriched canal impacts chloride and sulfate in the interior marsh. In contrast, total phosphorus in the interior marsh shows low sensitivity to intrusion and dispersive transport. We conducted a rainfall-driven scenario test in which the pumped inflow concentrations of chloride, sulfate and total phosphorus were equal to rainfall concentrations (wet deposition). This test shows that pumped inflow is the dominant factor responsible for the substantially increased chloride and sulfate concentrations in the interior marsh. Therefore, the present day Refuge should not be classified as solely a rainfall-driven or ombrotrophic wetland. The model provides an effective screening to

Purpose/Objective:

There are two major mechanisms responsible for the increase in nutrient and mineral concentrations in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, inflow and intrusion. Modeling presented here quantifies these mechanisms and their impacts.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 11/28/2012
Completion Date: 11/28/2012
Record Last Revised: 01/16/2013
Record Created: 11/28/2012
Record Released: 11/28/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 247950

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION