Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

o FTLOADDS (combined SWIFT2D surface-water model and SEAWAT groundwater model) simulator used to Repurpose a Hindcast Simulation of the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane using the South Florida Peninsula for the Biscayne and Southern Everglades Coastal Transport

August 26, 2020

The previously developed Biscayne and Southern Everglades Coastal Transport (BISECT) model,
which combines a three-dimensional groundwater model with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic
surface-water model with variable-density solute-transport (,
was used to evaluate the hydrologic response to historical and hypothesized modern hurricane
strikes. Simulations were implemented using FTLOADDS (Flow and Transport in a Linked
Overland/Aquifer Density-Dependent System) which is a coupled hydrodynamic surface-water and
groundwater simulator that was developed by the U. S. Geological Survey to improve understanding
of the complex and interconnected hydrology in South Florida. A simulation of the 1926 Great Miami
Hurricane (GMH) strike had been previously developed with a hindcast representation in BISECT,
developed to represent sea level and water management for the period of 1926 to 1932 but constrained
by the limited hydrology and meteorology data available from the historic past. This simulation was
presented in an article in the journal Ecological Processes (
For this study realistic hurricane wind and storm surge representations based on information synthesized
from modern storm data are used to modify the previously published simulation. Modifications represent
the GMH striking in 3 scenarios 1) In its real-life setting on September 18, 1926, 2) In a recent setting on
September 18, 1996, and 3) with 1926 inland condition and 1996 sea level. These 3 scenarios help define
the factors that affect how historical changes in climate, sea level, coastal topography, and the manmade
canal system affect the severity of inundation and salinity intrusion from a major storm. An assessment
of those effects can determine which historical changes affect the hydrologic response to a particular
storm. Comparing the same storm strike at different historical times can improve understanding of how
changes in the system can affect the severity of storm damage. This USGS data release contains the
input and output files for the simulations described in the associated model documentation report