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The Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) surface-water model, version 2

April 1, 2015

The Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) is an integrated network of water-level gages, interpolation models that generate daily water-level and water-depth data, and applications that compute derived hydrologic data across the freshwater part of the greater Everglades landscape. The U.S. Geological Survey Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science provides support for EDEN in order for EDEN to provide quality-assured monitoring data for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

The EDEN surface-water model, version 2 (V2), interpolates water-level data from a network of 240 gages to generate gridded daily water-level surfaces for the freshwater domain of the Everglades. When these spatiotemporal continuous surfaces are combined with EDEN’s digital elevation model of ground surface, derived hydrologic data provide scientists and water managers working in the Everglades with data necessary to analyze ecological and biotic responses to hydrologic changes in the Everglades. Derived datasets include water depth, recession rates, days since last dry, water-surface slopes, and hydroperiod. The V2 model includes enhancements from the previous model (version 1; V1) to accommodate changes in the water-level gage network, adjustments to water-level data, improved understanding of the flow dynamics (particularly near canals), and installation of an elevation benchmark network. Enhancements to the V2 model included

  • Expansion of the EDEN domain: The model domain was expanded to include a part of southern Big Cypress National Preserve and northwestern Everglades National Park upstream of the marsh mangrove wetlands, thus completing the coastal connection along the southwestern boundary of the model; and
  • Development of subdomain models: To account for insufficient water-control structure gage data at some subbasin boundaries, subdomain models were developed for five subdomains, and the resulting water-level surfaces were merged to generate the final water-level surface.

Model performance statistics show a general improvement in the V2 model as compared to the V1 model. Overall, the root mean squared error (RMSE) was reduced by 2.42 centimeters (cm) to 4.68 cm. In Water Conservation Area 3A North and Water Conservation Area 3B, the RMSE was reduced by 10.88 and 9.15 cm, respectively. In addition to evaluating model performance statistics, 2-cm water-level maps were generated and evaluated for irregular contours that would indicate a potential problem either with data input or water-level estimates.

Three applications of the EDEN-modeled water surfaces and other EDEN datasets are presented in the report to show how scientists and resource managers are using EDEN datasets to analyze biological and ecological responses to hydrologic changes in the Everglades. The biological responses of two important Everglades species, alligators and wading birds, to changes in hydrology are described. The effects of hydrology on fire dynamics in the Everglades are also discussed.

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