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Representation of surface-water flows using Gradient-Related Discharge in an Everglades Network

June 25, 2024

The Everglades Depth Estimation Network interpolates water-level gage data to produce daily water-level elevations for the Everglades in south Florida. These elevations were used to estimate flow vectors (gradients and directions) and volumetric flow rates using the Gradient-Related Discharge in an Everglades Network (GARDEN) application developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Flow rates in both the east-west and north-south directions were computed on a 400-meter square grid using modified parameters in the Manning’s equation. The frictional resistance parameter in the Manning’s equation was calibrated to measured flow rates at coastal creeks fed by Everglades Depth Estimation Network boundary flows. Levees and other features that act as barriers to flow were defined as “no-flow” grid cells where vectors were set to zero.

The flow volume magnitudes were calibrated with 2020 daily values of coastal river flows, and verification was performed using 2021 data. Within a given day, the measured coastal river flows fluctuate more than the GARDEN boundary flows because of tidal and wind forcings. Because the GARDEN boundary flows were the upstream water source for the coastal rivers, calibration focused on matching average daily flow volumes rather than daily fluctuations. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient is 0.766 for the 2020 calibration period and 0.566 for the 2021 verification period.

Applying GARDEN to periods with hydraulic-control-structure releases allows the propagation of structure flows to be seen in the daily flow-vector maps along with the multiday response of flows farther downgradient. Flow vectors may be overestimated near control structures because of difficulties in resolving the water gradient downstream from the structure. Flow vectors farther from the structure are more accurate than those near the structure.

Publication Year 2024
Title Representation of surface-water flows using Gradient-Related Discharge in an Everglades Network
DOI 10.3133/sir20245041
Authors E. Swain, T. Adams
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2024-5041
Index ID sir20245041
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center