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The model described herein was used to assess effects of the Suwannee River sill (a low earthen dam constructed to impound the Suwannee River within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge to eliminate wildfires) on the hydrologic environment of Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. Developed with Arc/Info Macro Language routines in the GRID environment, the model distributes water in the swamp landscape using precipitation, inflow, evapotranspiration, outflow, and standing water. Water movement direction and rate are determined by the neighborhood topographic gradient, determined using survey grade Global Positioning Systems technology. Model data include flow rates from USGS monitored gauges, precipitation volumes and water levels measured within the swamp, and estimated evapotranspiration volumes spatially modified by vegetation type. Model output in semi-monthly time steps includes water depth, water surface elevation above mean sea level, and movement direction and volume. Model simulations indicate the sill impoundment affects 18 percent of the swamp during high water conditions when wildfires are scarce and has minimal spatial effect (increasing hydroperiods in less than 5 percent of the swamp) during low water and drought conditions when fire occurrence is high but precipitation and inflow volumes are limited.
Additional Publication Details
Development and application of a spatial hydrology model of Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia
Journal of the American Water Resources Association