Numerical modeling is needed to predict environmental temperatures, which affect a number of biota in southern Florida, U.S.A., such as the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), which uses thermal basins for refuge from lethal winter cold fronts. To numerically simulate heat-transport through a dynamic coastal wetland region, an algorithm was developed for the FTLOADDS coupled hydrodynamic surface-water/ground-water model that uses formulations and coefficients suited to the coastal wetland thermal environment. In this study, two field sites provided atmospheric data to develop coefficients for the heat flux terms representing this particular study area. Several methods were examined to represent the heat-flux components used to compute temperature. A Dalton equation was compared with a Penman formulation for latent heat computations, producing similar daily-average temperatures. Simulation of heat-transport in the southern Everglades indicates that the model represents the daily fluctuation in coastal temperatures better than at inland locations; possibly due to the lack of information on the spatial variations in heat-transport parameters such as soil heat capacity and surface albedo. These simulation results indicate that the new formulation is suitable for defining the existing thermohydrologic system and evaluating the ecological effect of proposed restoration efforts in the southern Everglades of Florida.
Additional publication details
Measurement-derived heat-budget approaches for simulating coastal wetland temperature with a hydrodynamic model