Repurposing a Hindcast Simulation of the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane, South Florida

Open-File Report 2020-1010
By: , and 


  • Document: Report (2.64 MB pdf)
  • Data Release: USGS data release— 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 (BISECT) model
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Hydrodynamic model hindcasts of the surface water and groundwater of the Everglades and the greater Miami, Florida, area were used to simulate hydrology using estimated storm surge height, wind field, and rainfall for the Great Miami Hurricane (GMH), which struck on September 18, 1926. Ranked estimates of losses from hurricanes in inflation-adjusted dollars indicate that the GMH was one of the most damaging tropical cyclones to make landfall in the United States, but little hydrologic data were collected because many types of field stations did not exist at the time. Several techniques were used to estimate previously unknown critical storm variables for model input, demonstrating the value of reanalyzing historical storm events using modern hydrodynamic modeling. This representation of the 1926 GMH was then used to develop a hypothetical simulation of the hydrologic effects of a similar hurricane occurring in contemporary (1996) times. Results indicate that the 18-centimeter sea-level rise between 1926 and 1996 had a greater effect on salinity intrusion than climatic differences or the development of modern canal-based infrastructure. Moreover, the post-1926 canal infrastructure does not seem to substantially mitigate the deleterious effects of sea-level rise.

Suggested Citation

Krohn, M.D., Swain, E.D., Langtimm, C.A., and Obeysekera, J., 2020, Repurposing a hindcast simulation of the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane, south Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1010, 9 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Repurposing a hindcast simulation of the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane, south Florida
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1010
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201010
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center
Description Report: iv, 9 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Florida
City Miami
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details