, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 635–648 | Cite as

Measurement-derived Heat-budget Approaches for Simulating Coastal Wetland Temperature with a Hydrodynamic Model

  • Eric SwainEmail author
  • Jeremy Decker
Original Paper


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.


Computational methods Evapotranspiration Heat transport Surface water 



The authors wish to thank the USGS Priority Ecosystem Science program for providing primary funding for this study. Melinda Lohmann in the Fort Lauderdale USGS office was a primary developer of the numerical model used and Catherine Langtimm and Brad Stith of the USGS Biology discipline coordinated the Manatee research information and supplied needed data. Assistance in the development of model parameters and priorities was obtained through consultation with Kim Dryden and Terry Doyle at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dewey Worth and Janet Starnes at the South Florida Water Management District, and David Bauman at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida Water Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveyFort LauderdaleUSA

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