MODFLOW Validation of FEFLOW Model to Assess Sea Level Rise and Climate Change Drive Effects: Miami Beach Case Study

Monday, December 4, 2017: 10:30 a.m.
101 C (Music City Center)
Carlos Tamayo, Civil, Engineer, M.S. , Civil & Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Davie, FL

Cities along the coastlines of the United States are currently being affected by sea level rise (SLR); thus, adaptation is crucial to assure resiliency. In Miami, FL, a large portion of densely urbanized areas within Miami-Dade County are experiencing major investments in infrastructure. Consequentially, the entire area is very vulnerable to effects of climate-change, such as SLR and hurricanes, among others.

Miami Beach, FL, is a quite interesting example to analyze considering that it experiences a lot of what was mentioned above. It is a densely urbanized coastal city that is exposed to extreme weather events, sea level rise, and its residents and infrastructure are in a very vulnerable position. Residential and commercial high rises, high end neighborhoods, and preserved historic buildings are the general makeup of the city. Moreover, highly permeable formations, shallow groundwater levels, rising sea levels, and tidal effects, create a perfect setting for saltwater intrusion (SI) to occur and worsen through the years.

As part of a larger study, a FEFLOW groundwater model is being developed for coupling with a Mike 21 surface water model for assessing interactions between them. The City is the testbed and the broader goal is to evaluate soft and hard engineering solutions for adapting to SLR.

For this specific study, the main goal is to validate the FEFLOW model by taking the developed conceptual model and running it in a MODFLOW environment. The same baseline and time-dependent scenarios are simulated to perform an accurate verification of the FEFLOW model and compare equivalent results. Scenarios will assess the influence of sea level rise, tidal flooding, and extreme storm events with projections for year 2100. This exercise will allow for the robust coupled model to be validated and refined in order to make it scalable and replicable in similar coastal environments.

Carlos Tamayo, Civil, Engineer, M.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Davie, FL
Carlos Tamayo is a Civil Engineer with a Master’s in Environmental Engineering. He has over 13 years of experience. His master’s project assessed saltwater intrusion in Honduras, which was presented at the 2013 NGWA Conference in San Antonio, TX. For his PhD dissertation, he is computationally engineering solutions for sea level rise. He presented his research at the 2015 NGWA Groundwater Expo. Carlos is currently a full-time employee at the City of Miami Beach, where he is working on innovative engineering solutions for adapting to sea level rise and developing the City’s hydrological and hydrogeological databases and data automation systems.



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