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