Document Type



Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Fang Zhao

Third Advisor's Name

Hector R. Fuentes

Fourth Advisor's Name

Assefa M. Melesse

Fifth Advisor's Name

Reinaldo García


Coupled Model, wetlands, surface water, underground water, vegetation

Date of Defense



This dissertation focused on developing an integrated surface – subsurface hydrologic simulation numerical model by programming and testing the coupling of the USGS MODFLOW-2005 Groundwater Flow Process (GWF) package (USGS, 2005) with the 2D surface water routing model: FLO-2D (O’Brien et al., 1993). The coupling included the necessary procedures to numerically integrate and verify both models as a single computational software system that will heretofore be referred to as WHIMFLO-2D (Wetlands Hydrology Integrated Model). An improved physical formulation of flow resistance through vegetation in shallow waters based on the concept of drag force was also implemented for the simulations of floodplains, while the use of the classical methods (e.g., Manning, Chezy, Darcy-Weisbach) to calculate flow resistance has been maintained for the canals and deeper waters. A preliminary demonstration exercise WHIMFLO-2D in an existing field site was developed for the Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment (LILA), an 80 acre area, located at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wild Life Refuge in Boynton Beach, Florida. After applying a number of simplifying assumptions, results have illustrated the ability of the model to simulate the hydrology of a wetland. In this illustrative case, a comparison between measured and simulated stages level showed an average error of 0.31% with a maximum error of 2.8%. Comparison of measured and simulated groundwater head levels showed an average error of 0.18% with a maximum of 2.9%.





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