Circulation Modeling Terms of Reference



1. Objectives - The primary objectives of a Florida Bay circulation model are to accurately simulate salinity fields and advective pathways under different management scenarios and different natural conditions.  This includes reasonable estimates of basin residence times and turnover rates and the

effects (if any) of widening and/or deepening passes through the Keys or reconstructing cuts where  they have been completely filled in.


2. Physics - Any Florida Bay circulation model developed should incorporate realistic physics and take full advantage of the sophisticated understanding of the major relevant processes and features that has been developed by the physical science team and its members.  These physical processes should include advection and both horizontal and vertical mixing.


3. Bathymetry/Boundary Conditions - Any Florida Bay circulation model will have to use the best available bathymetric data (currently USGS) and boundary condition data, whatever their source.  Surface boundary conditions include atmospheric forcing i.e., winds, evapotranspiration, radiation.  Hydrographic boundary conditions include currents, water elevation (tides), temperature, and salinity.  Hydrologic boundary conditions include surface water and groundwater.  The southwest coast of Florida, encompassing the freshwater effluents from the Shark River slough, must be included in the model domain. The Florida Bay model should be coupled to a large-scale regional model to include effects of the Loop Current and Florida Current.


4. Resolution - Any Florida Bay circulation model will need the appropriate grid resolution to address the different spatial and temporal scales implicit in the aforementioned objectives.  For example, scenario evaluation may require decade long simulations due to naturally high interannual variability, long residence times in interior basins and lagged ecological responses.


5. Uniform Database Trials - The PMC is sponsoring a standard database for the six-year period from October 1994 through 2000 inclusively.  This will be made available to all PMC agencies and the entire Florida Bay research community and will be used in model verification trials. It is expected that the model should be able to reproduce observed spatial and temporal patterns of salinity, sea level and circulation.


6. Portable - Any Florida Bay circulation model developed should be portable in that the code used becomes public domain and is delivered to the member agencies of the PMC.  This implies it is thoroughly documented and not platform specific but usable by any relatively sophisticated physical modeling group.  It also implies that it cannot absolutely require parallel processing capability or supercomputer access.


7. Linkage – A useful Florida Bay circulation model must be able to provide the physical information and temporal and spatial resolution required to drive, initialize or constrain other Florida Bay simulation models - e.g., water quality and ecological models.