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U.S. Department of the Interior
Geochemistry of Sulfur in the Florida Everglades:
Sediment cores were collected from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) 1A and 2A, from Lake Okeechobee, and from Taylor Slough in the southern Everglades. Water collection was more widespread and includes surface water from WCAs 1A, 2A, 3A, 2B, the EAA, Taylor Slough, Lake Okeechobee, and the Kissimmee River. Groundwater was collected from The Everglades Nutrient Removal Area (ENR) and from WCA 2A. Rainwater was collected at two month intervals over a period of one year from the ENR and from WCA 2A. Water was analyzed for sulfate concentration and sulfate sulfur stable isotopic ratio (34S/32S). Sediment cores were analyzed for total sulfur concentration and/or for concentrations of sulfur species (sulfate, organic sulfur, disulfides, and acid volatile sulfides (AVS)) and for their stable sulfur isotopic ratio.
Results show a decrease in total sulfur content (1.57 to 0.61 percent dry weight) with depth in two sediment cores collected in WCA 2A, indicating that there has been an increase in total sulfur content in recent times. A sediment core from the center of Lake Okeechobee shows a decrease in total sulfur content with depth (0.28 to 0.08 percent dry weight). A core from the periphery of the lake (South Bay) likewise shows a decrease in total sulfur content with depth (1.00 to 0.69 percent dry weight), however, the overall sulfur content is greater than that near the center at all depths. This suggests input of sulfur in recent times, especially near the lake margins. Sediments show a general decrease in sulfur concentration with depth, probably because of increases in sulfur input to the marshes in recent times. Regional differences in the concentrations and stable isotopic ratios of sulfate sulfur in surface water show that sulfur contamination to the northern Everglades likely originates from canals draining the EAA.
SOFIA Project: Geochemistry of Wetland Sediments from South Florida
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last updated: 15 January, 2013 @ 12:43 PM (KP)