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NUTRIENT INPUTS ALONG COASTAL TRANSECTS WITHIN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA

From the First National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration (NCER), December 6-10, 2004, Orlando, Florida

INTRODUCTION

In October 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated a project to assess flow, salinity, and nutrients along transects from the freshwater wetlands towards the coastal areas of northeastern Florida Bay and the southwestern coast of Everglades National Park (ENP). The Coastal Gradients Project is comprised of ten surface-water monitoring stations and three co-located water-quality platforms to monitor nutrients. The water-quality stations are located along estuarine rivers where no continuous nutrient information was previously available. For example, a new surface-water/water-quality station was constructed upstream of North River near the freshwater transition zone to compliment the existing downstream surface-water station. An additional water-quality platform was constructed at the downstream North River station. These stations will be used to assess nutrient inputs from the freshwater wetlands through the mangrove zone and into Whitewater Bay.

METHODS

Individual water samples for total phosphorus and total nitrogen are collected over 3-day periods (sub-sample every eighteen hours) using automatic samplers. Samples bottles are pre-treated with sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and shipped on ice to the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) in Denver, Colorado every 21 days. Total phosphorus analyses are performed following Environmental Protection Agency method 365.1 (reporting limit 0.004 mg/L), and total nitrogen analyses are performed following the USGS Kjeldahl digestion method (reporting limit 0.10 mg/L). During field trips to service the automatic samplers, multiple vertical samples are collected for the following constituents: total phosphorus, ortho-phosphorus, total nitrogen (ammonia + organic), nitrite, nitrite + nitrate, and ammonia.

Nutrient data is currently being collected by the USGS at the following locations:

  1. West Highway Creek (25° 14' 39.94" 80° 26' 51.75")
  2. North River (25° 20' 17.82" 80° 54' 48.73")
  3. Upstream North River (25° 21' 29.86" 80° 54' 1.53")

autosampler at West Highway Creek conceptual diagram of Integrated Sampling churn splitter used to process water samples
(left) Example of Autosampler at West Highway Creek. [larger image] (middle) Conceptual Diagram of Integrated Sampling [larger image] (right) Churn splitter used to process water samples. [larger image]


North River Surface Water/Water Quality Monitoring Station Upstream North River Surface Water/Water Quality Monitoring Station West Highway Creek Surface Water/Water Quality Monitoring Station
(left) North River Surface Water/Water Quality Monitoring Station. [larger image] (middle) Upstream North River Surface Water/Water Quality Monitoring Station. [larger image] (right) West Highway Creek Surface Water/Water Quality Monitoring Station. [larger image]


map of south Florida
Upstream/Downstream Comparison of Nutrients along North River in Whitewater Bay, Florida


plot showing daily mean salinity from North River and upstream North River from October 2003 to September 2004 aerial photo
Daily mean salinity from North River and upstream North River from October 2003 to September 2004. [larger image] Locations of Monitoring Stations [larger image]


plot showing total nitrogen data from North River and upstream from October 2003 to September 2004 plot showing total phosphorus data from North River and upstream from October 2003 to September 2004
Total nitrogen data from North River and upstream from October 2003 to September 2004. [larger image] Total phosphorus data from North River and upstream from October 2003 to September 2004. [larger image]

SUMMARY

These data will be available on the USGS South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) web page (http://sofia.usgs.gov/). The USGS water-quality network is a small component of a larger water-quality effort led by South Florida Water Management District and Florida International University. An expanded, long term water-quality network will examine nutrient inputs from the freshwater Everglades to Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and assess the quality of coastal waters as upstream hydrologic systems are restored under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).

plot showing total nitrogen at West Highway Creek plot showing total phosphorus at West Highway Creek
Total Nitrogen [larger image] Total Phosphorus [larger image]
West Highway Creek


plot showing total nitrogen at Upstream North River plot showing total phosphorus at Upstream North River
Total Nitrogen [larger image] Total Phosphorus [larger image]
Upstream North River


plot showing total nitrogen at North River plot showing total phosphorus at North River
Total Nitrogen [larger image] Total Phosphorus [larger image]
North River

For More Information:
Mark Zucker mzucker@usgs.gov
Clinton Hittle cdhittle@usgs.gov

U.S. Geological Survey
Center for Water and Restoration Studies
9100 NW 36th St. Suite 107
Miami, Fl. 33178
303-717-5800

SOFIA
South Florida Information Access
http://www.sofia.er.usgs.gov


Related information:

SOFIA Project: Coastal Gradients of Flow, Salinity and Nutrients



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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:04 PM (KP)