projects > water flows and nutrient fluxes to the southwest coast of everglades national park, florida
Water Flows and Nutrient Fluxes to the Southwest Coast of Everglades National Park, Florida
The southwest coast of Florida is part of a wilderness area with unique hydraulic characteristics that has historically been described as the "River of Grass". Flat terrain and lack of controlled topographic information has made it difficult to define drainage divides. Low gradients, coupled with tidal effects, create complex conditions under which to measure riverine flow. It has been almost thirty years since any effort has been made to monitor flow characteristics continuously in the area. Significant technological advancements have occurred during this time and this new technology can be applied to help obtain the information needed to make informed decisions about the future of this unique coastal area.
In 1996, the U.S. Geological Survey began a 4-year study of the flow and nutrient characteristics of three major streams that drain parts of the Everglades National Park. Each site was instrumented with an upward looking acoustic doppler current profiler, a water-level sensor, and two specific conductance sensors. Monthly discharge measurements are made with an accoustic doppler current profiler to develop discharge ratings. Nutrient data are collected monthly at each site.
Flow, nutrient concentrations, and nutrient load data will provide part of the basic information needed to understand the hydrologic and water-quality characteristics for a part of the southwest coast of Florida. The analysis of these measurements will help characterize the current conditions for the three sites and explain the relation between upgradient water levels and southwest coastal stream flows, and the possible interaction between south- west coastal waters and the waters of Florida Bay. The data can also be used as input to hydrodynamic and water-quality models.
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