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Project Work Plan

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES)

Fiscal Year 2008 Study Work Plan

Study Title: Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay
Study Start Date: FY1995 Study End Date: TBD
Web Sites: (http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/freshwtr_flow/)
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Everglades National Park
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) Program
Other Complementary Funding Source(s): U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Everglades National Park-Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative (CESI)
Funding History: FY98; FY99; FY00 (PBS+CESI); FY01 (PBS+COE); FY02 (PBS+COE); FY03 (PBS+ COE); FY04 (PES+ COE); FY05 (PES+ COE); FY06 (PES+ COE, ENP-CESI); FY07 (PES+COE, ENP-CESI); FY08 (PES+COE)
Principal Investigator(s): Mark Zucker and Jeff Woods
Study Personnel: Christian Lopez, Shane Ploos, Carrie Boudreau, Stephen Huddleston
Supporting Organizations: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Everglades National Park (ENP)
Associated / Linked Studies: Southwest Florida Coastal and Wetland Systems Monitoring, USGS Coastal Gradients, Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades (TIME), Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions and Relation to Water Quality in the Everglades, Geology and Ecological History of the “Buttonwood Ridge” Region, Salinity Patterns in Florida Bay: A Synthesis, Interrelation of Everglades Hydrology and Florida Bay Dynamics to Ecosystem Processes and Restoration in South Florida, Dynamics of Land Margin Ecosystems: Historical Change, Hydrology, Vegetation, Sediment, and Climate, Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS) Model Development, Hydrology Monitoring Network: Data Mining and Modeling to Separate Human and Natural Hydrologic Dynamics, Compilation, Integration, and Synthesis of Water Quality and Flow Data for Assessing Nutrient Flux to South Florida Coastal Ecosystems, South Florida Surface Water Monitoring Network for the Support of MAP Projects (known as EDEN, Everglades Depth Estimation Network), Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: Integrating data and models for the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades, FIU-Long Term Ecological Research (LTER), ENP Marine Monitoring Network, SFWMD Everglades Program, SFWMD Minimum Flows and Levels for Florida Bay.

Overview & Objective(s): The project objectives are to: (1) determine the quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow through estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay (Fig. 1); (2) for Everglades modelers, scientists, and managers, provide up to 31 days of real-time hydrologic data, provide published unit value data on the South Florida Information Access website (SOFIA), and provide station manuscripts for the annual surface water data report; (3) advance acoustic methods and technology for gaging estuarine creeks; and (4) advance methods and technology for computing continuous water quality monitoring record (e.g. salinity). Flow, water-level, salinity, and temperature data are collected at the estuarine creeks that connect the Everglades wetland with Florida Bay (Table 1). This project provides flow data critical for addressing nutrient loading and the impact of water quality on Florida Bay. The USACE, SFWMD, USGS, ENP and other agencies as well as universities currently are using the data from this study to answer specific research questions that will directly benefit the Everglades restoration effort.

map showing monitoring stations in northeastern Florida Bay and Joe Bay
Figure 1: Monitoring stations in northeastern Florida Bay and Joe Bay. [larger image]


Table 1: Florida Bay monitoring stations and locations
Florida Bay
Station Name Latitude
(ddmmss)
Longitude
(ddmmss)
Parameters Location
West Highway Creek 251433 -802650 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity, rainfall, Nutrients Northeastern Long Sound near US Highway 1
Stillwater Creek 251341 -802912 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Northwestern Long Sound
Trout Creek 251253 -803201 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Trout Cove, Florida Bay
Mud Creek 251209 -803501 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Western Alligator Bay, Florida Bay
Taylor River Mouth 251127 -803821 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity North-central Little Madeira Bay, Florida Bay
Upstream Taylor River 251241 -803853 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity ~2 Miles inland from Taylor River Mouth near Little Madeira Bay, Florida Bay
McCormick Creek 251003 -804355 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Terrapin Bay, Florida Bay
Jewfish Creek 251105 -802318 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Near US Highway 1, between Blackwater Sound and Barnes Sound
East Highway Creek 251440 -802628 Water level and velocity Northeastern Long Sound near US Highway 1
Oregon Creek 251422 -802719 Water level and velocity Northeastern Long Sound near US Highway 1
East Creek 251153 -803708 Water level and velocity Northeastern Little Madeira Bay
Alligator Creek 251032 -804734 Water level and velocity Northeastern Garfield Bight, Florida Bay
Joe Bay
Station Name Latitude
(ddmmss)
Longitude
(ddmmss)
Parameters Location
Joe Bay 1E 251338 -803126 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Eastern Joe Bay, upstream of Trout Creek surface water site
Joe Bay 2E 251355 -803128 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Eastern Joe Bay, upstream of Trout Creek surface water site
Joe Bay 5C 251438 -803335 Water level, salinity, temperature, Central Joe Bay, upstream of Trout Creek surface water site
Joe Bay 8W 251322 -803525 Water level, salinity, temperature, velocity Western Joe Bay, upstream of Trout Creek surface water site

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified: (Page numbers below refer to the DOI Science Plan.)

This study supports several of the projects listed in the Department of the Interior (DOI) science plan (specifically, the C-111 Spreader Canal and CSOP; Additional Water for ENP and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study; and Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study) by (1) providing baseline hydrologic data for model calibration and verification, and for resource management; (2) providing long-term hydrologic and water quality data to determine trends in hydrologic response to storms, sea level rise, and restoration activities; (3) quantifying discharge at estuarine creeks to answer quantity, timing and distribution questions (Fig. 2); (4) quantifying discharge at estuarine creeks for nutrient load calculations (Fig. 3); (5) providing temperature data for biological studies; and (6) providing salinity data to support restoration criteria (i.e., performance measures).

graph of distribution of flow from nine monitoring stations in northeastern Florida Bay, 1996 to 2007
Figure 2: Distribution of flow from nine monitoring stations in northeastern Florida Bay, 1996 to 2007. Please note, calendar year 2007 is incomplete as of 9/4/07. [larger image]


graph of total phosphorus loads (in metric tons) at West Highway Creek during 2003-2006
Figure 3: Total phosphorus loads (in metric tons) at West Highway Creek during 2003-06. These data are provisional and were collected as part of the USGS Coastal Gradients of Flow, Salinity, and Nutrients Project. [larger image]

Three restoration questions were stated in the executive summary of the DOI Science plan (p. 1) and maximizing cost-share opportunities and science coordination were emphasized. This study supports restoration question 1: “What actions will improve the quantity, timing, and distribution of clean freshwater needed to restore the South Florida ecosystem?” The monitoring network provides coastal discharge data for the majority of estuarine creeks in northeastern Florida Bay. The timing and distribution of freshwater deliveries to northeastern Florida Bay has been documented since 1996 (Fig. 2). In 2003, the USGS coastal and estuarine unit also began calculating nutrient loads (Fig. 3) at selected sites in northeastern Florida Bay and along the southwestern Everglades coast. The larger network has provided discharge information to researches to develop nutrient budgets and loading (Rudnick, 1999; Sutula and others, 2003; Davis, 2004; Levesque, 2004).

USGS synthesis teams have been coordinated to assess nutrient flux to South Florida coastal ecosystems (McPherson and others, 2006) and to conduct data mining and modeling to separate human and natural hydrologic dynamics (Conrads and others, 2005). The need to comprehensively address recent algal blooms in Blackwater Sound and adjacent basins has fostered a collaborative effort between the USGS and Federal, State, and local partners to determine the source of the problem and understand the persistence of the blooms (South Florida Water Management District, 2006).

Additional funding from the USACE and ENP-CESI has allowed PES to commit to sustainable funding levels for future years. The USACE has provided funding since 2001 as part of the Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay: Data Collection Network in Support of C-111 Basin Studies program. The CESI program has provided funding over a 3-year period to support the monitoring in Joe Bay (http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/joe_bay/).

It is well recognized that maintaining funding for long term data collection is difficult, and the development of program with existing and new partners is a high priority. The northeastern Florida Bay network is one component of a larger integrated network that includes the southwest coast (Shark Slough), the freshwater/mangrove transition zone (Coastal Gradients Projects). These coastal projects are interdependent in terms of the physical, chemical, and hydrological data needed to assess the potential spatial and temporal changes as CERP restoration proceeds. The collective scope of the various projects allows for a more sustainable long-term data and research program than would otherwise be possible.

The DOI science plan has provided four criteria for prioritizing the science needs for restoration and resource management (p. 11). The criteria and the applicability of the Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay project to each are summarized below.

1) The relevance of the science effort to improving understanding of the ecological and hydrological processes affecting DOI lands and resources. This project has been tasked since 1995 to develop techniques to measure and compute continuous discharge affected by wind and tide along the South Florida coast. Methods have been developed to quantify coastal discharges (Hittle and others, 2001; Morlock and others, 2002; Ruhl and others, 2005) and published data has been shared with our partners to improve our understanding of the south Florida estuaries (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/patino/patinoflow.html). Since the development and application of index velocity techniques in South Florida estuaries, new methods and instrumentation have been utilized to improve the quantification of discharge (Zucker and others, 2007). Acoustic Doppler velocity meters with up-looking acoustic beams have been utilized to quantify discharge in bidirectional rivers (i.e., Card Sound Canal). Up-looking acoustic sensors and pressure transducers have been employed to measure water level rather than the standard stilling well at some locations (Zucker and others, in press). Instrumentation such as DGPS and sonar are being used to more accurately measure discharge in Florida Bay channels with dense sea grass beds (Criales and others, 2003). Also acoustic Doppler velocimeters are being used to measure wetland velocities in Taylor Slough and the C-111 Basin. Additional research benefits include the development of nutrient loading methods for three estuarine creeks (Shoemaker and others 2005); the evaluation of estuarine creek responses during the 2004-2005 hurricane season (Woods and others 2006); and the evaluation of minimum flows and levels in Florida Bay using real-time data from the National Water Information System at (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/rt), (Bennett, SFWMD pers. commun., 2006).

2) The applicability of the science to multiple DOI restoration objectives or multiple projects. This project provides data sets for (1) various modeling efforts (SICS, TIME, Florida Bay Hydrodynamic Model) utilized by the USGS, USACE, ENP, SFWMD, and universities; (2) nutrient loading assessments by FIU and SFWMD; and (3) salinity box modeling by Marshall and others (2002) and Nuttle (2002); (4) real-time data to the SFWMD to evaluate the water management operations (Minimum Flows and Levels) and report on the annual environmental conditions; (5) CERP restoration projects such as the C-111 Spreader Canal Project. In addition, research on mercury loading in Florida Bay utilized computed flow data (Rumbold and others 2001). More recently, the availability of flow data prior to and after the 2005 hurricane season was critical for the assessment of recent algal blooms along US-1 near Key Largo (South Florida Water Management District, 2006). The published data on SOFIA and the continuation of the monitoring network is critical as restoration projects go online.

3) Synthesis and sequencing to address the most urgent management information needs. The project supports various synthesis and modeling efforts. Examples of USGS synthesis projects include the Compilation, Integration, and Synthesis of Water Quality and Flow Data for Assessing Nutrient Flux to South Florida Coastal Ecosystems project, and the Hydrology Monitoring Network: Data Mining and Modeling to Separate Human and Natural Hydrologic Dynamics project. Other synthesis projects utilizing our data sets include (1) the SFWMD Everglades Consolidated Reports and the more recent algal bloom problem along US-1 (South Florida Water Management District, 2006); the FIU Long Term Ecological Research, Florida Coastal Everglades project; the USACE Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study.

4) Maximization of cost-share opportunities and science coordination across bureaus or with DOI's CERP partners. This project receives funding from PES and USACE, and benefited from additional CESI funded work in Joe Bay. Funding for the Southwest Florida Coastal and Wetland Systems Monitoring project is fully funded by PES, whereas the Coastal Gradients of Flow, Salinity, and Nutrients project is fully funded by RECOVER.

This study supports the C-111 Spreader and CSOP projects (p. 71), as it provides (1) baseline data (flow, salinity, and rainfall) for change detection throughout the construction process and modeling, (2) critical coastal discharge data for water quality assessments such as nutrient loading, and (3) hydrologic data to calibrate models or verify models for predictions of salinity.

In addition, this study supports the Additional Water to Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study (p. 74) by providing (1) baseline data to assist with determining how restoring natural flows in Taylor Slough will change the quantity, timing, and distribution of flows in Biscayne Bay and Florida Bay; (2) physical, chemical, and hydrologic data needed for environmental risk assessments of contaminants; and (3) rainfall data at three locations to enhance geospatial rainfall data coverage near the coast.

This study supports the Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study (p. 77) as it provides (1) baseline data to address the quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow to Florida Bay-one of DOI questions of interest stated in the executive summary; (2) basic hydrologic data to assist with model calibration and verification (p. 78) of the Florida Bay Hydrodynamic (Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study) and the USGS TIME and SICS models; and (3) critical coastal discharge data for studies of nutrient, pesticide, and mercury loading.

Key Findings:

  1. From 1996 to 2001, Trout Creek has consistently contributed roughly 50% of the total flow to northeastern Florida Bay. Since 2001, the percent contribution from Trout Creek relative to the total flow to northeastern Florida Bay is roughly 41%. Total flow since year 2004, excluding year 2005 due to higher than normal hurricane activity, is much lower than previous documented years (Fig. 3). Precipitation records suggest that years 2004, 2006, and more than likely 2007 will be below average for the study area.
  2. It has been reported in earlier work plans that roughly 70% of the freshwater flow into northeastern Florida Bay enters east of Taylor Slough. A recent examination of percentage of flow and total flow indicates that the percentage of flow entering east of Taylor Slough (Trout Creek + Long Sound) since year 2002 is less than 70% of the total flow. For example, in year 2004 the percentage of flow east of Taylor Slough equaled 57.5%. It must be noted that in years where the percentage of flow east of Taylor Slough is less than 70% usually occurs when total flow roughly equals or is less than 200,000 acre-feet. Year 2007 is currently incomplete but current data suggests the possibility of a year with less than 300,000 acre-feet delivered to the bay (Fig. 5).
  3. Water level differences between Taylor Slough and the C-111 basin drive flow direction in the southeastern Everglades, which is a critical issue for contaminant transport, flood management, and saltwater intrusion concerns. For example, freshwater from Taylor Slough moves eastward towards western Joe Bay during major storms and is an important contributor of freshwater flow to Florida Bay through Trout Creek.
  4. Hydrologic correlation has been employed to estimate non-instrumented estuarine creeks with reasonable success (i.e. Long Sound) but may not be applicable for other estuarine creeks in northeastern Florida Bay (Zucker, 2003).
  5. The total annual flow to Northeastern Florida Bay for 2005 was the greatest measured since the project began in 1995. Coincidently, the lowest total annual flow to Northeastern Florida Bay occurred in 2004. The total annual freshwater flow to northeastern Florida Bay in 2005 equaled 515,920 acre-ft (Fig. 3).
  6. The flow distribution from five stations installed in water year 1996 (West Highway, Trout Creek, Mud Creek, Taylor River, and McCormick Creek) was discussed by Hittle (2000) and Hittle and others (2001). Total annual flow in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005 was near or above 300,000 AC-FT whereas total annual flow in 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2006 was less than 300,000 AC-FT equaling 275,680 AC-FT, 230,340 AC-FT, 154,130 AC-FT, and 205,760, respectively. Total annual flow in 2000, 2004, and 2006 coincided with drought-like conditions in south Florida, even though 2004 was considered an active hurricane season with four named storms impacting the state of Florida. Hittle and others (2001) discussed the flow distribution during the El Nino of 1998, in particular the impact on flow at McCormick Creek. Net negative annual flow was observed at McCormick Creek during the El Nino year of 1998 and during the drought year of 2000, but net negative annual flow was not observed during the drought year of 2004 or 2006.
  7. Hypersaline conditions at McCormick Creek coincided with the drought years 2000 and 2004 and non-drought years 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2005. In 2000, salinity conditions were greater than 35 ppt only at McCormick Creek. On the other hand, salinity conditions in 2004 and 2005 were greater than 35 ppt at West Highway Creek, Trout Creek, Mud Creek, Taylor River Mouth, upstream Taylor River, and McCormick Creek. Salinity throughout Joe Bay exceeded 40 ppt in 2005. Freshwater eventually was transported to northeastern Florida Bay in mid-June 2005. The salinity response in June 2005 was variable except for the stations downstream of water management structures (C-111 Canal). Monitoring stations in Long Sound and eastern Joe Bay reported rapid changes in salinity reaching 5 ppt or less within 1 week of water-management operations. Monitoring stations such as McCormick Creek and Taylor River at the Mouth, located in the more western portion of the study area, reported a more gradual change in salinity with the onset of freshwater input. McCormick Creek near Terrapin Bay, the most western station in the study area, dropped from a salinity of 50 ppt to roughly 30 ppt and remained elevated until the passing of Hurricane Katrina. The salinity conditions at Taylor River at the Mouth did not reach fresh-like conditions (< 5 ppt) until the passing of Hurricane Katrina reaching 1.0 ppt by mid September 2005.
  8. Salinity response in Joe Bay Peak salinity conditions reported in Joe Bay ranged between 36-40 ppt in 2004, while hyper-saline conditions (>40 ppt) were reported throughout Joe Bay in 2005. Hyper-saline conditions throughout Joe Bay occurred on May 15, 2006, and persisted at Joe Bay 1E (JB1E) and Joe Bay 8W (JB8W) until June 12, 2006. Salinity at Joe Bay 2E and Joe Bay 5C dropped rapidly from roughly 40 ppt, on June 3, 2005 to between 1-2 ppt on June 24, 2005, as a result of water management operations and rainfall. Total discharge from the C-111 Canal at S-18C equaled 22,000 AC-FT in June 2005, along with nine days with at least 0.75 inches of rainfall at West Highway Creek. Salinity conditions at JB1E and JB8W decreased more gradually and reached conditions near 1.0 ppt on September 4, 2005. The brackish salinity pattern at JB1E prior to Hurricane Katrina is probably a function of the flow regime between Joe Bay and Snag Bay. From May to June 2005 flow was predominately from Snag Bay to Joe Bay, whereas from June to September 2005, flow was from Joe Bay to Snag Bay. In August 2005, the flow direction changed dramatically due to Hurricane Katrina and as a result, a substantial amount of water was transported from Joe Bay to Snag Bay.
  9. Hyper-salinity update McCormick Creek is the most western station in the northeastern Florida Bay monitoring network and is an indicator of salinity conditions in central Florida Bay. Conversely, West Highway Creek, located in Long Sound near US-1 just south of the C-111 Canal, is in close proximity to overland flow due to water management operations. A comparison of mean monthly salinities allowed for the assessment of the distribution of salinity within the study area. To reiterate, mean monthly salinities at McCormick Creek were greater than 35 ppt 7 out of the last 11 years while mean monthly salinities at West Highway Creek were greater than 35 ppt 3 out of the last 11 years. A duration curve of mean monthly salinities indicates that median mean monthly salinity at West Highway Creek for years 1996-2001 versus years 2002-2006 has increased from 8.5 ppt to 16.3 ppt (Fig. 6). Mean monthly salinities at West Highway Creek have been greater than 35.0 ppt in years 2004, 2005, and 2006 as bay wide conditions were more than likely hypersaline.
graph showing percentage of flow (distribution) and total flow to northeastern Florida, years 1996 to 2007
Figure 5: Percentage of flow (distribution) and total flow to northeastern Florida, years 1996 to 2007. [larger image]


graph of duration curves at McCormick Creek and West Highway Creek; an assessment of hyper-salinity for years 1996 to 2006
Figure 6: Duration curves at McCormick Creek and West Highway Creek; an assessment of hyper-salinity for years 1996 to 2006. [larger image]

Status: On-going

Recent Products: (1) Published unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature are available from 1996 to 2006. Data is available on SOFIA at http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/zucker_woods_patino/index.html; (2) Published unit values of water level, specific conductance, and temperature for ground water stations (G-3776, G-3777, G-3764, G-3763, MO-198, MO-199, and MO-211) from water year 2002 to current; (3) Published fact sheet (FS2004-3129) “Hydrologic Characteristics of Estuarine River Systems within Everglades National Park.” (http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/fs/2004/3129/) (4) Clickable map of the coastal network real-time data for scientists and resource managers available on SOFIA; (5) Abstract and poster titled "Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay" was presented at the 2005 Florida Bay Conference (Shoemaker and others, 2005); (6) Circular article for the special estuaries addition on the 2004 hurricane season (Woods and others, draft available); (7) Abstract and poster titled "Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine and Joe Bay Estuarine Creek Data, 2001-2005" (Zucker and others, 2006) and [abstract and poster titled] "Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine Creek Response During the 2004-05 Hurricane Season" (Woods and others, 2006) was presented at the 2006 GEER Conference in June 2006; (8) Contracted USGS National Mapping Division to verify and establish elevations at four gaging stations (B Glover, USGS, pers. commun., 2007) (9) Provisional nutrient loading data at West Highway Creek provided to SFWMD for the assessment of algal blooms in Florida Bay (South Florida Water Management District, 2006) (10) Abstract prepared in collaboration with Steve Davis at Texas A&M University for an LTER Scientists Conference (Davis and others, 2006) (11) Updated Florida Bay metadata posted on SOFIA; (12) Abstract and poster titled "A comparison of rated discharge at Jewfish Creek using a 0.5 MHz and a 1.5 MHz Argonaut-SL using different sampling volumes" presented at the 2007 National Surface Water Conference and Hydroacoustics Workshop, April 2007.

Planned Products: (1) Publish unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature for water year 2007 available on SOFIA no later than April 2008; (2) Collaborative journal article using flow data from Freshwater Flows to Florida Bay Project and water-quality data collected by the Coastal Gradients Project titled "Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay" (in preparation); (3) Journal article titled "Spatial and temporal salinity patterns in Joe Bay, Everglades National Park" (in preparation); (4) Data Series Report or Open File Report documenting the 2001-2006 published data set; (4) Continued rating development at the recently installed East Creek in Little Madeiria Bay and Alligator Creek to evaluate the utility of hydrologic correlation and implications of total flow to Florida Bay; (5) Install, maintain and provide real-time wind data at three wetlands sites; (6) An abstract titled "Nutrient loading at Card Sound Canal; a tidally driven canal that experiences highly stratified, bidirectional flow conditions" was recently approved for presentation at the USGS National Water-Quality Workshop at Galveston, Texas, November 5-9, 2007; (7) Manuscripts from Water Resources Data for Florida, 2006, Volume 2A: South Florida Surface Water USGS Water-Data Report FL-06-2A will be posted on the SOFIA; (8) Continue collaboration with Ken Odom on the optimization of the coastal monitoring network. A scope of work for this project has been disseminated and deliverable in fiscal year 2008 includes a journal article discussing the statistical analysis of the collected data.

WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Gaging Freshwater Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay
Task Funding: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES), USACE C-111 Project
Task Leaders: Mark Zucker, Jeff Woods
Phone: 954-377-5952, 954-377-5950
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High
Budget and Time Frame for Task 1:
Task Personnel: Christian Lopez, Shane Ploos, Carrie Boudreau, Stephen Huddleston
Task Summary and Objectives: Task 1 is the continuation of measuring freshwater flow from the Everglades wetlands into northeastern Florida Bay. Flow, water-level, salinity and temperature data are collected in real-time at monitoring sites in estuarine creeks and data are transmitted via satellite to the Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC) Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

The task objectives are to: (1) determine the quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow through estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay (the Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study (p. 77), (2) provide real-time physical data to Everglades/Florida Bay modelers and researchers (Additional Water to Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study (p. 74), and (3) advance acoustic methods and technology for gaging estuarine creeks.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Data collection includes continuous 15-minute interval measurements of water level, water velocity, salinity, and temperature data and periodic measurements of discharge for acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADVM) calibrations (Table 1). Field data at the instrumented sites are recorded by an electronic data logger and transmitted every 1 to 4 hours by way of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) into the database of FISC Ft. Lauderdale office. Non-transmitting stations include East Creek, Joe Bay 1E, Joe Bay 5C, and Joe Bay 8W, and Alligator Creek. Discharge measurements will be performed at East Creek in Little Madeira Bay to continue rating development. East Creek, a previously non-gaged station, was instrumented with an ADVM that incorporates an up-looking acoustic beam. The goal is to compute discharge at East Creek and compare the results against regression-determined discharge.

Boat mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) are used to measure discharge (Table 1). The ADCP uses the Doppler shift in returned acoustic signals reflected by particles suspended in the water to determine the velocity of moving water. Discharge and flow direction are calculated using the Doppler software package. The mean channel water velocity is calculated by dividing the ADCP determined discharge by the cross-sectional area determined by the water level at the time of measurement. The cross-sectional area is computed by using the site-specific stage-area ratings, which are a function of water level. Water-level data are collected with an incremental shaft encoder equipped with a pulley, stainless-steel tape, weight, and float inside an 8-in. (inch) polyvinyl chloride pipe stilling well. Water level also is collected using pressure sensors and vertical acoustic transducers.

Salinity and temperature data are collected with YSI instrumentation (i.e. 600R, LS, OMS). During routine station visits, these in-situ instruments are cleaned and verified with laboratory standards. Fouling and electronic errors are documented and corrections are applied accordingly. Storage, processing, and publication of continuous monitoring data follow USGS guidelines (Sauer. 2002; Wagner and others, 2000, 2006). A reference instrument (YSI) is used during each field trip to verify in-situ salinities and temperatures. The reference thermistor is checked against a NIST laboratory certified thermometer prior to each field trip. Additional field methods have been described by Hittle and others (2001), Hittle and others (2004), and by Zucker at (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/patino/methodflow.html).

Specific Task Product(s): Published unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature for water year 2006 will be available on SOFIA by April 2007. Manuscripts will be published in the USGS Annual Data Report and posted on SOFIA. Index velocity rating development and verification will focus on East Creek, Joe Bay 2E, Joe Bay 8W, East Highway Creek, and Jewfish Creek. For example, a 13-hour ADCP field test is planned (1) to verify the existing ADVM velocity rating prior to discontinuation, and (2) to develop the index velocity rating the newly deployed long-range ADVM. An on-line Open File Report or Data Series Report will be published in fiscal year 2008 that documents the data published from 2001 to 2006. A journal article titled “Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay” is currently in preparation. Personnel plan to attend the National Water-Quality Workshop at Galveston, Texas, November 5-9, 2007 as well as other conferences as opportunities arise.

Title of Task 2: Network Optimization Project in Southern Florida
Task Funding: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES)
Task Leaders: Ken Odom, Mark Zucker, Jeff Woods, Ed Patino
Phone: 954-377-5952, 954-377-5950
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High
Budget and Time Frame for Task 1:
Task Summary and Objectives: Objectives include (1) Data gathering of historical data, site information, GIS information, and other qualitative information required for the optimization; (2) Statistical analysis including descriptive statistics, principle components, cluster analysis, and discriminant analysis; (3) Network Optimization using simulated annealing; (4) Temporal Optimization; (5) Report focusing on methods and statistical analysis utilized in the study and an interpretive report on the optimization study.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: The three major tasks to be completed in fiscal year 2008 include the continuation of data gathering (historical data, site information, GIS data, qualitative data), begin the statistical analysis, and complete the first report focusing on methods and statistical analysis.

Specific Task Product(s): An on-line Open-File Report or journal article discussing the statistical analysis or site scoring based on statistics.

References

Conrads, P.A., Roehl, E., 2005, Analysis of the process physics of tributaries to Florida Bay using artificial neural networks and three-dimensional response surfaces in Proceedings from the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Conference, Hawk's Cay Resort, December 11-14, 2005.

Criales, M.M., and others, 2003, Postlarval Transport of Pink Shrimp into Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-54.

Davis, S.E. III, Cable, J.E., Childers, D.L., Coronado-Molina, Carlos., Day, J.W., Hittle, C.D., Madden, C.J., Reyes, E., Rudnick, D., and Sklar, F., 2004, Importance of storm events in controlling ecosystem structure and function in a Florida Gulf Coast estuary: Journal of Coastal Research, v. 20, no. 3, p. 263-273.

Davis, S., Childers, C., Rugge, M., Woods, Jeff, and Zucker, Mark, 2006, Hurricane/storm driven hydrology and materials exchange in the estuarine transition zone of the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) in Proceedings from the 2006 LTER All Scientists Conference at Estes Park, Colorado (September 20 - 23, 2006).

Hittle, C.D., 2000, Magnitude and Distribution of Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 030-00, 4 p.

Hittle, C.D., Patino, Eduardo, and Zucker, Mark, 2001, Freshwater flow from estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 01-4164, 32 p.

Hittle, C.D., Zucker, Mark, 2004, Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine Creek Data, Water Years 1996-2000: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series Report 105.

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