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Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES

Fiscal Year 2008 Study Work Plan

Study Title: Effect of Sheet Flow on Transport of Suspended Particles and Particle-Associated Nutrients in the Everglades Ridge and Slough Landscape: Phase II
Study Start Date: Phase I began October 2003   Study End Date: Phase II ends September 2010
Web Sites: http://water.usgs.gov/nrp/jharvey/sfstpt/; http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/susparticles/; http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/wtr_flux/; http://sofia.usgs.gov/sfrsf/entdisplays/waterlevels/; http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/harvey/harveyDATA.html; http://water.usgs.gov/nrp/jharvey/site/index.html
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Northern, Central, and Southern Everglades (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade)
Funding Source: GE PES
Other Complementary Funding Source(s): None
Funding History: Phase I: FY04; FY05; FY06; FY07
Principal Investigator(s): Jud Harvey (USGS-NRP, Reston), Greg Noe (USGS-NRP, Reston), and Ray Schaffranek (USGS-NRP, Emeritus)
Study Personnel: Laurel Larsen (NRC postdoctoral associate), Dan Nowacki (USGS-Reston), Jeffrey Woods, (USGS-FISC, Ft. Lauderdale), Leanna Westfall (ETI-Reston), and Lauren McPhillips (ETI-Reston)
Supporting Organizations: USGS, SFWMD, NPS/Everglades National Park
Associated / Linked Studies:
Tides and Inflows at the Mangrove Ecotone (TIME): http://time.er.usgs.gov/;
Integrated Geochemical Studies in the Everglades: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/wetland_seds/, http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/evergl_merc/;
Freshwater Flows into Florida Bay: http://sflwww.er.usgs.gov/projects/freshwtr_flow/;
Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research: http://fcelter.fiu.edu/

Overview & Objective(s):

A primary directive in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is to restore Everglades hydrology toward pre-drainage conditions in a manner that will successfully restore landscape topographic heterogeneity and the associated high biodiversity while also protecting water quality. Central to CERP is the project that will restore sheet flow and hydrologic connectivity in much of the Everglades, referred to as the Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheet Flow Enhancement project (DECOMP). DECOMP is the primary strategy planned to reverse the deleterious effects of past management practices that led to loss of diversity in Everglades landscape patterns (i.e., losses of ridge and slough and tree island topographic features and associated losses of diversity in flora and fauna).

Increasing numbers of scientists and stakeholders believe that sheet flow and sediment transport processes are a key driver controlling Everglades landscape function. Beginning about four years ago the Science Coordination Team (2003), the National Park Service (Crisfield and McVoy, 2004), National Research Council (National Research Council, 2003), and the Department of Interior (DOI, 2005), all wisely recommended that research be conducted to determine how changing the amount and distribution sheet flow in a "restored" Everglades will influence landscape characteristics. Over the past five years communication between the scientific community at USGS, SFWMD, NPS and Universities (FIU, FAU, UF) has improved markedly. Workshops have been run to develop detailed conceptual models of Everglades landscape dynamics with specific testable hypotheses (Harvey and Sklar, 2006). In addition, DECOMP Physical Model (DPM) Design Subteam meetings are underway to plan a 3-year, landscape scale test of restoration concepts. Our expertise in measurement and modeling of flow and transport processes has made USGS an integral part of workshops, DPM design team meetings, the Interagency Modeling Review Committee for DECOMP (November 2006 - February 2007) and more.

This workplan by the USGS Sheetflow and Sediment Transport Processes Team outlines some of the key remaining scientific questions that require answers if the restoration's objective of "restoring and reconnecting flows to preserve topographic heterogeneity and biotic diversity in the Everglades ridge and slough landscape while protecting water quality" is to be achieved. Our overall objective is to conduct the needed field experiments to quantify the relative importance of hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes to help determine the most effective means of preserving and restoring topographic heterogeneity and biotic diversity of the Everglades Ridge and Slough Landscape.

A growing concern is that augmenting Everglades sheet flow to benefit the hydrology of certain downstream areas could have unintended consequences to other areas, such as transporting surface-water contaminants farther into the central and southern parts of the Everglades ecosystem than ever before. Therefore, an important specific objective is to determine how far downstream suspended sediments and associated nutrients will be transported as a result of reconnected hydrology and higher sheetflow velocities.

Additional scientific questions that must be answered to support DECOMP include:

  • How do the characteristic ridge and slough topographic variation and its associated vegetation patterns influence the sources, transport rates, rates of interception, and storage residence times of suspended particulates and nutrients?
  • What are relative roles of transport of fine suspended particulate matter and coarser flocculent benthic organic matter (floc) in suspended sediment and phosphorus budgets in Everglades wetlands?
  • To what extent will sources, concentrations, and transport distances of suspended sediments and nutrients in Everglades wetlands be altered by DECOMP? Will increased sheet flow velocities or the extent of canal backfilling after levee removal be the more important driver of changes in transport?
  • What flow velocities are necessary to entrain and redistribute sediment in the ridge and slough landscape?

It will be necessary to answer all of the above questions to determine the most critical hydrological and biological factors that sustain the topographic heterogeneity of ridge and sloughs, and to effectively plan and manage the changes brought about by DECOMP. The results from these scientific investigations are also needed in order to anticipate possible unintended side-effects of restoration activities that may accompany the positive effects of restoration. Our ultimate goal, in other words, is to meet the Science Coordination team's challenge (SCT, 2003) of providing the level of scientific knowledge needed to protect both Everglades landscape conditions and water quality though adaptive management of "DECOMPARTMENTALIZED" flows.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Identified Information Needs:

Our proposed experiments and modeling are fundamental to building a reliable predictive capability of how the Everglades will respond to the restoration's higher flows. The multi-agency Science Coordination Team of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (http://www.sfrestore.org/) asserted the need for research on interactions between flow and ecological processes in the Everglades (Science Coordination Team, 2003). Furthermore, the National Research Council reports a lack of understanding of the role of flow as a factor contributing to landscape changes in the Everglades (National Research Council, 2003). The Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP) of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) (http://www.evergladesplan.org) also calls for the need of background information on sheet flow behavior for effective restoration assessment. The need for investigations of interactions between flow and water quality is also identified as needed priority research in multiple sections of the Science Plan of the Department of Interior (2005). The research also follows the DOI Science plan's main recommendation by directly addressing the following CERP Interim Goals (3.2-Sheet Flow in Natural Areas, 3.3-Hydropattern, 3.5-Everglades Wetlands Total Phosphorus, and 3.7-Ridge and Slough Pattern). The proposed combination of empirical and modeling research supports several of the critical information needs identified by the National Academy of Science and DOI's Science Plan. For example, the National Academy of Sciences has emphasized the importance of sediment transport to understanding and restoring the Everglades (NRC, 2003), while the DOI Science Plan highlights the need to understand the influence of hydrology on nutrient and contaminant transport and cycling (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2005). While our proposed work addresses fundamental questions that are relevant to management questions throughout the Everglades, at the same time it also addresses key site-specific CERP projects mentioned in the DOI Science plan. These critical CERP projects include the WCA-3A Decompartmentalization (DECOMP) Project and Tamiami Trail Bridge Expansion projects, in addition to broader projects related to preservation of landscape structure (e.g. Landscape-Scale Modeling Study and Ridge and Slough Performance Standards), and changing water quality and the need for more modern water-quality performance standards in the Everglades (e.g. Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Feasibility Study). Finally, the information gained on suspended sediment and nutrient transport will aid critical modeling efforts that support the Loxahatchee Internal Canal Structures Project. In conclusion, our proposed work supports no less than six of the key projects identified by DOI as critical to the success of the Everglades restoration.

Products of the USGS Sheetflow and Sediment Transport Processes Team:

Davis, S.E. III, Childers, D.L., and Noe, G.B. 2006. The contribution of leaching to the rapid release of nutrients and carbon in the early decay of oligotrophic wetland vegetation. Hydrobiologia 569: 87-97.

Gaiser, E. E., Trexler, J., Richards, J., Childers, D., Lee, D., Edwards, A.L., Scinto, L., Jayachandran, K., Noe, G., and Jones, R. 2005. Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades. Journal of Environmental Quality 34: 717-723.

Harvey, J.W., Krupa, S.L., and Krest, J.M. 2004. Ground water recharge and discharge in the central Everglades. Ground Water 42(7):1090-1102.

Harvey, J.W., Newlin, J.T., and Krest, J.M., Choi, J., Nemeth, E.A., and Krupa, S.L. 2005. Surface water and ground water interactions in Water Conservation Area 2A, Central Everglades. USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5069. 88p.

Harvey, J.W., Saiers, J.E., and Newlin, J.T. 2005. Solute transport and storage mechanisms in wetlands of the Everglades, South Florida. Water Resources Research, 41, W05009, doi:10.129/2004WR003507.

Harvey, J.W., Newlin, J.T., and Krupa, S.L. 2006. Modeling decadal timescale interactions between surface water and ground water in the central Everglades, Florida, USA. Journal of Hydrology 320: 400-420.

Harvey, J.W., Noe, G.B., Schaffranek, R.W., Saiers, J.E., Huang, Y.H., and Larsen, L.G. 2006. Understanding linkages between sheet flow and suspended sediment transport processes in the ridge and slough landscape. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER), June 5-9, 2006, Lake Buena Vista, FL, p. 92.

Harvey, J.W. and Sklar, F. 2006. WORKSHOP: Development of a Conceptual Model for Ridge and Slough Landscape Dynamics. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER), June 5-9, 2006, Lake Buena Vista, FL, p. 91.

Huang, Y.H., Saiers, J.E., Harvey, J.W., and Noe, G.B. 2006. Particle transport through surface waters of the Florida Everglades. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER), June 5-9, 2006, Lake Buena Vista, FL, p. 99.

Huang, Y.H, Saiers, J.E., Harvey, J.W., Noe, G.B., and Mylon, S., 2007, Advection, Dispersion, and Filtration of Fine Particles within Emergent Vegetation of the Florida Everglades, Submitted to Water Resources Research, July 2007.

Larsen, L.G., and Harvey, J.W. 2006. Feedbacks between differential peat accretion and anabranching river mechanics in the ridge and slough landscape. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER), June 5-9, 2006, Lake Buena Vista, FL, p. 128.

Larsen, L.G., Harvey, J.W., and Crimaldi, J.P., 2007. A delicate balance: ecohydrological feedbacks governing landscape morphology in a lotic peatland. Ecological Monographs, 2007.

McCormick, P.V. and Harvey, J.W., 2007. Influence of Changing Water Sources and Mineral Chemistry on the Everglades Ecosystem. U.S. Geological Survey Administrative Report, 67 p.

Noe, G.B., Scinto, L.J., Taylor, J., Childers, D.L., and Jones, R.D. 2003. Phosphorus cycling and partitioning in an oligotrophic Everglades wetland ecosystem: a radioisotope tracing study. Freshwater Biology 48(11):1993-2008.

Noe, G.B., Harvey, J.W., Schaffranek, R.W., Saiers, J.E., and Larsen, L.G. 2006. Spatiotemporal variation in the characteristics of suspended particles in the Everglades: implications for the ridge and slough landscape. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER), June 5-9, 2006, Lake Buena Vista, FL, p. 158.

Noe, G.B., Harvey, J.W., and Saiers, J.E. 2007. Characterization of suspended particles in Everglades wetlands. Limnology & Oceanography. 52: 1166-1178. (3.5 MB PDF file available from the Water Resources of the United States website. PDF files require the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader ® to be read.)

Noe, G.B., and Childers, D.L. 2007. Phosphorus budgets in Everglades wetland ecosystems: The effects of hydrology and nutrient enrichment. Wetlands Ecology and Management 15: 189-205.

Saiers, J.E., Harvey, J.W., and Mylon, S.E. 2003. Surface-water transport of suspended matter through wetland vegetation of the Florida Everglades. Geophysical Research Letters 30(19), 1987, doi:10.1029/2003GL018132.

Schaffranek, R.W. 2004. Sheet-flow velocities and factors affecting sheet-flow behavior of importance to restoration of the Florida Everglades, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004-3123, 4 p. http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/pubs/fs/fs20043123

Schaffranek, R.W., and Riscassi, A.L. 2004. Flow velocity, water temperature, and conductivity at selected locations in Shark River Slough, Everglades National Park, Florida: July 1999-July 2003, U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 110. http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/ds110/

Schaffranek, R.W., Harvey, J.W., Noe, G.B., Riscassi, A.L., Nowacki, D.J., and Larsen, L.G. 2006. Sheet flow in the ridge and slough landscape of Everglades Water Conservation Area 3A, Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER), June 5-9, 2006, Lake Buena Vista, FL, p. 197.

Schaffranek, R.W., Riscassi, A.L., and Nowacki, D.J. 2006. Flow simulation in Everglades National Park, Third Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conf., April 2-6, 2006, Reno, NV, 8 p.

WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Effect of Water Flow on Transport of Solutes, Suspended Particles, and Particle-Associated Nutrients in the Everglades: Phase II
Task Funding:
USGS Priority Ecosystems Science
Task Leaders: Jud Harvey (USGS-NRP, Reston), Greg Noe (USGS-NRP, Reston), Ray Schaffranek (USGS-NRP, Emeritus)
Phone: (703) 648-5876
FAX: (703) 648-5484
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 1: October 2007- September 2010
Task Personnel: Laurel Larsen (NRC postdoctoral associate), Dan Nowacki (USGS-Reston), Jeffrey Woods, (USGS-FISC, Ft. Lauderdale), Leanna Westfall (ETI-Reston), and Lauren McPhillips (ETI-Reston)

Task Summary and Objectives: See Overview and Objectives above

Overview and Relevance:

The Science Coordination Team (2003) and National Research Council (2003) strongly recommended that research be undertaken to better understand the processes controlling the origin and maintenance of the ridge and slough landscape of the central Everglades. The reason is to better understand how the high biodiversity and landscape pattern complexity that is characteristic of Everglades ridge and slough was maintained in the predrainage Everglades, and how it can most efficiently be restored in degraded areas. The present distribution of ridge and slough habitats indicates substantial areas of degradation, especially in the northern and eastern marginal areas of the Everglades. Degradation is thought to have been brought about through a complex set of processes during the past century as a result of water management practices that emphasized flood control and water storage rather than protection of ecosystem characteristics and function. Two of the important drivers that are hypothesized to be at the root of landscape change were the slowing of sheetflow velocities, and excessive levels of nutrients in runoff from outside entering the Everglades by canal inputs.

The key question we will address in the FY08 experiments is "how do sources, characteristics, rates of transport, and entrainment of organic particles (and associated nutrients) vary with sheetflow velocity and flow environment (ridge or slough)". The relative importance of fine suspended particles versus coarser flocculent benthic organic particles (floc) to material transport and redistribution under different flow conditions is a key issue for understanding the historic Everglades and planning restoration. Floc stores a much larger mass of sediment and phosphorus than suspended fine particles (Noe and Childers, 2007), and therefore could play a larger role in downstream and ridge-slough transport … if it moves. Most particles in suspension under current, ambient flow are relatively fine with very low concentrations of larger, floc sized particles (Noe et al, in prep.) However, very little is known about the transport characteristics of floc. Laboratory flume experiments indicate that the larger size of floc particles results in higher critical flow velocities for entrainment and transport compared to fine particles (Larsen et al, in preparation). However, the sheetflow velocities in the field that result in greater entrainment rates of fine particles and floc remain unknown.

All of our investigations are planned in a way that will maximize support of the critical science needs for the following four projects in the DOI Everglades Science Plan: (1) Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement, (2) Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR (WCA-1) Internal Canal Structures, (3) Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Feasibility Study, and (4) Landscape-Scale Modeling Study. A noteworthy new development in 2006 was the South Florida Water Management District's and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' recognition that a physical model is needed to help adaptively guide DECOMP. The DECOMP Physical Model (DPM) is a 3-year landscape-scale experiment that will test the interactions between increased sheetflow, sediment and nutrient transport, and response of downstream biogeochemistry and plant and fish communities. Over the past year and a half our USGS team has actively contributed to SFWMD's and USACE's DPM design.

Background:

The Sheetflow and Sediment Transport Processes project of the U.S. Geological Survey is a combined effort of the hydrology, transport processes, and biogeochemical research of Harvey, Noe, and Schaffranek. The team began its investigations in 2003 to identify the critical hydrologic, chemical, and biologic linkages that have shaped both the pre-drainage Everglades and the current landscape. This information is necessary for understanding the critical factors that sustain the ridge and slough landscape and ecosystem function, and is also necessary for predicting some of the intended outcomes and unintended side-effects of restoration activities that may accompany increases in flow and hydrologic connectivity. Products include interpretive reports, data sets, and modeling parameters that will guide the improvement of water flow models, constituent transport models, and water quality models that will in the future be used to adaptively manage the restoration.

Methods to quantify sheetflow velocities in the Everglades using acoustic Doppler methods have only recently been made reliable and have demonstrated that relatively low velocities now characterize even the areas with relatively well preserved ridge and slough characteristics (Shaffranek and others, 2004). Excessive phosphorus is now stored within Everglades soils at "hotspots" near the canals that have been the principal conduits for water and excessive levels of dissolved constituents, including nutrients. Hydrologic tracer experiments recently quantified transport rates of solutes and suspended particles in the Everglades (Saiers and others, 2003, Harvey and others, 2005), and demonstrated that certain subsets of the native Everglades plant communities exhibit very high retention rates by storing solutes and intercepting suspended particulates. Recent estimates suggest that the movement of phosphorus from those storage locations in soil hotspots back into the flowing surface waters now exceeds the inputs of "new" phosphorus from outside the system (Noe and Childers, 2007). Noe and others (2003) first identified the strong association between suspended particles in the water column and phosphorus cycling in Everglades wetlands. Following that work, Noe and others (2007) quantified suspended sediment and particulate phosphorus concentrations across the Everglades. However, very little is known at present about how quickly solutes and suspended particulates could spread to downstream areas under the restoration's goal of restored sheetflow velocities. We are using the concept of phosphorus spiraling, which incorporates different rates of hydrologic transport and biogeochemical reactions for particles and solutes, to help guide our research.

Up to now our team has focused its experimental research at two research sites: northern Shark Slough, and more recently, at site 3A-5 in north central Water Conservation Area 3A, an area that has proved to be an excellent "reference" site for measuring transport rates and processes in remnant conditions where ridge and slough topography is relatively well preserved. This research is providing perspective on pre-drainage conditions which is critical to understanding the flow-topography-sediment interactions that occurred in the historic flow regime and topography of the Everglades. Among our accomplishments is developing the techniques that will be applied in the near future to characterize flow and transport conditions in areas possessing more degraded landscape characteristics. If ridge and slough landscape features are to be optimally restored by DECOMP and CERP, research needs to be undertaken at both "remnant" and "degraded" sites to test hypotheses across the gradients in hydrologic connectivity and differing degrees of topographic degradation and eutrophication.

Starting in FY08 our investigations of "reference" conditions at our WCA-3A-5 will be supplemented by adding "first response" research sites in WCA-3B, where we will have the ability to test our predictions within the framework of the Decompartmentalization Physical Model's (DPM's) landscape-scale manipulation of sheet flow in an area of degraded landscape characteristics. Those sites will possess substantially degraded ridge and slough topography and will be located downstream of where substantial levee removal is expected to take place (i.e., WCA-3B). Preliminary planning is already underway for the DPM, a long-term, landscape-scale experiment. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) are taking the lead in planning DPM with Florida International University (FIU) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) participating as research partners. The overall purpose of DPM is to test hydrologic and ecosystem-level responses to opening of large gaps in levees and filling of canals at a large but manageable experimental scale. The USGS role will be to conduct the experimental and modeling work to assess how increased sheetflow across various levels of levee removal and canal backfill designs perform in terms of transport of sediments and associated nutrients to downstream areas. A 3-year test period is planned which will not only reveal the first response characteristics of levee removal and increased sheetflow, but which will establish the sites and protocols for further evaluation in later years to assess the long term geomorphic and ecosystem-level changes that can be expected over a large proportion of the central Everglades after DECOMP is fully implemented. DPM's implementation schedule has been slowed for several reasons, including the need for an Environmental Impact Statement. FY08 will therefore largely be a year of DPM planning and DPM activities will ramp up quickly in FY09. Meanwhile important additional scientific tasks remain for FY08 relating to DECOMP and DPM that can be best accomplished at reference site WCA-3A-5.

Detailed Plan:

After first developing our tracer experimental methods in Shark Slough (Saiers and others, 2003; Harvey and others, 2005) and our methods for suspended particle sampling in a cross-system comparison of the Water Conservation Areas and Everglades National Park (Noe and others, 2007), we have most recently focused our attention on measuring flow and sediment transport in the ridge and slough environments of Water Conservation Area 3 as they relate to flow velocity, vegetation type and density, and sources of water to WCA3 (e.g. precipitation and structure inflows). Modeling is underway to interpret the controlling processes on velocity and shear stress as they differ within ridge and slough plant communities (Harvey and others and Larsen and others, in preparation) and effects of flow, meteorological conditions, and vegetation communities on suspended particle abundance, sources, size distribution, and phosphorus content (Noe and others, in preparation); This information is critical for improving the modeling of the cycling and transport of dissolved and particulate contaminants in the Everglades.

In FY08 we will build upon our previous work by quantifying the entrainment, transport, biogeochemistry, and sources of suspended particles under a range of experimental flow velocities . Our previous experiments have helped us develop the experimental design (induced flow up to 300 gallons per minute in flumes 1-m wide by 10-m long, tracer injection methods, and particle characterization methods) that will make experimentation possible across a range of flow conditions (from 0.5 -6 cm per second) that represent the range of conditions across pre-drainage and modern flow conditions, as well as future scenarios brought about by DECOMP. The most important improvement in the planned experiments is the use of an underwater camera and a Sequoia Scientific LISST-100X laser diffraction particle size analyzer (LISST-100x) to detect movement of natural suspended particulates rather than the fluorescent or mineral "model" particles that we introduced in previous experiments with our Yale University colleagues (Saiers and others, 2003; Huang and others, 2007). Use of natural particles in these experiments is essential to reliably characterize "entrainment" of suspended particulates under the naturally complex conditions of mixed particle sizes that arise from several different sources of organic matter (e.g., fine suspended vs. coarse floc). Of particular importance is determining the threshold conditions of sheetflow velocity and bed shear stress that cause entrainment of floc, and determining whether and under what flow conditions those particles will experience a net redistribution from slough to ridge. We will also test the ability of spectral analysis of suspended material and other ecosystem components (floc, peat, different forms of periphyton, macrophytes) to identify the source(s) of suspended material under the different experimental flow velocities in ridge and slough. Visible and near-infrared reflectance spesctroscopy has been used to differentiate plant communities in the Everglades for remote sensing (John Jones, USGS, personal communication) and to assess wetland soil characteristics in general (Cohen and others, 2005). We will conduct preliminary sampling to evaluate the ability of this method to distinguish the potential sources of particles and develop spectral source mixing models for suspended particles, and then possibly apply the method in the flow experiments. Finally, in addition to measuring changes in suspended sediment concentrations, flux, and sources across the experimental flow velocities, we will also quantify the forms of phosphorus associated with fine suspended particles and floc through sequential chemical extractions. Understanding the quality of entrained sediment is necessary to predict its fate at downstream locations of retention.

Modeling will be used to interpret the results of tracer experiments, with the goal to produce a fundamental set of transport parameters representing the role of fine suspended particles, floc, and storage of water and solutes in relatively slow-moving areas of thick vegetation and subsurface pore water. Eventually we expect that our modeling concepts and parameter sets will be implemented in the more comprehensive water-quality models and landscape ecosystem models (such as DMSTA, ELM, and TIME) that are being used to adaptively guide the restoration. In this way the knowledge gained from our detailed experiments will be "scaled-up" for application at larger spatial scales and at longer temporal scales. If successful, we envision the incorporation of our parameters into model applications throughout the Everglades.

The results of our research in FY08 will provide crucial information for accurate predictions of the microtopography and water quality effects of restoration projects such as the WCA-3A Decompartmentalization Project and Tamiami Trail bridge expansion. This research is fundamental to levee-gap and canal backfilling designs that will allow DECOMP to move forward and be adaptively managed. Results will also be highly relevant to answering key questions associated with changing landscape characteristics in the Everglades (e.g. Landscape-Scale Modeling Study, Ridge and Slough Performance Standards), as well as all projects concerned with changing water quality and the need for more modern water-quality performance standards in the Everglades (e.g. Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Feasibility Study). The information gained on particle and solute transport will also aid critical modeling efforts that support the Loxahatchee Internal Canal Structures Project. Finally, the techniques that we are developing for quantifying the biogeochemical and physical characteristics, ecosystem sources, and transport processes of suspended and benthic sediment will be readily applied to the DPM landscape experiment when it begins.

FY08 Specific Task Product(s): [List and include expected delivery date(s).]

Contributions to Everglades Research Community:

Members and active participants, DECOMP Physical Model (DPM) Subteam, monthly subteam meetings

SFWMD Workshop on Everglades peat accretion, fall 2007

SFWMD sponsored retreat to develop scientific plan for DECOMP Physical Model (DPM), October 2007

Presentation and workshop leadership at GEER Meeting (pending)

Publications:

Harvey, J.W., and others. Hydrologic and ecological factors influencing flow velocity in the patterned floodplain landscape of the Everglades, south Florida (in preparation, September 2007).

Larsen, L.G., Harvey, J.W., and Crimaldi, J.P., 2007. A delicate balance: ecohydrological feedbacks governing landscape morphology in a lotic peatland. Ecological Monographs, 2007.

Larsen, L.G., Harvey, J.W., Crimaldi, J.P., and Noe, G.B., Flocculent sediment transport dynamics in an organoclastic wetland environment. (in preparation, September 2007)

Larsen, L.G., Aiken, G.R., Harvey, J.W., Noe, G., and Crimaldi, J.P., Resolution of small-scale variability in organic matter source and redox state with fluorescence spectroscopy in a subtropical peatland, Florida Everglades, (in preparation, September 2007).

McCormick, P., and Harvey, J., in preparation. Influence of changing waters sources and mineral chemistry on the Everglades ecosystem (currently available as an administrative report to provide scientific input Loxahatchee Internal Canal Structures Project, next to be summarized in a journal paper)

Noe, G.B., and others. Hydrologic, meteorological, and plant community controls on suspended particle characteristics and transport in a subtropical wetland (in preparation, August 2007).

Huang, Y.H, Saiers, J.E., Harvey, J.W., Noe, G.B., and Mylon, S., 2007, Advection, dispersion, and filtration of fine particles within emergent vegetation of the Florida Everglades, submitted to Water Resources Research, June 2007.

Goals for FY09 and FY10:

  • Quantify sheetflow and suspended particle characteristics at a DECOMP early response site in WCA-3B. Ideally this will be accomplished in collaboration with SFWMD, NPS, and FIU as part of the DECOMP physical model test in WCA-3B.
  • Evaluate effects of DECOMP physical model tests of canal and levee alterations on hydrologic and sediment transport processes, including a further evaluation of spectral analysis to identify sources of suspended sediment under ambient and enhanced flow velocities.
  • Develop models of water, sediment, and phosphorus transport relevant to DECOMPARTMENTALIZATION that incorporate phosphorus spiraling as it relates to maintaining ridge and slough topographic variability and biodiversity while also protecting water quality.

Expected Results and Significance:

DOI's Science Plan (2005) highlights the need to understand the influence of hydrology on nutrient and contaminant transport and cycling. The National Academy of Sciences has also emphasized the importance of sediment transport to understanding and restoring the Everglades. Our proposed experiments and modeling are fundamental to building a reliable predictive capability of how the Everglades will respond to the restoration's higher flows. Our proposed combination of empirical and modeling research will support several of the critical information needs identified by the National Academy of Science and DOI Everglades Science Plan. First, this work has direct bearing on projects such as the WCA-3A Decompartmentalization Project, and Tamiami Trail Bridge Expansion projects, but it is also highly relevant to all projects related to preservation of landscape structure (e.g. Landscape-Scale Modeling Study and Ridge and Slough Performance Standards), as well as all projects concerned with changing water quality and the need for more modern water-quality performance standards in the Everglades (e.g. Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Feasibility Study). Our study will identify the critical hydrologic, chemical, and biologic linkages that have shaped both the pre-drainage Everglades and the current landscape. This information is necessary for understanding the critical factors that sustain the ridge and slough landscape and ecosystem function, and is also necessary for predicting some of the unintended side-effects of restoration activities that may accompany increases in flow and hydrologic connectivity (a focus identified as important by both DOI and the National Academy of Science). Finally, the information gained on particle and solute transport will aid critical modeling efforts that support the Loxahatchee Internal Canal Structures Project. In conclusion, our proposed work will support key science needs for no less than six of the projects identified by DOI as critical to the success of the Everglades restoration.

References Cited:

Cohen, M.J., Prenger, J.P., and DeBusk, W.F. 2005. Visible-near infrared reflectance spectroscopy for rapid, nondestructive assessment of wetland soil quality. Journal of Environmental Quality 34: 1422-1434.

Crisfield, E., and McVoy, C. 2004. Role of flow-related processes in maintaining the ridge and slough landscape, Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida Bay Ecosystem, Palm Harbor, FL.

Harvey, J.W., Newlin, J.T., Krest, J.M., Choi, J., Nemeth, E.A., and Krupa, S.L. 2005. Surface-Water and Ground-Water Interactions in Water Conservation Area 2A, Central Everglades, USGS SIR 2004-5069.

Harvey, J.W., Saiers, J.E., and Newlin, J.T. 2005. Solute transport and storage mechanisms in wetlands of the Everglades, south Florida. Water Resources Research, 41, W05009, doi:10.129/2004WR003507.

Harvey, J.W. and Sklar, F. 2006. WORKSHOP: Development of a Conceptual Model for Ridge and Slough Landscape Dynamics. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER), June 5-9, 2006, Lake Buena Vista, FL, p. 91.

Huang, Y.H, Saiers, J.E., Harvey, J.W., Noe, G.B., and Mylon, S., 2007, Advection, Dispersion, and Filtration of Fine Particles within Emergent Vegetation of the Florida Everglades, Submitted to Water Resources Research, July 2007.

Larsen, L.G., Harvey, J.W., and Crimaldi, J.P., 2007. A delicate balance: ecohydrological feedbacks governing landscape morphology in a lotic peatland. Ecological Monographs, 2007.

McCormick, P.V. and Harvey, J.W., 2007. Influence of Changing Water Sources and Mineral Chemistry on the Everglades Ecosystem. U.S. Geological Survey Administrative Report, 67 p.

National Research Council. 2003. Does water flow influence Everglades landscape patterns, Washington, D.C., The National Academies Press, 41 p. http://books.nap.edu/catalog/10758.html.

Noe, G.B., Scinto, L.J., Taylor, J., Childers, D.L., and Jones, R.D. 2003. Phosphorus cycling and partitioning in an oligotrophic Everglades wetland ecosystem: a radioisotope tracing study. Freshwater Biology 48(11):1993-2008.

Noe, G.B. and Childers, D.L. 2007. Phosphorus budgets in Everglades wetland ecosystems: The effects of hydrology and nutrient enrichment. Wetlands Ecology and Management. 15: 189-205.

Noe, G.B., Harvey, J.W., and Saiers, J.E. 2007. Characterization of suspended particles in Everglades wetlands. Limnology & Oceanography. 52: 1166-1178.

Saiers, J.E., Harvey, J.W., and Mylon, S.E. 2003. Surface-water transport of suspended matter through wetland vegetation of the Florida Everglades. Geophysical Research Letters 30(19), 1987, doi:10.1029/2003GL018132.

Science Coordination Team. 2003. The role of flow in the Everglades ridge and slough landscape, South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Working Group, 62 p. http://www.sfrestore.org/sct/docs/.

Schaffranek, R.W. 2004. Sheet-flow velocities and factors affecting sheet-flow behavior of importance to restoration of the Florida Everglades, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004-3123, 4 p. http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/pubs/fs/fs20043123

U.S. Department of the Interior, 2005. Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida. http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/2005-DOI-Science-Plan-final.pdf.



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