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projects > greater everglades hydrology monitoring network: data mining and modeling to separate human and natural hydrologic dynamics > work plan

Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES
Fiscal Year 2014 Study Work Plan

Study Title: Greater Everglades Hydrology Monitoring Network: Data Mining and Modeling to Separate Human and Natural Hydrologic Dynamics
Current Study Start Date: 10/01/2004 Current Study End Date: 9/30/2014
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park, or Refuge): Total System
Funding Source: GEPES
Funding History: FY05 was the first year of funding for this project
FY14 USGS Funding:
Principal Investigator: Paul Conrads
Supporting Organizations:

Overview & Objective(s): New technologies in environmental monitoring have made it cost effective to acquire tremendous amounts of hydrologic and water-quality data. Although these data are a valuable resource for understanding environmental systems, often these data are underutilized and (or) under interpreted. The monitoring network(s) supported by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP, 1999) records large amounts of data each day and the data base incorporates millions of data points describing the environmental response of the system to changing conditions. To enhance the evaluation of the CERP data base, there is an immediate need to apply new methodologies to systematically analyze the data set to address critical issues such as detecting change in hydrologic behaviors, water depths at ungaged locations, water-depth and water-quality responses to controlled flow releases, and relative impacts of controlled freshwater releases, tidal dynamics, and meteorological forcing on streamflow, water level, and salinity. There also is a need to integrate longer-term hydrologic data with shorter-term hydrologic data collected for biological resource studies. This study is undertaken as a series of studies (tasks) to demonstrate the efficacy of data-mining techniques, including artificial neural network (ANN) models, to evaluate CERP data and address hydrologic issues important to the Department of Interior's (DOI) efforts in South Florida.

The objectives of the studies for FY14 include: (1) continue working with the Everglades Depth Estimation (EDEN) project team on the development of hydrologic analysis products and continued hydrologic analysis support of other principal investigators (PIs), and (2) document EDEN tools and hydrologic analysis products.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified:

An important part of the USGS mission is to provide scientific information to manage the water resources of the Nation, including to the other Agencies of the DOI. The objectives for this study address science needs to support DOI managers in fulfilling their stewardship responsibilityas identified in The Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida (U.S. Department of Interior, 2004). This is consistent with primary USGS activities that include providing knowledge and expertise to assist various levels of government in understanding and solving critical water-resources problems.

The study objectives to develop EDEN-products for the real-time evaluation of system response, and continued hydrologic support of other ecological studies are part of the overall objective to support the South Florida Hydrology Monitoring Network and the Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP). The MAP was developed as the primary tool to assess the system-wide performance of the CERP by the REstoration, COordination and VERification (RECOVER) program (p. 17, U.S. Department of Interior, 2004). The MAP describes and outlines the monitoring and supporting enhancement of scientific information and technology needed to measure the responses of the South Florida ecosystem to CERP projects.

The study objectives of the development and documentation of EDEN hydrologic products for real-time evaluation meets a stated need in the Science Plan for the "synthesis and integration of data about historic hydrologic and ecological conditions on the refuge" and "research to understand the ecological effects of hydrology and water quality on refuge resources..." (p. 37 and 40, U.S. Department of Interior, 2004). The study objectives will benefit the DOI and other Federal and State Agencies in South Florida by providing data analysis needed by water-resource managers to make decisions concerning the quantity and quality of water resources in the Everglades.

Many of the objectives of the studies support the Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement Project (DECOMP) by addressing the science needed for "...additional research to understand the effects of different hydrologic regimes and ecological processes on restoring and maintaining ecosystem function..." (p. 64, U.S. Department of Interior, 2004) and supports ecological studies of impacts of hydrologic change on the chemistry and ecology. The study also supports the Combined Structural and Operational Plan project (CSOP) by addressing the needed science for "...refinement of hydrologic targets and operating protocols (p. 63, U.S. Department of Interior, 2004)."

Planned Products for FY14: Major products include USGS reports on (1) analysis of historical water level, (2) documenting hindcasts for the EDEN database from 1991 to 1999, (3) documenting the EDEN water-surface model version 2, (4) documenting and user's manual for the ADAM software, and (5) documenting and user's manual of the EDEN-Syn application (6) documenting updated equations for filling data gaps in EDEN water-level data, (7) organizing two technical sessions on real-time evaluation of ecosystem restoration at the 2014 Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration (CEER 2014), and (8) prototyping three new data analysis tools.

Work Plan

Title of Task 1: EDEN technical support - development of hydrologic displays and products.
Task Leaders: Paul Conrads
Phone: (803) 750-6140
FAX: (803) 750-6181
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Paul Conrads, Matt Petkewich, Jimmy Clark, Brian Clark, Ruby Daamen, and Edwin Roehl

Task Summary and Objective(s): The Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) was established to support the South Florida Hydrology Monitoring Network module of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP) and Restoration Coordination and Verification Team (RECOVER). The original goals of EDEN are to help guide large-scale field operations, integrate hydrologic and biologic responses, and to support the MAP assessments by scientists and PIs across Mission Areas. One objective of EDEN is to relate water-level data at real-time stage gages to ungaged areas so that water depths throughout the greater Everglades can be estimated (Telis, 2005: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/eden/).

Historically, EDEN has provided PIs with historical hydrology for the freshwater portion of the Everglades. Presented on a 400-meter grid, EDEN provides water levels at ungaged sites for the period 1991 to the present for the freshwater portion of the Everglades. With the success of the EDEN project, the goals have expanded to providing additional hydrologic data and greater analytical tools for hydrologic scenario testing and real-time assessment and reporting of ecosystem restoration. A good example of a new EDEN tool for real-time system evaluation are the monthly duration hydrographs used to view current water levels under the Everglades Restoration Transition Plan (ERTP) that replaced the Interim Operational Plan (IOP) (http://sofia.usgs.gov/eden/water_level_percentiles_map.php). Water-resource managers, PIs, and other stakeholders can quickly see how current water levels compare to historical levels, and email notification can be sent when water levels reach user-specified elevations.

The EDEN project team has conceptualized and (or) prototyped additional displays of hydrologic data and analytical tools. The objective of this task is to advance these prototypes from the developmental to finalized stages. These include the EDEN-Syn application for generating input hydrographs to a subarea EDEN model, Coastal-EDEN to display and disseminate coastal data, and additional displays of real-time evaluation of performance measures.

These prototype tools show the direction that EDEN is moving in providing hydrologic data and information for Everglades restoration. Performance measures are being developed to determine conditions that are characteristic of a healthy ecosystem for use in evaluating the restoration of the Everglades. Two targets of performance measures are 1) improved sheet-flow patterns for restoration of surface-water depths and duration to pre-drainage levels, and 2) the reduction of salinity fluctuations from freshwater pulses. One real-time evaluation of performance measure products are paired daily duration water-level and salinity hydrographs for particular stations of concern for evaluation of performance measures. The Southern Estuaries Performance Measure for Everglades Water Levels (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, 2008) lists water-level stations that are "significant" explanatory stations for understanding the salinity response in Florida Bay (Marshall, 2004).

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Our analysis of changes in water-level dynamics using cumulated z-scores and frequency curves demonstrated how relatively simple analyzes can be combined to quantify subtle changes in water-level behaviors. Changes in the slope of cumulative z-scores curves indicate a change in system behavior, either due to operations or meteorology or both. Developing a similar approach for the analysis of real-time data has the potential of near real-time detection of shifts in the hydrologic response of the system. Working with historical data, changes in the slope of the cumulative z-score is easily identifiable. For real-time data, a robust approach will need to be developed for automated detection of incipient changes in hydrologic behaviors. Historical datasets used for the analysis of water-level dynamics will be used to develop approaches for automated detection of incipient changes in behaviors.

Three dimensional visual animation of the changing water surfaces generated by the EDEN surface-water model can be effective method for visualizing changing hydrologic conditions. The EDEN water-surfaces have been animated and show potential as an effective web-based application. A web-based animation will be prototyped that will allow the user to control the animation time period and the spatial extent of the animation.

An important factor in the coastal ecological dynamics is the location of the freshwater-saltwater interface in surface-water bodies along the coast that characterizes the freshwater and saltwater aquatic communities. Changing flow deliveries to the coast and potential sea-level rise due to climate change could have substantial effects on the location of the freshwater-saltwater interface and the response of the aquatic community. Salinity is a critical parameter for evaluating conditions along the coast. There is an opportunity to develop a coastal conditions index by using salinity data that will indicate if salinity is increasing or decreasing with respect to historical conditions.

Specific Task Products:

  1. Prototype of real-time hydrologic change detections using cumulative z-scores.
  2. Prototype of three dimension visual animation of the EDEN water surfaces.
  3. Coastal condition index using salinity data.

Product: Prototypes of the above listed products

Delivery Date: September 30, 2014

Title of Task 2: EDEN technical support - documentation of EDEN tools and hydrologic analysis products
Task Leaders: Paul Conrads
Phone: (803) 750-6140
FAX: (803) 750-6181
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Paul Conrads, Matt Petkewich, Stephen Benedict, Jimmy Clark, Ruby Daamen, Andrew O'Reilly

Task Summary and Objective(s): The EDEN project has been successful in providing quality-assured hydrologic data to support Everglades restoration. A large component of the EDEN project team work has been the development of various tools for evaluation of the data, automating quality assurance and data management, and providing requested hydrologic products. It is important the EDEN Project Team document these activities and produce in citable references. The EDEN Project Team has a number of reports that need to be published. These include reports on:

  1. the analysis of changes in water-level dynamics;
  2. updated equations for filling data gaps in EDEN database;
  3. description and user's manual for the automated data acquisition and management (ADAM) software;
  4. the hindcasting of the EDEN water-level to 1991;
  5. the development of the synthetic hydrograph application for WCA3A-South; and
  6. updates to the EDEN surface-water model (Version 2).

The objective for this task is to have these reports either released, in production, or through the colleague-review process by the end of fiscal year 2014.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Paul Conrads will be taking the lead role preparing the three reports that he is the principal author. The reports are: 1) the analysis of changes in water-level dynamics; 2) the hindcasting of the EDEN water-level to 1991; and 3) the development of the synthetic hydrograph application for WCA3A-South. Paul Conrads will assist in preparing the three reports that he is a co-author: 1) updated equations for filling gaps in EDEN data (Petkewich - principal author); 2) description and user's manual for the automated data acquisition and management (ADAM) (Petkewich - principal author); and 3) updates to the EDEN surface-water model (Telis - principal author).

Specific Task Product(s):

  1. All reports are registered in the Scientific Publication Network (SPN) report production process.
  2. Online published reports and (or) colleague review drafts for the six reports referenced above.

Product: Online reports posted or at SPN for online production.

Delivery Date: September 30, 2014

References

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2008, Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan -Southern Estuaries Performance Measure Everglades Water Levels, Jacksonville, FL, 9 p.

Marshall III, F.E. 2004. Florida Bay Analysis Report. Recover Southern Estuaries Performance Measures: Identification of Hydrology-Salinity Relationships for Coastal Estuaries and Analysis of Initial CERP Update Scenarios, Contract DACW17-02-D-0009, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 27 p.

Telis, P.A., 2005, Project description, South Florida Surface Water Monitoring Network for the Support of MAP Projects (known as EDEN, Everglades Depth Estimation Network), accessed October 2, 2007, at http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/eden/

U.S. Department of Interior, 2004, Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida: Accessed September 2004 at http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/DOI-SCIENCE-PLAN-04.pdf


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