geochronology in the south florida ecosystem and associated ecosystem programs >
Project Proposal for 1999
Project number: 8-7242-37652
USGS Geologic Division
Continuing Project Work Plan - FY 1999
Geochronology in South Florida Ecosystem, Chesapeake Bay and Salton Sea.
Geographic area: South Florida, Maryland and Virginia, and Southern
Project start date: October 1996
Project end date: September 1999
Project chief: Charles
Region/Division/Team/Section: Eastern/WRD-GD/Atlantic Coastal
and Marine Geology/St. Petersburg
Phone: 813 893-3 100 (ext 3056)
Mailing Address: 600 4th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701
Program(s) Integrated Natural Resource Science Program
Program element(s)/task(s) SOUTH FLORIDA STUDY AREA/
ELEMENT 2.Task 2.10 Terrestrial and fresh water ecosystem history. ELEMENT
6. Task 6.2 Isotopic dating: ELEMENT 7. Task 7.1 Florida Bay Turbidity,
Bathymetry and Sedimentation .Task 7.2 Hydrogeology of Florida Bay and
Florida Keys. Task 7.3 Nutrients and diagenesis of sediments in Florida
Bay and Biscayne Bay Task . (70%) CHESAPEAKE BAY STUDY AREA
Element 5. Study the history and evolution of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystems
and their response to changes in sedimentation, salinity, and nutrient
load during historic time scales. Task 5.4 (15%) USGS SALTON SEA
STUDY AREA ELEMENT 4. Environmental Baselines and ELEMENT 6. Geologic
Project summary: Many ecological questions require temporal information
before a management decision can be reached. This project supplies important
time series information for process-based studies (both in the terrestrial
and coastal environment), time information for the ecological history research,
the timing of sealevel rises and storm events, the rate of sediment transport
and deposition and the rate of flux of ground water.
Project objectives and strategy: Resource managers, in order
to provide adequate leadership in balancing natural and anthropogenic needs,
must understand how the system works. In the document South Florida
Ecosystem Restoration: Scientific Needs, there is a list of questions
that require temporal data for the answer; the timing of chemical loading
in the terrestrial formation for the ecological and fire history research,
the timing of sealevel rises and storm events, the rate of sediment transport
and deposition and the flux of ground water all require a method of ascertaining
a time function. These needs transcend all regions.
Over the past three decades there has been a dramatic
increase in the volume and range of research on the determination of the
timing of environmental changes that have occurred over the past 100 years.
Much of this research effort has been aimed at understanding short-lived
processes (decadal time scales) and the result of anthropogenic manipulation
of natural processes. The lack of historical records documenting changes
in most regions dictates that other methods be used to measure žrates of
change.Ó A common method is to use the decay of naturally occurring radioactive
nuclides. The usefulness of any radioactive nuclide requires certain conditions
be met. These conditions are 1. the chemistry of the nuclide (element)
is known; 2. The nuclide once incorporated into the substrate changes only
by decay, and 3. in order to be useful, it is relatively easy to measure.
The objective of the project is to measure the distribution of short lived
radionuclides to provide a temporal component to the processes at work
within the Ecosystem. It is the strategy of this program to provide the
best time related data by examining the distribution of all the suitable
isotopes in sediment samples and ascertaining the best temporal model.
Potential impacts and major products: The product of this program
is data relating the changing of conditions or the timing of events from
one region to another. This information has the impact of relating to the
managers the excepted outcome and žhow long in will taken for that outcome
to occurÓ. The information developed from this program is necessary for
the development of models that are being developed to predict changes.
The major product is the data which are used by other investigators. In
addition there are reports on the temporal dynamics of some systems, for
example the development of the Pass Key Ban or the relative development
of the banks within Florida Bay. There is also a report looking into the
relationship between phosphorous concentration and the rates of accumulation
in the Water Conservation Areas. Another report will be created relating
the increase of mangrove development along the northern fringe of Florida
Collaborators, clients Florida Bay - Robert B. Halley,
and Bruce Wardlaw will use the data in the developing the synthesis of
sediment dynamics and paleoecosystems. South Florida Terrestrial
Bill Orem uses the information in developing nutrient flux models for both
the terrestrial and marine environment in south Florida (this aspect also
bears on the mercury studies) Deb Willard used the data to develop eco and
fire histories. SFWMD ( Fred Skalar and others) used this information in
developing the žlandscapeÓ models for the žTree IslandÓ program. SFWMD
(Susan Newman with John Robbins (GLERL)and R. Reddy ( University of Florida)
The cooperative effort into ascertaining the žcorrectÓ rates of accumulation
in the WCA 2A impacted by a major flux of phosphorous. The results of these
collaborations will be used by the Corp of Engineers and the agencies of
the Department of Interior ( DIA, NPS, F &W.L) and the state of Florida
under the Everglades Forever Act in the development of management strategies.
Chesapeake Bay Tom Cronin and Steve Colman are using this data in
the environmental studies in the bay as is related to the Pfisteira sp.
problem. Salton Sea This newly generated data will be used to defining
the timing of changes within this ecosystem.
Time line (FY 1999 to project end): The tasks to be complete
in FY 1999 are:
1. Complete the analysis of the cores collected in FY98. There were
37 sites occupied in the summer of 1998 and these cores are being prepared
for analysis- Holmes / Margot/Remick
2. Analyze the cores collected from Chesapeake Bay- Holmes / Margot/Remick
3. Analyzed the cores collected during the initial phases of the Salton
sea study- Holmes / MargotlRemick.
4. Complete report on the Cesium/ 210Pb investigation and
comparison in WCA2A C.Holmes ( With Robbins, Reddy and Newman)
5.Collect winter data for the Pass key sediment transport study and
compare this information with the summer data collected in 1998--.Holmes
6. Test the geochronological model developed to determine the rate
of sediment accumulation in the Terrestrial environments
FY 1999 activities: This is the completion year for the South
Florida Study and the start up year for the Salton year
Sea Program. In accordance with this and the tasks listed above, the
project will complete reports on the south Florida work. These will be
submitted to the appropriate individuals who are responsible for the syntheses
products. The only field work request this year is a winter sampling on
the Pass Key back so the 7Be data may be compared with the summer
data. Field work is also requested for the Salton Sea and Chesapeake Bay
FY 1999 deliverables/products: The products for this program
in FY1999 are:
1. "Sedimentary dynamics of Florida Bay Muds on a decadal timescale"
2. "Geochronology and the accumulation rates of organic sediments in
the South Florida Terrestrial Ecosystem"
3. "The dynamics of sediment transport in the formation of the Pass
4. The development of selected žtree IslandsÓ in Taylor Slough. In
addition data will be provided the collaborators for their studies.
FY 1999 outreach: The information derived from this project will
be presented at the annual meeting of the Ecosystem program, the Ecological
history workshop, and at the information Environmental Geochemical meeting.
In addition, the Paleocological investigators will be present data from
this project a the AGU on other conferences. Fact sheets will developed
summarizing the more technical reports listed as products
New directions or major changes for FY 1999: The anticipated
changes for the coining year is the start up of the Salton Sea Program.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OUTCOMES, PRODUCTS, OUTREACH
FY 1998: This past year a study was undertaken to resolve the
conflict in dating procedures in the terrestrial environment particularly
Water Conservation Area 2A. The preliminary results of this study demonstrated
that Cesium does migrate within the sediment and that any chronology based
on this isotope is suspect. 210Pb, however. apparently remains
strongly attached and offers the highest potential for obtaining accurate
dates within this critical system. Models have been developed to use this
isotope as a chronological tool presently being tested.
T. Cronin, C. W. Holmes, H. Dowsett, D. Keyser,
G. Dwsyer, N. Waibel, 1998, Salinity and Seagrass History from Florida
Bay Sediment Cores: 1870-1995, Paleocological Workshop, January, Key Largo.
T. Cronin, R. Halley, L. Brewster- Wingard. C. W.
Holmes, G. Dwyer, S. Ishman. 1998, Climatic and Anthropogenic influence
on Florida Bay Salinity over the past century, May 98 Florida Bay Conference
Orem W.H., Gough L.P., Holmes C.W., Kotra, R.K.,
Lerch, H.E., SpikerE.C., and Weintraub V.C. (1996) The impact of geochemical
processes on water quality and wetland management in south Florida [abs.].
Watershed 96 Meeting, Baltimore, MD, June 1996
Willard D., Orem W., Weimer L. and Holmes C. W.
(1996) South Florida ecosystems: vegetational and geochemical history [abs.].
1996 Florida Bay Science Conference, Key Largo, FL, December 1996.
Halley R.B., Prager E.J., Stumpf R.F., Holmes C.
W., Bothner M.H., Wingard G.L., Ishman S.E., Shinn E.A., TenBrink M.B.,
Willard D.A., Hansen M.E. and Orem W.H. (1997) Sedimentology and Florida
Bay Ecology: Past, Present, and Future [abs.]. USGS Sediment Workshop,
Harpers Ferry, WV, January 1997.
Bates A.L., Spiker E.C., and Holmes C.W. (1998)
Speciation and isotopic composition of sedimentary sulfur in the Everglades
Water Conservation Area 2A, Florida, USA. Chemical Geology, in press.
Orem W.H., Holmes C. W., Kendall C., Lerch, H.E.,
Bates, A.L., Silva S.R., Boylan, A., Corum, M, Marot, M, and Hedgman, C.
(1998) Geochemistry of Florida Bay sediments: I. Nutrient history at five
sites in eastern and central Florida Bay. J. Coastal Res., in review.
Orem, W.H. and Lerch, H.E., Geochemistry of sediments from USGS
cores in Taylor Slough, 1996. USGS Open-File Report, in review.
Bates A.L., Orem W.H. and Harvey J.W. (1998) Sulfate
in the northern Everglades: Concentrations and sulfur isotopic composition
[abs.]. AGU Spring Meeting, Boston, MA, May 1998, in review.
Orem W.H., Lerch H.E., Corum M, Boylan A., Hedgman
C., and Zielinski R. (1998) Phosphorus geochemistry of the south Florida
wetlands ecosystem: Sources and biogeochemical cycling [abs.]. AGU Spring
Meeting, Boston, MA, May 1998, in review.
Orem, W.H., Holmes, C. W., Kendall, C., Lerch, H.E.,
Bates, A.L., Boylan, A., and Corum, M. (1998) Geochemistry of Florida Bay
sediments: Investigation of nutrient and seagrass history. Annual Florida
Bay Science Conference, Miami, May 1998.
Halley, R.B., Holmes, C.W., Prager, E.J., 1997,
Florida Bay Mud Banks Relatively New Piles of Mostly Old Sediments, U. S. Geological Survey Program on the South Florida Ecosystem - Proceedings, U.S
Geological Survey Open-FIle Report 97-385, p. 26-27.
Halley, R.B., Holmes, C.W., Prager, E. J., 1997,
The Dual Roles of Florida Bay Mudbanks in Restoration, Program and Abstracts,
Society for Ecological Restoration, 9th International Conference, Fort
Lauderdale FL, USA Nov. 12-15, 1997, p.70.
Halley, R.B., Holmes, C.W., Prager, E.J., 1997,
Seagrass Facies and Phases Recorded in the Sediments of Florida Bay, Conference
Program with Abstracts, Walt Dineen Society Annual Meeting, North Miami
Beach, FL, 1997, p. 44.
Ishman, S.F., Brewster- Wingard G.L., Willard, D.A.,
Gronin, T.M., Edwards. L.E., and Holmes, C.W. 1996, Preliminary paleontologic
report on Core T-24, Little Madeira Bay, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 96-543, 27 pp.
Brewster- Wingard, C.L.. Ishman, S.E., Willard,
D.A., Halley, R.B., and Holmes, C.W., 1996. The biotic record of change
in Florida Bay and the south Florida Ecosystem: Program and Abstracts 1996
Florida Bay Science Conference, Key Largo, FL (Dec. 10-12. 1996). p. 25-26.
Brewster-Wingard, C.L., Ishman, S.E., Willard, DA..
Edwards, L.E.. and Holmes, C.W., 1997, Preliminary paleontologic report
on cores 19A and 19B, from Russell Bank, Everglades National Park, Florida
Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 97-460, 29 p.
Brewster-Wingard, C.L., Ishman, S.E., Holmes, C.W,
Willard, D.A.. and Edwards, L.E., 1997, Environmental change in the Florida
Bay Ecosystem: Patterns over the last 150 years: U.S. Geological Survey
Program on the South Florida Ecosystem - Proceedings of the Technical Symposium
in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, August 25-27. 1997, U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 97-385, p. 8-9.
Brewster- Wingard, C.L., Ishman, S.E., Waibel, N.J.,
Willard, D.A., Edwards, L.E., and Holmes, C.W., 1998, Preliminary paleontologic
report on Core 37, from Pass Key, Everglades National Park, Florida Bay:
U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 98-122, 22 p.
Willard, D.A., Holmes, C.W., Murray, J.B., Orem,
W.H., Weimer, L.M.,1998, Biotic and geochemical changes in the south Florida
ecosystem over the last two millennia. Science,
Director's Approval, 4/29/98.
Robbins, J.A., Holmes, C.W., Halley, R.B., Bothner,
M., Shinn, E., Graney, J., Keeler, G., ten Brink, M., Orlandini, K.A.,
and Rudnick, D., 1998, First order time-averaging of Cs-137 and Pb fluxes
to Pb-210-dated sediment in Florida Bay, in reveiw. (To be submitted to
Geochmica et Cosmochemica Acta)
Holmes, C. W, Robbins, J.A., Halley, R.B., Bothner,
M, Ten Brink, M., and Marot, M, 1998, Sedimentary dynamics of Florida Bay
Mud Banks on a decadal time scale, in review. (To be submitted to Journal
of Coastal Research)
PROJECT SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS
Names and expertise:
Charles W. Holmes /Geochemist
Bowdewjn Remick/ Lab Technician
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