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projects > effect of water flow on transport of solutes, suspended particles, and particle-associated nutrients in the everglades ridge and slough landscape

Effect of Water Flow on Transport of Solutes, Suspended Particles, and Particle-Associated Nutrients in the Everglades Ridge and Slough Landscape

photo of Everglades wetland
Project Investigators: Judson Harvey, Gregory Noe, Raymond W. Schaffranek

Project Personnel: Laurel Larsen, Ben O'Conner, Leanna Westfall

Project Start Date: 2004 End Date: 2007

Recent Funding: (FY07) USGS GE PES, (FY06) USGS GE PES, (FY05) USGS GE PES


This research links landscape ecology with water flow and with water quality. The focus is quantification of chemical (particularly nutrient) transport and removal processes in the freshwater Everglades.

For more information, please see the Everglades Sheet Flow and Sediment Transport Processes Team Webpage.

This research links landscape ecology with water flow and with water quality. The focus is quantification of chemical (particularly nutrient) transport and removal processes in the freshwater Everglades. Novel measurements and experiments are proposed that will allow fine-particle and nutrient transport to be quantified in the ridge and slough ecosystems of the Everglades.

Quantification of these processes is essential to predicting water quality and phosphorus transport resulting from flow increases and flow-barrier removals associated with the restoration. This work will also increase our understanding of processes maintaining ridge and slough ecosystems, as well as processes affecting nutrient delivery to Florida Bay.

This research is fundamental to Everglades water-quality models (which currently have insufficient data on suspended sediment concentrations and process rates) and for modeling improved phosphorus removal technologies.

The objectives of the research are to answer the following questions:

  • How do the size distribution and composition of suspended particles vary with flow velocity, water depth, season, and site characteristics such as vegetation type and density?
  • What factors affect variation in the proportion of the surface-water nutrient load that is associated with suspended particles? What are the sources and input rates of new suspended particles and what is the removal rate of particles by filtering and settling?
  • What factors influence the rate of down-slough transport of suspended particles and their associated nutrients? How do these processes respond to changes in system properties, such as density of macrophytes and periphyton in the water column, abundance of flocculent detrital organic matter, and velocity and depth of surface water?
  • What mathematical models are appropriate for simulating the input, transport, and removal of particle-bound nutrients in Everglades surface waters?

Past Project Personnel

  • Joel Detty
  • Jennifer O'Reilly
  • Ying Qiu

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Script last updated: 23 October 2018 @ 12:03 PM by THF. Record creator: BJM. Record last updated by: TJE.