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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies Initiative

Fiscal Year 2003 Project Summary Report

Project Title: High Resolution Bathymetric Mapping of South Florida Estuarine and Coastal Systems
Project Start Date: Aug. 2003 Project End Date: Aug. 2005
Web Sites:
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Caloosahatchee, Loxahatchee, and St. Lucie Rivers Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor
Funding Source: USGS’s Greater Everglades Science Initiative (PBS)
Principal Investigator(s): Mark Hansen
Project Personnel: Gina Peery
Supporting Organizations: South Florida Water Management District
Associated / Linked Projects:

Overview & Objective(s): High resolution, GPS based bathymetric surveying is a proven method to map river, lake, and ocean floor elevations. Several recent initiatives including the development Minimum Flows and Levels (MFL) and the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study (SWFFS) necessitate the development of hydrodynamic models of coastal waters in South Florida. In addition, a need for an Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor estuarine mixing model has been identified by the Southwest Florida Regional Restoration Coordination Team and the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study. One of the important data requirements for these models is the bathymetry. The information available at this time for most of South Florida is dated and needs to be upgraded with new surveys.

This project addresses the collection and interpretation of data necessary to develop the present day bathymetry of the lower portions of South Florida including: Estero Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Caloosahatchee, Loxahatchee, and St. Lucie Rivers. In order to create accurate numerical models, current bathymetric data must be obtained. Bathymetry data is also needed for the creation of a seagrass vision maps (an NEP effort) and to populate the species response models being created as assessment tools for several restoration programs.

Status: Ongoing

Recent & Planned Products:

  • Tabular and gridded bathymetric data sets.
  • USGS Open File Reports.
  • USGS Miscellaneous Maps.

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs: Restoring the Everglades involves returning essential functions to a large and diverse ecosystem that has had significant adverse impacts from man’s activities over the past 50 years. This project provides scientific data to assure the quantity and quality of drinking water as well as agricultural and industrial water supplies, and in general improve the quality of life for all south Florida’s inhabitants.

In keeping with the mission of the USGS to provide the Nation with reliable, impartial information to describe and understand the Earth, this project involves mapping and topographic studies that contribute to the safety, health, and wellbeing of Florida's citizens. The work conducted encompasses high quality data collection which will be utilized for hydrological and ecological modeling, and experimental research and monitoring.

Key Findings:

  • The bathymetry of recently surveyed areas is often significantly different than identified on existing hydrographic charts
  • Some areas recently surveyed have never been charted

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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(KP)