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projects > paleosalinity as a key for success criteria in south florida restoration > project summary
Project Summary Sheet
Fiscal Year 2005 Study Summary Report
Study Title: Paleosalinity as a Key for Success Criteria in South Florida Restoration
Overview & Objective(s): There are three primary objectives to this project: 1) Develop a high resolution methodology to analyze the variability in shell chemistry of select marine/estuarine organisms as a proxy to changes in water quality and source, 2) Develop an understanding of the biology of the selected organisms such that the variations in shell chemistry may more accurately reflect the temporal and spatial variability of both water quality and source, 3) Apply this technique to shells found in sediment cores that span the last 100-300 years of South Florida history in order to determine the seasonal variation in salinity and water sources prior to significant human alteration of the environment. These data will provide resource managers with the necessary information to establish targets and performance measures as restoration of more natural timing and delivery of water proceeds.
Status: Research and experiments on objectives one and two have been concluded and reports are in final phase of preparation. Objective three has been completed using ostracode Mg/Ca ratios and a report is currently being generated and will be complete by late summer or early fall. Application of molluscan shell chemistry is more problematic, and can only be applied to core analyses with a number of cautions and under limited conditions. Currently few cores contain material appropriate for these analyses, so this objective will be incorporated into other ongoing studies as ecosystem history of the southern estuaries work proceeds.
Specific Relevance to Information Needs Identified in DOI's Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida (DOI's Everglades Science Plan) [See Plan on SOFIA's Web site: http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/]:
One of the primary DOI activities discussed in the DOI Science Plan is to "ensure that hydrologic performance targets accurately reflect the natural predrainage hydrology and ecology" (DOI Science Plan, p. 14). The goal of the Paleosalinity study is to develop a high resolution method for interpreting short term (less than a decade) changes in salinity from calcareous organisms preserved in cores dating back 100-500 years. The results of this work are applicable to all USGS ecosystem history studies. Specifically this study supports the Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study Project and the Additional Water for Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study Project, and it provides information relevant to the Combined Structural and Operational Plan (CSOP) and Landscape Modeling projects. This study supports these projects by 1) developing a tool that can be used to understand the predrainage hydrology, including the amount, timing and seasonality of freshwater delivered historically; and 2) providing modelers with data on historic conditions in order to set targets and performance measures that reflect natural hydrologic patterns.
This study supports the Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study Project by addressing the questions 1) What are the links between impediment to circulation created by the causeway and the ecology of Florida Bay . . .?" (DOI Science Plan, p. 64), "What are the links between freshwater inflows to Florida Bay and the ecology of the bay?" (p. 65), and "What is the ecological response to hydrologic change?" (p. 66).
This study supports the Additional Water for Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study by addressing the questions "What were the physical and ecological conditions in . . . Taylor Slough . . . prior to drainage and modification . . ." (DOI Plan p. 63), "What are the hydrologic targets needed to mimic historic flows . . . ? (p. 63).
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(KP)
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