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Project Work Plan

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES)

Fiscal Year 2005 Study Work Plan

Study Title: High Accuracy Elevation Data Collection Project
Study Start Date: FY 1995  Study End Date: To be determined
Web Sites: http://sofia.usgs.gov
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Total System
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES)
Other Complementary Funding Source(s): CERP/MAP PES; CESI; SFWMD; CERP/MAP (SFWMD); CERP/MAP (USACE)
Principal Investigator(s): Greg Desmond
Study Personnel: Bob Glover, Vince Caruso, Rusty Georges, Doug Nedrich, Chuck Henkle, Ed Cyran, Gary Freeman
Supporting Organizations: SFWMD, USACE
Associated / Linked Studies: TIME, SICS, ATLSS, Vegetative Resistance to Flow, Fresh Water Flows into Florida Bay, Water Flows and Nutrient Loads to the SW Coast, other agencies and projects that require accurate elevation data.

Overview & Objective(s):

Modeling of sheet flow and water surface levels in the Florida Everglades is very sensitive to changes in elevation due to its expansive and extremely low relief terrain. This project is applying state-of-the-art Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to perform topographic surveys that meets a vertical accuracy specification of ±15 centimeters (6 inches). The objective is to complete a wide-area regional topographic survey that will provide elevation data to parameterize hydrologic and ecological models.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified:

This project supports the restoration and resource management efforts of several agencies by providing critical base elevation data for the parameterization of numerical hydrologic and ecological models. Water resources and land management decisions will rely heavily on the results of these simulation models. Therefore, it is imperative to derive and use the most accurate elevation data available for the models to produce meaningful results. The USGS developed Airborne Height Finder system is the superior technology for conducting a wide-area topographic survey of the Florida Everglades where the terrain surface being measured is inundated by surface water and obscured by vegetation.


Six surveying field campaigns were conducted in FY04. All work within the SFWMD/USGS Joint Funding Agreement, C-C20301A, has been completed and all data sets have been delivered to SFWMD as well as having been posted on the SOFIA web site. This work included the topographic surveys of Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, and the digital elevation models (DEMs) have been posted on the SOFIA website. Work for Water Conservation Area 2 (WCA-2) being funded by CERP/MAP has been planned and fieldwork began in FY04 and will be completed in FY05.

Recent Products:

To date, there are 70 digital elevation model files posted on the SOFIA web site for data distribution. Project presentations were provided to the SFWMD, and the CERP AAT in FY04. A poster was also presented at the Loxahatchee Science Conference organized by FWS.

Planned Products:

For FY05 planned products include completing the DEMs that comprise Water Conservation Area-2, as well as a published USGS Techniques and Methods Report. Work will then commence on surveying the northern portion of WCA-3 or the adjoining quadrangles to the west, depending on data collection priorities to be decided upon by our CERP partners.


Title of Task 1: High Accuracy Elevation Data Collection
Task Funding: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES), and CERP/MAP
Task Leaders: Greg Desmond
Phone: 703/648-4728
FAX: 703/648-4165
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Bob Glover, Vince Caruso, Rusty Georges, Doug Nedrich, Chuck Henkle, Ed Cyran, Gary Freeman

Task Summary and Objectives:

To expand the AHF geodetic control network, and continue the topographic surveys of the Everglades.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

The AHF geodetic network will be expanded by surveying additional reference stations for use in supporting field operations. The topographic surveys of WCA-2 will be completed. The surveys of WCA-3 north of Alligator Alley, or the quadrangles immediately to the west of this area, will begin in FY05. The AHF surveying methods and procedures are well known and are based on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. The digital elevation models resulting from these surveys will be posted on the SOFIA website. A USGS Techniques and Methods Report will also be completed and published.

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