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Freshwater Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay

Project Proposal for 1998

Program: FRAGILE ENVIRONMENTS
Project Title:FRESHWATER DISCHARGE TO FLORIDA BAY
Location of Study Area: Florida Bay
Project Start Date: October 1st, 1994
Project End Date: September 30th, 1999
Project Number: FL-590
Project Chief: Eduardo Patino
Region/Division/Team/Section: Southeast Region/WRD
E-mail:<epatino@usgs.gov>
Phone: (305) 526-2895
Fax: (305) 526-2881
Mailing Address:
9100 NW 36th St., Suite 107
Miami, Florida 33178
Program Element(s)/Task(s)
Fragile Ecosystems, Element 1; Modeling support studies for Southern Inland and Coastal Systems of South Dade County (including the Buttonwood Embankment), Task 1.2, Freshwater discharge to Florida Bay.
Panel:
Collaborators, Clients:
Clients include Fragile Environments Program Project Chiefs and other researchers in need of data on flows into Florida Bay. Circulation models, salinity surveys, and sediment and nutrient loadings are among the studies requiring flow and salinity data. Researchers and governmental agencies needing and using the data are as follows:

* U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers (WES personnel)- Circulation model of Florida Bay
* South Florida Water Management District (David Rudnick) / Louisiana State University researchers - Water Quality and Nutrient Fluxes through Trout Creek, Taylor River, and McCormick Creek.
* USGS modeling efforts, including the work on the "Buttonwood Embankment Model" (Eric Swain), "Open Channel and Wetlands Flow Transport" (Ray Shaffranek), and "Wind Effects on Surface water Flows" (Jenter, Lee, Shaffranek).
* USGS, "Salinity Distributions in Florida Bay" (Robert Halley)



BACKGROUND NARRATIVES

Project Summary: Little is known about the hydrology of Florida Bay. Two of the many unknowns are the amount of freshwater flowing into Florida Bay from the mainland and the effect that years of man-made changes in water deliveries have had, and will have, in the quality of the bay environment.

Project Justification: Flow Information along the mangrove zone is needed to determine the extent of the effects that water management practices on the mainland have on the quality of the Florida Bay environment. Hydrologic modelers of the Everglades (mainland) and Florida Bay will use these data to calibrate and verify models describing flow through the mangrove zone, and circulation patterns within the bay.

Project Objectives: The primary objective of this project is to calculate water discharges into Florida Bay at key entry points along the northeastern coastline, and to provide hydrologic modelers with information on flow, and specific conductance at selected locations.

Overall Strategy, Study Design, and Planned Major Products: Twelve sites will be studied to provide boundary flow information along the northeastern coastline of Florida Bay. Acoustic technology will be used to record water velocities at selected sites, along with water level and salinity information. The primary product of this study is discharge and salinity data to be used as input to hydrologic models; reports documenting data collection and analysis of the data are also planned.

WORK PLAN

Overall: A total of twelve sites will continue to be studied in northeastern Florida Bay, covering an area between Garfield Bight in the west, to Long Sound and Blackwater Sound in the east as shown in figure 1. Data collection activities at sites in northeastern Florida Bay include the collection of continuous water level, velocity, temperature, and specific conductance data, with periodic (monthly) field measurements of discharge and water samplings for nutrient analysis. Seven sites will be equipped with acoustic instrumentation for the measurement of water velocities; water level, salinity and temperature data will also be recorded at these sites. These sites are Jewfish Creek, West Highway Creek, Trout Creek, Mud Creek, Taylor River, McCormick Creek, Alligator Creek (proposed site). Analysis of field data will be used to produce continuous records ( 15 minutes.) of discharge at all instrumented sites. One site, at the mouth of Little Madeira Bay, will be instrumented with a wind anemometer. Three sites along the mangrove zone will not be instrumented and flows ihrough these sites will be estimated through correlations with nearby instrumented sites. These sites are East Highway Creek and a small un-named creek in Long Sound, and East Creek in Little Madeira Bay. The culverts along US-1 that serve as water exchange points between Long Sound and Manatee Bay are grouped as one site. ADCP discharge measurements along with available NPS/USGS water level data on both sides of the highway will be used to develop calibration ratings that can then be used to calculate fluxes through the culverts under the road. Monthly water samples for nutrient (total P and N) analysis are being collected at all instrumented sites. Taylor River will also be used as a case study to describe the effects of wind speed and direction, on the flow and storage patterns of strearns discharging water into northeastern Florida Bay. Wind data and a salinity transect along Taylor River will be used for this analysis. All field and processed data will be made available to researchers from universities, and other federal, state, and local agencies. Data will be provided in electronic format through the Fragile Environments Program's database at the USGS Miami Subdistrict.

Timeline:
FY 1995

1.- Preliminary ADCP discharge measurements, Oct. and Nov. 1994. Florida District personnel.
2.- Design and construction of instrument platforms for three sites, Jul.- Sept. 1995. Patino,Overholser.
3.- Fact Sheet "Freshwater Flows into Florida Bay", FS- 135-95, published.

FY 1996

1.- ADCP discharge measurements for AVM instrument calibrations, Oct. 1995 - Sept. 1996. Patino, Host.
2.- Design and construction of instrument platforms for three additional sites. Jan.-Feb. 1996. Patino, Overholser.
3.- Collection of water samples for nutrient analysis, Mar.-Sept. 1996. Patino, Host.
4.- Fact Sheet "Gaging Flows in Northeastern Florida Bay", FS- 130-96, published.

FY 1997

1.- ADCP discharge measurements for verification of AVM instrument calibrations, Oct. 1996 - Sept. 1997. Patino, Hittle, Solis.
2.- Collection of water samples for nutrient analysis, Oct. 1996 - Sept. 1997. Patino, Hittle, Solis.
3.- ADCP discharge measurements at culverts under US-1 Dec. 1996 - Sept. 1997. Patino, Hittle.
4.- Design and construction of instrument platform for Jewfish Creek, April - May 1997. Patino, Overholser.
5.- Write and submit for approval report "Discharge Computation Mcthods For Shallow Tidal Creeks in Northeastern Florida Bay", documenting data collection and analysis techniques by Sept. 1997. Patino
6.- Abstract "Determining Flows in Northeastern Florida Bay, Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida" to be published as part of the proceedings of USGS annual Fragile Environments Program meeting. Aug. 1997.Patino
7.- Computation of time-series record of discharge for all instrumented sites. Oct. 1996 - Sept. 1997. Patino, Hittle.

FY 1998

1.- ADCP discharge measurements for verification of AVM instrument calibrations, Oct. 1997 - Sept. 1998. Patino, Overton, Hittle.
2. - Collection of water samples for nutrient analysis. Oct. 1997 - Sept. 1998. Patino, Hittle.
3.- Analysis of ADCP discharge measurements at culverts under US-1, and develop "head" difference ratings using NPS water level data. Oct. 1997 - Sept. 1998. Patino, Hittle.
4.- Computation of time-series record of discharge for all instrumented sites. Oct. 1997 - Sept. 1998. Patino, Overton, Hittle.
5.- Construct platform and install instrumentation at Alligator Creek site. Oct. - Dec. 1997.
6.- Install wind anemometer at NPS site in Little Madeira Bay. Oct. - Dec. 1997.
7.- Obtain Specific Conductivity data from NPS for stations along Taylor Slough, south of the Park road. Oct. 1997 - Sept. 1998. Patino, Overton.
8.- Begin analysis of wind and specific conductivity data to describe flow pattems and storage along Taylor River, in order to determine a feasible method for the calculation of NET water flow into the bay. Jan. - Sept. 1998. Patino, Overton.

FY 1999

1.- ADCP discharge measurements for verification of AVM instrument calibrations, Oct. 1997 - Sept. 1998. Patino, Overton, Hittle.
2.- Collection of water samples for nutrient analysis, Oct. 1997 - Sept. 1998. Patino, Hittle.
3.- Computation of time-series record of discharge for all instrumented sites. Oct. 1998 - Sept. 1999. Patino, Overton, Hittle.
4.- Finalize analysis of wind and specific conductivity data to describe flow and storage patterns along Taylor River. This information will be used to determine a feasible method for the calculation of "NET" water flows across the mangrove zone, through the main creeks. Oct. 1998 - Sept. 1999. Patino, Overton.
5.- Write paper "Wind Effects and Storage Characteristics of Flow in Shallow Tidal Streams, Northeastern Florida Bay". Oct. 1998 - Sept. 1999. Patino. Overton.

Planned Deliverables/Products:
1.- Fact Sheets - Two Fact Sheets have been published for this study, "Freshwater Flows into Florida Bay" (FS- 135-95), and "Gaging Flows in Northeastern Florida Bay" (FS- 130-96). Additional Fact Sheets will be produced to describe and disseminate specific findings of the study on an as-needed basis.
2.- Water-Resources Investigation Report "Discharge Computation Methods For Shallow Tidal Creeks in Northeastern Florida Bay". To be published by the end of FY 1997.
3.- Time-series records for water level, discharge, specific conductance, temperature, will be made available in electronic format, and on a quarterly basis, starting in FY 1997.
4.- Records of monthly "grab" samples for nutrient analysis are available in electronic format; from March 1996 to present.
5, Paper "Wind Effects and Storage Characteristics of Flow in Shallow Tidal Streams, Northeastern Florida Bay" to be finalized by the end of FY 1999.

Planned Outreach Activities:
1.- Presentations to be given at annual USGS Fragile Environments Program meetings.
2.- Informal mectings, conversations, and site visits with research personnel from universities, other federal, state, and local agencies will continue throughout the duration of the project, for the purpose of information exchange and technology transfer.
3.- Conferences and workshops related to research and data collection activities in south Florida will be attended, and presentations given whenever possible.

Prior Accomplishments in Proposed Area of Work:

New Directions, Expansion of Continuing Project (if applicable): 1.- Alligator Creek, which discharges water into the Garfield Bight, has been identified as a candidate site to fill the data gap in the "central" portion of the northern coastline of Florida Bay. Given that Garfield Bight is part of an area of Florida Bay that has presented hypersaline conditions in the past, is necessary to expand data collection activities further out west to include a site in Alligator Creek. A flow-salinity station at this location would provide information regarding the success of re-structured water deliveries in providing freshwater to the western sections of Taylor Slough. Site visits are planned to determine the feasibility of constructing and instrumenting this site. If determined feasible, this site will be instrumented with similar equipment as the other sites currently gaged.
2.- Flows through streams along the mangrove zone in northeastern Florida Bay present characteristics of a shallow system very susceptible to wind forces, and the wet or dry conditions (freshwater head) of the Everglades wetlands. Currently there is no method for determining "net flows" in or out through these streams. Low-pass filters. commonly used to smooth tidal data are not applicable at these sites due to wind induced "noise" in the flow pattern signature. In order to understand the flow characteristics and to develop a technique to calculate the "net flows" for these streams, it is proposed to use Taylor River as a case study. Data collected with a wind anemometer installed at the mouth of Little Madeira Bay (in the vicinity of National Park Service, NPS, site) along with NPS salinity data along Taylor River (Slough), will be used for the analysis. Wind speed and direction will be recorded and correlated to flow data collected at the mouth of Taylor River, to determine the effects of near-surface winds on flow patterns at this site. NPS and USGS salinity data will be used as transport parameters in order to determine the "storage" characteristics of the stream, and to facilitate the development of a technique to calculate "net flows" in or out of Taylor River and other shallow streams (creeks) in northeastern Florida Bay.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OUTCOMES, PRODUCTS, OUTREACH

Accomplishments and Outcomes, Including Outreach:
* ADCP discharge measurements were made at all sites along the mangrove zone (except at Alligator Creek). covering the coastal area from US-1 highway in the east, to McCormick Creek in Terrapin Bay to the west. Calibration ratings at five of the AVM stations were completed.
* Construction and instrumentation of Jewfish Creek station for the measurement of water level, velocity, temperature and specific conductance was completed.
* ADCP discharge measurements were made at Jewfish Creek site, and AVM calibration started.
* Discharge time-series were produced for all five instrumented sites for which calibration ratings were completed; from the beginning of record through the second quarter of FY 1997. Data is available in electronic format upon request.
* ADCP discharge measurements were made at the culverts under US-1 highway in order to develop discharge ratings for the calculation of east/west flow exchange across the road.
* Monthly water samples for nutrient analysis were collected at all instrumented sites (Jewfish Creek starting in June. 1997)
* Water-Resources Investigation Report "Discharge Computation Methods For Shallow Tidal Creeks Northeastern Florida Bay". To be published by the end of FY 1997.
* Abstract "Determining Flows in Northeastern Florida Bay" to be presented and published as part of the USGS Fragile Environments Program annual meeting in August, 1997.

Deliverables, Products Completed:

NEEDS

Required Expertise:

Names of Key Project Staff:
Eduardo Patino; Hydrologist, principal investigator (FY1995 - FY99)
Randy Host; Hydrologic Technician, surfacewater experience (FY 1995 - FY 1996)
Clinton Hittle; Hydrologist, surfacewater experience (FY1997 - FY1999)
Rick Solis; Hydrologic Technician, surfacewater and estuarine environments experience (FY 1997)
Keith Overton: Senior Hydrologic Technician, electronics, surfacewater, and coastal/estuarine environments experience (FY1998 - FY1999)

Major Equipment/Facility Needs:


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