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A Hydrological Budget (2002-2008) for a Large Subtropical Wetland Ecosystem Indicates Marine Groundwater Discharge Accompanies Diminished Freshwater Flow

Amartya K. Saha, Christopher S. Moses, René M. Price, Victor Engel, Thomas J. Smith III & Gordon Anderson

Estuaries and Coasts, Volume 35, Number 2 (2012), 459-474, DOI: 10.1007/s12237-011-9454-y. Received: 26 October 2010 / Revised: 16 May 2011 / Accepted: 7 October 2011. © Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2011. Posted here with permission from Springer. PDF of entire article is available from SpringerLink.


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Water budget parameters are estimated for Shark River Slough (SRS), the main drainage within Everglades National Park (ENP) from 2002 to 2008. Inputs to the water budget include surface water inflows and precipitation while outputs consist of evapotranspiration, discharge to the Gulf of Mexico and seepage losses due to municipal wellfield extraction. The daily change in volume of SRS is equated to the difference between input and outputs yielding a residual term consisting of component errors and net groundwater exchange. Results predict significant net groundwater discharge to the SRS peaking in June and positively correlated with surface water salinity at the mangrove ecotone, lagging by 1 month. Precipitation, the largest input to the SRS, is offset by ET (the largest output); thereby highlighting the importance of increasing fresh water inflows into ENP for maintaining conditions in terrestrial, estuarine, and marine ecosystems of South Florida.

Keywords Hydrological budget, Everglades, Evapotranspiration, Groundwater discharge, Salinity

Introduction >

A. K. Saha (*) : C. S. Moses : R. M. Price
Southeast Environmental Research Center,
Florida International University,
11200 SW 8th Street, Bldg., OE-148, Miami, FL 33199, USA
e-mail: asaha@bio.miami.edu

R. M. Price
Department of Earth and Environment,
Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, PC-344, Miami, FL 33199, USA

V. Engel South
Florida Ecosystem Office,
Everglades National Park,
950 N. Krome Ave.,
Homestead, FL 33030, USA

T. J. Smith III
Southeast Ecological Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey,
600 Fourth Street South,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA

G. Anderson
USGS-Southeast Ecology Science Center,
Everglades Field Station,
40001 SR 9336,
Homestead, FL 33034, USA

Related information:

SOFIA Project: Dynamics of Land Margin Ecosystems: Historical Change, Hydrology, Vegetation, Sediment, and Climate

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