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publications > scientific investigations report > water flow and nutrient flux from five estuarine rivers

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
SIR 2004-5142

Water Flow and Nutrient Flux from Five Estuarine Rivers along the Southwest Coast of the Everglades National Park, Florida, 1997-2001

by Victor A. Levesque

Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper sensor image
Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper sensor image taken on February 5, 2000 (scale 1:100,000) [larger image]
Prepared as part of the U.S. Geological Survey Place-Based Studies Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative of the National Park Service, Everglades National Park

U.S. Department of the Interior
Gale A. Norton, Secretary

U.S. Geological Survey
Charles G. Groat, Director

U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia: 2004

Abstract

>Home
Introduction
Methods
Computation of Discharge
Discharge and Water Level
Water Quality & Nutrient Flux
Summary
References Cited
Figure & Table List
PDF Version
Discharge and nutrient fluxes for five tidally affected streams were monitored and evaluated as a part of the U.S. Geological Survey Place-Based Studies Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative. Locations on Lostmans Creek, and Broad, Harney, Shark, and North Rivers were selected using the criterion that a large amount of the water that flows through Shark River Slough must pass these sites. Discharge and nutrient-concentration data collection started at the Broad, Harney, and Shark River stations in January 1997 and ended in early 2001. Discharge and nutrient-concentration data collection started at the Lostmans Creek and North River stations in April 1999 and ended in early 2001. Each station was equipped with a vertically oriented acoustic-velocity sensor, water-level pressure transducer, bottom water-temperature thermistor, and specific conductance four-electrode sensor. Data collected using a vessel-mounted acoustic discharge measurement system were used to calibrate regression models of the mean river velocities and the in-situ index velocities. Information from these stations, in conjunction with data from other ongoing studies, will help to determine environmental effects on the southwest coast estuaries as changes in water management of the Everglades National Park continue.

Discharges from the Lostmans Creek, and Broad, Harney, Shark, and North River stations are influenced by semidiurnal tides, meteorological events, and surface- and ground-water inflow. Each of the five rivers is usually well mixed, having no greater than 500 microSiemens per centimeter at 25° Celsius difference in specific conductance from top to bottom during flood and ebb tides. Instantaneous flood discharges (water moving upstream) are typically of greater magnitude and shorter duration than instantaneous ebb discharges (water moving downstream).

Instantaneous discharge data were filtered using a low-pass filter to remove predominant tidal frequencies, and the filtered data were used to compute daily mean and monthly mean residual discharges. Lostmans Creek, and Broad, Harney and Shark Rivers each contributed from 20 to 27 percent of the total measured discharge to the Gulf of Mexico, whereas North River contributed approximately 4 percent. The main discharge region of the Shark River Slough extends from as far north as Lostmans Creek to as far south as North River. North River discharge has similar response characteristics to the other four rivers measured, but with a lesser magnitude of discharge. Comparisons of monthly mean discharges from the Tamiami Canal flow control structures S-12-A, B, C, and D located on U.S. Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) to the five station total monthly mean discharges indicate that the discharges from the five rivers are approximately 2 to 3 times the S-12- A, B, C, D discharges, and that the measured southwest coast discharge peaks lead the S-12-A, B, C, D discharge peaks by approximately 1 month.

Residual total nitrogen and total phosphorus fluxes were estimated using linear regression models of discharge and flux. Monthly mean total nitrogen residual fluxes for the five southwest coast rivers ranged from approximately 0 to 390 short tons, whereas monthly mean total phosphorus residual fluxes ranged from approximately 0 to 6 short tons. Total nitrogen and total phosphorus residual fluxes at Lostmans Creek, and Broad, Harney, and Shark Rivers were similar in magnitude, each accounting for between 20 to 29 percent of the total measured residual flux. North River contributed between 3 to 4 percent of the total nitrogen and total phosphorus residual flux from the five rivers.

Introduction >


Conversion Factors, Acronyms, Abbreviations and Datum

Multiply By To obtain
Length
inch (in.) 25.4 millimeter
foot (ft) 0.3048 meter
mile (mi) 1.609 kilometer
Area
square foot (ft2) 929.0 square centimeter
square foot (ft2) 0.09290 square meter
square mile (mi2) 259.0 square hectare
square mile (mi2) 2.590 square kilometer
Volume
cubic foot (ft3) 28.32 cubic decimeter
cubic foot (ft3) 0.02832 cubic meter
Flow rate
foot per second (ft/s) 0.3048 meter per second
cubic foot per second (ft3/s) 0.02832 cubic meter per second
Mass
ton, short (2,000 lb) 0.9072 megagram
ton per day (ton/d) 0.9072 metric ton per day
ton per day (ton/d) 0.9072 megagram per day
Hydraulic gradient
foot per mile (ft/mi) 0.1894 meter per kilometer

SI to Inch/Pound

Multiply By To obtain
Volume
liter (L) 33.82 ounce, fluid (fl. oz)
liter (L) 2.113 pint (pt)
liter (L) 1.057 quart (qt)
liter (L) 0.2642 gallon (gal)
liter (L) 61.02 cubic inch (in3)
Mass
gram (g) 0.03527 ounce, avoirdupois (oz)
kilogram (kg) 2.205 pound, avoirdupois (lb)

Temperature in degrees Celsius (°C) may be converted to degrees Fahrenheit (°F) as follows:
°F=(1.8°x°C)+32

Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (°F) may be converted to degrees Celsius (°C) as follows:
°C=(°F-32)/1.8

Specific conductance is given in microSiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius (µS/cm).
Concentrations of chemical constituents in water are given in milligrams per liter (mg/L).

Acronyms
ADAPS Automated Data Processing System
CESI U.S. Department of the Interior Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative
ENP Everglades National Park
kHz kilohertz
MHz megahertz
NPS National Park Service
NWIS National Water Information System
PBS U.S. Geological Survey Place-Based Studies Initiative
PVC polyvinylchloride
S-12 Water control structures
R2 Coefficient of determination
USGS U.S. Geological Survey
WSR Wilcoxon signed ranks test

Datum

Horizontal coordinate information is referenced to the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83)


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Suggested citation: Levesque, V.A., 2004, Water Flow and Nutrient Flux from Five Estuarine Rivers along the Southwest Coast of the Everglades National Park, Florida, 1997-2001: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5142, 24 p.

Related information:

SOFIA project: Water Flows and Nutrient Fluxes to the Southwest Coast of Everglades National Park Florida



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