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Project Summary Sheet

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

Fiscal Year 2006 Study Summary Report

Study Title: Hydrodynamic and Bathymetric Characteristics of Estuarine Rivers within the Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve
Web Sites: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/hires_bathy/

Task-1 Title: Bathymetric Characteristics of Estuarine Rivers within the Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve
Start Date: Oct 1, 2004 End Date: Sept 30, 2005
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Caloosahatchee, Loxahatchee, and St. Lucie Rivers Estero Bay, Charlotte Harbor, southwest Florida Rivers, and 10,000 Islands Aquatic Preserve
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystem Science (GE PES) Initiative
Principal Investigator(s): Mark Hansen, mhansen@usgs.gov
Study Personnel:
Supporting Organizations:
South Florida Water Management District
Associated / Linked Projects: Predicting effects of hydrologic restoration on manatees along the southwest coast of Florida (SIRRENIA); Southern Golden Gate Hydrologic Restoration (CERP); Tamiami Trail Culverts (CERP); SICS/TIME Models (PES); Coastal Gradients of flows (MAP); Southwest Florida Feasibility Study; SFWMD Everglades/Mercury Research.

Overview & Objective(s): High resolution, GPS based bathymetric surveying is a proven method to map river, lake, and ocean floor elevations. Several recent initiatives including the development Minimum Flows and Levels (MFL) and the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study (SWFFS) necessitate the development of hydrodynamic models of coastal waters in South Florida. In addition, a need for an Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor estuarine mixing model has been identified by the Southwest Florida Regional Restoration Coordination Team and the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study. One of the important data requirements for these models is the bathymetry. The information available at this time for most of South Florida is dated and needs to be upgraded with new surveys.

This project addresses the collection and interpretation of data necessary to develop the present day bathymetry of the lower portions of South Florida including: Estero Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Caloosahatchee, Loxahatchee, St. Lucie, and southwest Florida Rivers. In order to create accurate numerical models, current bathymetric data must be obtained. Bathymetry data is also needed for the creation of a seagrass vision maps (an NEP effort) and to populate the species response models being created as assessment tools for several restoration programs.

Status: Under the present cooperative arrangement with SFWMD, FY05 will be the last year of the project. To date, we have mapped the following areas: Estero Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and on the Florida East coast the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers, and on the Florida West Coast the Caloosahatchee, Shark, Little Shark, Broad, Harney, Lopez, Chatham, and Turner Rivers. The offshore region between Ft. Myers and Naples, FL will be mapped during FY05.

Recent & Planned Products:

(1) Tabular and gridded bathymetric data sets. (2) USGS Open File Reports. (3) USGS Miscellaneous Maps.

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs: Restoring the Everglades involves returning essential functions to a large and diverse ecosystem that has had significant adverse impacts from man's activities over the past 50 years. This project provides scientific data to assure the quantity and quality of drinking water as well as agricultural and industrial water supplies, and in general improve the quality of life for all south Florida's inhabitants.

In keeping with the mission of the USGS to provide the Nation with reliable, impartial information to describe and understand the Earth, this project involves mapping and topographic studies that contribute to the safety, health, and well-being of Florida's citizens. The work conducted encompasses high quality data collection which will be utilized for hydrological and ecological modeling, and experimental research and monitoring.

Key Findings:

  1. The bathymetry of recently surveyed areas is often significantly different than identified on existing hydrographic charts; however some areas including shoals and channel depths have changed remarkably little in the past 50+ years.
  2. Some areas recently surveyed have never been charted.
  3. All field work will be completed by September 3. Bathymetric products will be finalized by September 30.

Task-2 Title: Hydrodynamic Characteristics of Estuarine Rivers within the Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve
Start Date: October 1, 2004 Study End Date: September 30, 2005
Web Sites: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/hires_bathy/
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve
Funding Source: South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and USGS's Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science Initiative (PES)
Principal Investigator(s): Eduardo Patino
Study Personnel:
Lars Soderqvist, Craig Thompson, Jeff Woods, Ruth Costley.
Supporting Organizations:
SFWMD, USGS, ENP, USACE, NOAA, Florida International University (FIU), University of Miami (UM), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)
Associated / Linked Projects:
Predicting effects of hydrologic restoration on manatees along the southwest coast of Florida (SIRRENIA); Southern Golden Gate Hydrologic Restoration (CERP); Tamiami Trail Culverts (CERP); SICS/TIME Models (PES); Coastal Gradients of flows (MAP); Southwest Florida Feasibility Study; SFWMD Everglades/Mercury Research.

Overview & Objective(s):

Hydrologic information throughout south Florida's coastal ecosystems is key to the development of restoration strategies and for future evaluation of restoration results. There are significant hydrologic information gaps throughout the Everglades wetlands and estuaries that need to be addressed, particularly along Florida's southwest coast. Among these gaps are flow, water level, and salinity data. Through this study, hydrologic information will be collected at the main tributary rivers flowing into the Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve, including (1) Barron River, (2) Ferguson River/Tide Creek, (3) East River, (4) Fakahatchee River, (5) Faka Union River, (6) Wood River, (7) Little Wood River, (8) Pumpkin River, (9) Whitney River, (10) Blackwater River, and (11) Palm Bay River. The information to be collected includes time-series data for water level, velocity, salinity, and temperature, for a period not to exceed 3-months. Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meters (ADVM) equipped with an up-looking transducer will be installed to facilitate the collection of water stage and velocity with one single instrument. ADCP discharge measurements will be made for the development of Index-Velocity calibration ratings at all instrumented sites. ADCP measurement sessions thru tide will be made to capture the tidal characteristics of these rivers, and used for rating development. Discharge will be computed for the 3-month period for all stations, and analyzed to describe tidal magnitudes that include possible variations due to meteorological events, such as rain and wind. Priorities for bathymetric and hydrologic information needs will be set by the comparison of these tidal magnitudes at all measured rivers. In turn, hydrodynamic modelers can use these data to calibrate and verify models describing flow patterns throughout the study area. The study area encompasses the estuarine regions from Everglades City to Goodland.

The objectives of this project are (1) to describe the hydrodynamic characteristics of tidal rivers within the Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve; (2) provide input to Task 2 of this study, "Bathymetric Characteristics of Estuarine Rivers within the Ten Thousand Island Aquatic Preserve"; and (3) provide support to the SIRENIA Manatee research project, and other ecological research conducted within the study area. Additionally, other federal and state agencies, universities, and local institutions conducting research in the area will be give access to all the information generated though this study.

Status:

The data collection component of this task has been completed and instrumentation removed. Data analysis and report preparation are underway.

Recent & Planned Products:

  1. A Web-only Data Series Report is planned for publication by the end of Fiscal Year 2005. This report will summarize all hydrologic data and finings.
  2. All data will be posted on the USGS SOFIA web page no later than September 30, 2005.

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs:

This project is directly tied to Monitoring Assessment Plan (MAP), performance measures (salinity distributions), hydrodynamic model development and verification, and will provide information on hydrodynamic and salinity characteristics of estuaries within the Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve.

Key Findings:

  1. Preliminary data analysis suggests significant differences in river salinity response to rainfall events at different locations. These differences may reflect on the "connectivity" of rivers south of Tamiami Trail, to available freshwater of wetlands north of the Trail... data analysis is still preliminary and incomplete...



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