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publications > paper > groundwater control of mangrove surface elevation: shrink and swell varies with soil depth

Groundwater Control of Mangrove Surface Elevation: Shrink and Swell Varies with Soil Depth

KEVIN R. T. WHELAN1,*, THOMAS J. SMITH III2, DONALD R. CAHOON3, JAMES C. LYNCH3, and GORDON H. ANDERSON4

1 U.S. Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center, c/o Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences, Owa Ehan. 167, University Park, 11200 SW 8 Street, Miami, Florida 33199
2 U.S. Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center, 600 Fourth Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
3 U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, BARC-EAST Building #308, Beltsville, Maryland 20705
4 U.S. Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center, c/o Everglades National Park Field Station, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, Florida 33034

* Corresponding author; current address: National Park Service, South Florida/Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network, 18001 Old Cutler Road Suite 419, Miami Florida 33157; tele: 305/252-0347; fax: 305/253-0463; e-mail: Kevin_R_Whelan@nps.gov

Posted with permission from ESTUARIES and COASTS, the Journal of the Estuarine Research Federation; December 2005; Vol. 28, No. 6, p. 833-843.

>Abstract
Introduction
Materials & Methods
Results
Discussion
Acknowledgments
Literature Cited
Figures, Tables & Equations
PDF Version
ABSTRACT: We measured monthly soil surface elevation change and determined its relationship to groundwater changes at a mangrove forest site along Shark River, Everglades National Park, Florida. We combined the use of an original design, surface elevation table with new rod-surface elevation tables to separately track changes in the mid zone (0-4 m), the shallow root zone (0-0.35 m), and the full sediment profile (0-6 m) in response to site hydrology (daily river stage and daily groundwater piezometric pressure). We calculated expansion and contraction for each of the four constituent soil zones (surface [accretion and erosion; above 0 m], shallow zone [0-0.35 m], middle zone [0.35-4 m], and bottom zone [4-6 m]) that comprise the entire soil column. Changes in groundwater pressure correlated strongly with changes in soil elevation for the entire profile (Adjusted R2 = 0.90); this relationship was not proportional to the depth of the soil profile sampled. The change in thickness of the bottom soil zone accounted for the majority (R2 = 0.63) of the entire soil profile expansion and contraction. The influence of hydrology on specific soil zones and absolute elevation change must be considered when evaluating the effect of disturbances, sea level rise, and water management decisions on coastal wetland systems.

Introduction >


Received, November 9, 2004
Revised, May 2, 2005
Accepted, August 16, 2005



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