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Conceptual Components for the Coastal Everglades Depth Estimation Network (Coastal EDEN)

Poster presented July 2010, at the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference

Aaron Higer1, Paul A. Conrads2, Heather Henkel3, Pamela Telis4, Bryan J. McCloskey3, and Zhongwie Liu5

1Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL; 2USGS, Columbia, SC ; 3USGS, St. Petersburg, FL; 4USGS, Jacksonville, FL; 5University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) has provided principal investigators and other water-resources managers with quality-assured water levels for more than 250 stations for the period January 1, 2000 to the present for the freshwater portion of the Everglades. In addition, EDEN provides modeled ground elevation and water-level data on a 400-meter grid. Daily water-surfaces are generated and posted on the web and a set of applications (EDENapps) are provided that allow users to interrogate the water-surfaces and water-depths for locations of particular interest to the user. A similar portal for quality-assured data and derived products are needed for the coastal areas.

The principal focus of "Coastal EDEN" will be the oligihaline/mesohaline zone in the Southern Everglades. These coastal areas, or specifically the Coastal Oligohaline Wetlands Zone (sometimes referred to as "the coastal fringe" or the "zone of change"), are critical in evaluating the hydrologic and ecological responses to modifications of the water delivery system from restoration and future climate change. Hydrologic changes, either from flow alterations or climate change, will first be manifested along the coastal fringe. These areas experience tidal backwater conditions, and increases in flow and (or) sea-level rise may move this seaward or landward. Coastal areas will probably exhibit larger relative changes in hydroperiods as compared to inland areas.

Various data and information products are being considered for Coastal EDEN to characterize the coastal fringe of the Everglades. The parameters displayed and served by the Coastal EDEN website will include (depending on what data is collected at the site) water level, velocity, flow, specific conductance, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, rainfall, evapotranspiration, wind, humidity, ground elevation, water depth, soil, vegetation, slope, nutrients, benchmark elevations, and imagery. This poster presents potential products of Coastal EDEN.

Delineation of the Coastal Fringe by Elevation Intervals

preliminary digital elevation map for Coastal Everglades Depth Estimation Network
Figure 1. Preliminary digital elevation map (DEM) for Coastal EDEN. [larger image]
The plant communities of the Everglades are a manifestation of the hydrologic history, and hydroperiods are a principle driver for many aspects of their ecological response. One approach discussed for Coastal EDEN is to work from landscape units (LSUs). The determination of LSUs relies upon expert knowledge for subjective delineations that reflect changes in vegetation across the landscape. An evaluation of the delineations of LSUs is beyond the scope of the EDEN project; however an alternative approach for Coastal EDEN would be to delineate the coastal fringe by areas of equal elevation. An updated digital elevation map (DEM) for the coastal area is currently being developed (fig. 1). The EDEN water-surface and digital-elevation models would be extended, and daily, weekly, monthly, and annual hydrographs could be generated to show water depths for elevation intervals along the coastal fringe. Figure 2 shows water depths for September 2007 (fig. 2A), September 2008 (fig. 2B); and the water-depth difference between the two years (fig. 2C).

average water-depths for September 2007 average water-depths for September 2008 average water-depths for the difference between the two years (2007 and 2008)
Figure 2. Average water-depths for (A) September 2007, (B) September 2008, and (C) the difference between the two years. [click on the images above to view larger versions]

Current Conditions Map

A second product for Coastal EDEN will be current and recent hydrologic and salinity condition maps. Water level, flow, salinity, and temperature data would be displayed with color codes for ranges of conditions for current real-time conditions or average conditions over the recent past (7-, 14-, 28-day). In addition, the change in conditions could also be shown, such as the 1-week or 1-month change in temperature or salinity at a site. For sites with longer periods of record, the current condition can be shown with respect to the historical ranges of percentiles. The data also could be displayed in tabular format. Figure 3 shows a mockup for a potential display of current condition maps. Figure 4 shows average salinity conditions for a 7-day period and the 7-day change in 7-day average salinity.

Coastal Everglades Depth Estimation Network current conditions map showing salinity values for September 30, 2009 at 22:45
Figure 3. Coastal EDEN current conditions map. Example shows salinity values for September 30, 2009 at 22:45. [larger image]

map showing salinity for 7-day average (September 24-30, 2009)
map showing salinity for the 7-day change in 7-day average salinity (September 24-30, 2009 minus September 17-23, 2009)
Figure 4. Maps showing salinity for (A) 7-day average (9/24-30/2009) and (B) the 7-day change in 7-day average salinity (9/24-30/2009 minus 9/17-23/2009). Values indicate the change in weekly average salinity in one week. [click on the images above to view larger versions]

Coastal EDEN Data Portal

screen capture of prototype of the Coastal Everglades Depth Estimation Network data portal
Figure 5. Screen capture of prototype of the Coastal EDEN data portal. [larger image]

The third product will be a web-accessible database of the Coastal EDEN stations. Similar to the current EDEN web portal for the freshwater portion of the Florida Everglades, the Coastal EDEN data portal will allow users to download quality-assured historical data from various agencies for user-defined periods; provide metadata on station location, operation, period of record, measured parameters, etc.; and deliver derived products such as daily water surfaces and water depths. Additionally, interactively derived products may be generated for user-defined subregions, time periods, and variables of interest including customizable maps, hydrographs, and tabular datasets. This will be made possible through the combination of data stored locally in a backend MySQL database, dynamic web scripting, and the visualization and statistical programming language R.

For more information about EDEN, please visit our website at:

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