Monitoring Regional-Scale Hydrologic Processes in the South Florida Ecosystem

EPA Grant Number: R825156
Title: Monitoring Regional-Scale Hydrologic Processes in the South Florida Ecosystem
Investigators: Kasischke, Eric S. , Richardson, Curtis J. , Romanowicz, Edwin
Current Investigators: Kasischke, Eric S. , Bourgeau-Chavez, Laura L. , Richardson, Curtis J. , Romanowicz, Edwin , Smith, Kevin B.
Institution: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan , Duke University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 1999
Project Amount: $896,086
RFA: Ecological Assessment (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Ecosystems


The overall goal of the research project is to develop new approaches to monitor and predict hydrologic processes in the South Florida ecosystem. The processes to be studied include: (1) the patterns of overland surface flow and freshwater estuarine inflow in southwestern Florida; and (2) the patterns of overland water flow throughout the Florida Everglades National Park, as well as the Water Conservation Areas to the north of this park. To achieve the first goal, a model which predicts the overland flow of water into estuaries under both disturbed and undisturbed conditions for the southwestern Florida region will be implemented. The use of historical and present-day remote sensing data as methods for providing inputs to the hydrologic model as well as validate the outputs from the model will be developed and evaluated. The model will then be exercised for the time period of 1970 to present to determine the patterns of freshwater inflow to estuaries in this region. The model outputs will also be compared to outputs of historical patterns of salinity in several estuaries of this region. Finally, the model will be exercised to determine how natural patterns of freshwater inflow can be restored to the estuaries of this region through better management of the water control structures, as well as restoration of disturbed wetlands in this region. To achieve the second goal, techniques to use multi-date satellite radar imagery (ERS and Radarsat) to map patterns of water inundation in the wetland ecosystems of the Everglades National Park and the Water Conservation areas to the north of the park will be developed. The radar observations will be validated by comparing the patterns of water inundation observed on the radar imagery to well log data and surface observations obtained in different vegetation types found in the study region. These ground studies will be coordinated with ongoing efforts by the U.S. Geologic Survey and U.S. Park Service. Finally, the patterns of water inundation observed on the radar images will be compared to those predicted by hydrologic flow models for this region. This project will result in new ways to use satellite remote sensing data in studies of hydrologic flow patterns in the different wetland ecosystems found throughout south Florida. These new approaches will provide resource managers and scientists to monitor the seasonal patterns of flooding in these ecosystems, as well as models for investigating how land use changes will influence patterns of surface water flow.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 10 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

ecosystem, wetland, hydrology, modeling, remote sensing, radar imagery, South Florida, Everglades, RFA, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, exploratory research environmental biology, State, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecological Indicators, aquatic, ecological condition, monitoring, remote sensing, wetlands, Florida Everglades, aquatic biota , biodiversity, ecosystem assessment, estuaries, satellite images, Southeastern Estuaries, regional hydrologic vulnerability, conservation, ecosystem condition, ecological assessment, estuarine ecosystems, regional scale, aquatic ecosystems, water conservation, restoration, South Florida ecosystem, Florida

Relevant Websites:

Our Web Site, which contains 25 hydropattern maps should be available for viewing after January 31, 2000.
The site is Exit EPA icon.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998 Progress Report
  • Final Report