Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor's Name

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major Professor

Second Advisor's Name

Georgio Tachiev

Third Advisor's Name

Michael C. Sukop

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dean Whitman

Keywords

Water Resources, hydrology, numerical modelling, MIKE SHE, Everglades, water quality, phosphorus

Date of Defense

6-23-2014

Abstract

The Florida Everglades has a long history of anthropogenic changes which have impacted the quantity and quality of water entering the system. Since the construction of Tamiami Trail in the 1920's, overland flow to the Florida Everglades has decreased significantly, impacting ecosystems from the wetlands to the estuary. The MIKE Marsh Model of Everglades National Park (M3ENP) is a numerical model, which simulates Everglades National Park (ENP) hydrology using MIKE SHE/MIKE 11software. This model has been developed to determine the parameters that effect Everglades hydrology and understand the impact of specific flow changes on the hydrology of the system.

As part of the effort to return flows to the historical levels, several changes to the existing water management infrastructure have been implemented or are in the design phase. Bridge construction scenarios were programed into the M3ENP model to review the effect of these structural changes and evaluate the potential impacts on water levels and hydroperiods in the receiving Northeast Shark Slough ecosystem. These scenarios have shown critical water level increases in an area which has been in decline due to low water levels. Results from this work may help guide future decisions for restoration designs.

Excess phosphorus entering Everglades National Park in South Florida may promote the growth of more phosphorus-opportunistic species and alter the food chain from the bottom up. Two phosphorus transport methods were developed into the M3ENP hydrodynamic model to determine the factors affecting phosphorus transport and the impact of bridge construction on water quality. Results showed that while phosphorus concentrations in surface waters decreased overall, some areas within ENP interior may experience an increase in phosphorus loading which the addition of bridges to Tamiami Trail. Finally, phosphorus data and modeled water level data was used to evaluate the spectral response of Everglades vegetation to increasing phosphorus availability using Landsat imagery.

Identifier

FI14071171

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