Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor's Name

René M. Price

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Florentin J. Maurrasse

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Leonard J. Scinto

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Everglades, Tree Islands, Water-Rock Interactions, Calcium Carbonate, Groundwater, Soil

Date of Defense

7-5-2016

Abstract

The decline of tree islands in the freshwater-Everglades wetland because of hydrologic manipulation, has compromised valuable ecosystem services. Although the role of tree islands in maintaining freshwater quality stems largely from evapotranspiration processes, fundamental questions remain about the effects of different geologic materials on their hydrogeochemical functioning. To reduce this uncertainty, the lithological composition of a set of man-made tree islands was investigated coupled with long-term hydrologic and hydrochemical data. Key results indicate that limestone substrates and peat substrates with elevated proportions of sand, facilitated surface water-groundwater interactions and mineral dissolution. However, limestone-based islands were more effective in lowering the water table and concentrating solutes in response to evapotranspiration during low surface water stages. Additionally, the peat substrate of an island with low sand content favored the thermodynamic conditions for calcite accumulation in the phreatic zone, while phosphorus concentrations in the groundwater were associated with the breakdown of organic matter.

Identifier

FIDC000746

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