FCE LTER Journal Articles


A Hydrological Budget (2002–2008) for a Large Subtropical Wetland Ecosystem Indicates Marine Groundwater Discharge Accompanies Diminished Freshwater Flow


Water budget parameters are estimated for Shark River Slough (SRS), the main drainage within Everglades National Park (ENP) from 2002 to 2008. Inputs to the water budget include surface water inflows and precipitation while outputs consist of evapotranspiration, discharge to the Gulf of Mexico and seepage losses due to municipal wellfield extraction. The daily change in volume of SRS is equated to the difference between input and outputs yielding a residual term consisting of component errors and net groundwater exchange. Results predict significant net groundwater discharge to the SRS peaking in June and positively correlated with surface water salinity at the mangrove ecotone, lagging by 1 month. Precipitation, the largest input to the SRS, is offset by ET (the largest output); thereby highlighting the importance of increasing fresh water inflows into ENP for maintaining conditions in terrestrial, estuarine, and marine ecosystems of South Florida.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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