Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Geology

Major Professor

Mark C. Rains

Keywords

finite-element modeling, marine-derived phosphorus, Shark Slough, SUTRA-MS, Taylor Slough

Abstract

Recent research suggests that brackish, marine-derived groundwater up-wells in the oligohaline ecotone of the coastal Everglades, bringing with it phosphorus to an otherwise phosphorus-poor environment. The purpose of this study is to estimate the rates and timing of the groundwater discharge by using variable-density groundwater models constructed, calibrated, and validated with field measurements of hydraulic head and surface and subsurface temperature. Modeled groundwater discharge rates ranged from 5.4E-04 mm/day in August to -1.3E-03 mm/day in June for Shark Slough and 4.8E-01 mm/day in June to -1.4E-01 mm/day in January for Taylor Slough, where positive values imply groundwater discharge and negative values imply groundwater recharge. These results indicate that groundwater discharge rates during the period of study were low and perhaps a negligible source of marine-derived phosphorous in the oligohaline ecotone of Shark Slough but much higher and perhaps significant source of marine-derived phosphorous in the oligohaline ecotone of Taylor Slough.

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