Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 459–474 | Cite as

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

  • Amartya K. Saha
  • Christopher S. Moses
  • René M. Price
  • Victor Engel
  • Thomas J. SmithIII
  • Gordon Anderson


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.


Hydrological budget Everglades Evapotranspiration Groundwater discharge Salinity 



The authors would like to thank the Florida Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Project (FCE-LTER), United States Geological Survey, Everglades National Park and the South Florida Water Management District for making data available for this analysis. A portion of A. Saha’s, C. Moses and R.M. Price’s time was supported by NSF grant no. DBI-0620409. Dr. Price was also supported by the NASA WaterSCAPES project. This is SERC Contribution #533.


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Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amartya K. Saha
    • 1
  • Christopher S. Moses
    • 1
  • René M. Price
    • 1
    • 2
  • Victor Engel
    • 3
  • Thomas J. SmithIII
    • 4
  • Gordon Anderson
    • 5
  1. 1.Southeast Environmental Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and EnvironmentFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.South Florida Ecosystem OfficeEverglades National ParkHomesteadUSA
  4. 4.Southeast Ecological Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveySt. PetersburgUSA
  5. 5.USGS-Southeast Ecology Science CenterEverglades Field StationHomesteadUSA

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