Jul 17, 2018

Reverse flows

Normally it's freshwater ...

Flowing downstream over the weir.

Saltwater backflowing over the weir,
As seen on May 18th, 2011
looking to the east

Except during spring droughts when high tides send saltwater up and over the weir the opposite way.

No flow over the weir!

As seen May 8th
during the spring drought of 2011
looking to the southeast
(downstream to the right)

Jul 16, 2018

Window into a restoration

Every time I drive by Faka Union Canal ...

I glance over to see how much water is spilling over the weir.

Hydrograph of discharge across Faka Union
Weir No. 1, 2015 to present
If only my eye were that good!

Fortunately, water managers are precisely measuring the flow..

Historical calendar of discharge across Faka Union Canal Weir No. 1, 1990 to present.  The larger black dots indicate the times when discharge was at its peak.  The long-term goal is to reduce those events and spread the water out.

The long term goal, once the restoration is done, is to spread the water out across upstream Picayune Strand State Forest so that the point discharge at the weir will not be as much.  In that way, the weir is a picture window in the watershed-scale restoration underway upstream.

Jul 13, 2018

"Hydrologic" Friday the 13th

Luck is all about ...

Being in the right place at the right time.

The kerplunk of the pond apple
is a special sound

That's how I felt when I found myself alone in this cypress dome, slogging along, only to have its silence broken by the rare acoustical event of a falling pond apple kerplunking in the water up ahead.

I followed the splash through the ripples and then picked it up.

It may very well have been my luckiest day!

Jul 12, 2018

Pond apple (on the tree)

Pond apples fall straight down
as sure as water finds the quickest
path to the coast.  That's usually
slow-going in the swamp!

Jul 11, 2018

S-12s on the rise

Even with the S-12A and B gates still being closed,

Flow through the S-12s is still "above average" for early July.

Hydrograph showing discharge through the four S-12 structures from 2015 to present.  The dotted white line shows the long-term median and the blue line the recent few years.  The S-12s are closed each winter and spring per regulatory criteria.

The reason?

Answer: The record-rainy May filled up upstream Water Conservation 3A.

On the downstream side of S-333,
a companion structure to the S-12s that, instead of directly
sending water south into the Park, releases water east towards
the new bridges being built on the Tamiami Trail

As for when the S-12A and B will open, I suspect later this month.

Jul 10, 2018

Skyview of S-12A

As seen looking west into the Big Cypress
Going straight ahead is Loop Road with the Tamiami
Trail and L-28 levee curving off out of view
to the northwest

Jul 9, 2018

Water shift underway

Historically it was the S-12s structures...

That fed Everglades National Park its water from the north.

S-12B structure as seen near Shark Valley VC,
looking east down the Tamiami Trail

With one bridge built,

And two more on the way ...

Third of three bridges,
looking south

he move is afoot to shift more flow to the east to the main thalweg of Shark River Slough.

Jul 3, 2018

Swamp mosaic

Marl prairie, hydric pine flatwoods,
cypress domes and strands

As seen west of Monroe Station looking SE

Jul 2, 2018

Open or closed?

The Tamiami Trail isn't just scenic:

It's a treasure trove of major water management features.

S-12D looking west: open

S-12A looking East: closed for now

S-335A, looking north: closed all the time
S-333, looking west: open,
sending water to the one-mile bridge
Each one and as a sum are managed in attempt to get the water right.