Apr 20, 2011

Swamp meets aquifer

Just how dry is it out in the swamp?

This spring the water is as “low” as during the fall it is “high.”

The water table has plunged down into the surficial aquifer this spring 

This graph above gives a closer look. It shows water depth over the past year relative to the swamp’s major habitats. During the wet season peak, usually in September, waters rise up to shallowly inundate into the pines. If you were to stand in the middle of a pond apple forest that would bring water to well up over your knee, or in more technical terms:around a good 2 feet deep.

Pond apple forests also hold water longest, say, 10-11 months per year.

Where's the water? Answer: 2 feet below the roots.

Compare that to this spring:

Instead of being inundated 2 feet deep, the water table has dropped a full two feet below the base of its roots instead. At this point, even many of the perennially-flooded refugia pools have gone dry.

Even many of the dry season refugia pools (background) have gone dry.

And I don’t use “water table” lightly:

What once was swamp sheetflow has vanished into the surficial aquifer instead …

Or in other words: Ground water!

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