Apr 2, 2012

Okefenokee is back (but for how long?)

Okefenokee swamp had been mired in a multi-year drought ...

And then like that it's done.

How low was 2011?
So low that its full annual flow volume
doesn't even show up on the bar chart (11,600 acre feet),
however, the recent spring rise jumps out on the hydrograph (top).

The question for me is how long the rise lasts.

Can you see in the twin hydrographs below diverge? The one on the left-hand side showing the 30-year period from 1950-1979 and the one on the right-hand side showing a similar 30-year span from 1980-2011.

The spring peak of the two are similar ...

But summer baseflow is noticeably lower in modern times.

Can you see the drop
in summer baseflow in recent times?

What could be the cause?

Decadal cycles, climate change, diversion of water in upstream watersheds, or changes in how water is released from Okefenokee into the Suwannee come to mind.

Or could it be lowering of the ground-water table from below?

Whatever the reason it's good to see a spring resurgence bring it back for now.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Can you see where I misspelled Okefenokee?