That's what this map tries to do.
While it may look confusing at first,
I also opens up the can of worms that is the hydrology of the swamp.
The map displays a hydrologic snapshot of Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve for May 6, 2012. To create it (1) I grabbed the most recent data from all the stations within and adjacent to the preserve and then (2) coded into the symbols and colors you see on the screen. The cypress trees show ecohydrology (i.e. wetland water depth), the white numbers show stage above mean sea level, the structures show headwater/tailwater pooling (behind levees), the flames show drought severity, navigability on Turner River is shown by the canoe, and the “stop light” symbol shows canal/wetland interaction.
For anyone interested, I update the map weekly and post it here.
|Here's a closer look at the symbols|
used to describe the hydrology on the map
What does the map say for this particular day?
This is the interesting time of year when the swamp is half flooded and half dry. On the east side of the preserve (i.e. right) you can see the “cypress tree symbols” are lighted up, thus indicating the presences of surface water (at various levels as color coded) in those areas. Compare that to the northern (i.e. top) and western (i.e. left) portions of the preserve where “flame symbols” are still lighted up (red and orange). That indicates lingering drought severity in those areas.
Now here’s where it gets complicated.
Can you see the “stop light” reminiscent symbols used to show the interaction between canals and wetlands. Sweetwater (i.e. BCA11) lights up as red, indicating that water levels have dropped deep down into the canal. Compare that to the LOOP1 monitoring station at the east end of Loop Road where the water level in the canal is still flooding up and over into the adjacent wetland. Why the difference? At LOOP1 water is leaking in from the adjacent Everglades where water stage (8.14 ft msl) is over a half foot higher than at the LOOP1 station.
|This hydrograph makes a little more sense|
when cross-referenced to the map.
Speaking of the Everglades …
Click here to see a sneak peak for a similar map over there.