May 24, 2012

Simplifying the complex (to a degree)

As complicated as the map looks ...
my driving mantra was this:

"Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."

WCA1 SummaryWCA2 SummaryWCA3 SummarySite62Site63Site64Site65Site71NP201NE2P33NP206P36P37S12sS12aS12bS12cS12dS333S11sS10sG3273AngelsBCA12BCA18L28GapBCA5BCA4BCA6BCA11LOOP1BCA10P34BCNP-wideLake OTamiami Sheetflow WestTamiami Sheetflow EastS12aS12S333TheCulvertsS11S10S77S308S65ES18C
S331S344L28WPB RainBroward RainMiami Dade RainLake O RainEAA RainWCA 1&2 RainWCA3 RainBCNP RainWest EAA Rain


Simply click on the symbols to see more detailed information for each (or rather most) of the sites.

I update the map weekly, thus it will be a fun and informative (and handy) way to watch hydrologic conditions evolve in the Everglades as the wet season unfolds.


Coding is relatively self explanatory:

The presence of surface water is indicated by the cypress trees.  The color coding within the cypress trees indicate the flooding level at that site.  Where surface water is not present, i.e. it's below the ground, you will see the flame symbols pop up instead.  The color coding within the flames indicate the degree of drought severity.  Major water control structures are indicated by the square-like symbols.  Color coding within the structure symbols indicate the differential in water level, i.e. pooling, between the headwater and tailwater pools.  Can you see how the S-10 structures are color coded purple?  That means they stack up over 3 feet of water compared to only 1-2 feet behind the S-12s.  Discharge at the structures is indicated by the pink bars. For example, all the S12s are closed except for the S12D which, if you look closely at the map, is indicated as so.

If you click on the S12D symbol it will take you to detailed statistical and historical charts.

The S-12D is flowing again.
That's just one of the things you can glean from the map.
What else does the map show?

Along the bottom it plots up a flow transect for the Tamiami Trail from Carnestown to Dade Corners (S-344) and also, for comparative purposes, flows for other major structures of the Everglades (i..e S-11s and S-10s ... neither of which is currently flowing) and Lake Okeechobee (i.e. S-77 Caloosahatchee, S-308 St Lucie and S-65E Kissimmee) are displayed.

Water elevation above mean sea level is shown by the white numbers.  At the top of the map, can you see where Lake Okeechobee's stage is indicated as 11.6 ft msl?  Now compare that to just downstream in WCA1 where water stage almost four feet higher at 16.1 ft msl.  That's Exhibit A as to why pumps are needed in the Everglades!  (Last time I checked water doesn't flow downhill.)  Similar stage intricacies are apparent on the map further downstream, but I will save those for another day.


The map also uses diamonds (on the right hand side) to elucidate the complex relationship between discharge at the S-333 and S-331 water control structures and water stage at the G-3273 and Angels monitoring stations.  Blue diamonds means water is being diverted towards the northeast portion of Everglades National Park and red diamonds means the water control structures are diverting it away.

Water control structures giveth (and taketh away)!

Photo of S-12D
with S-333 in background
I'm not saying the map is easy to read ...

But if you give it a chance it can help unlock the riddle of the water control structures the next time you happen to drive by.

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