Aug 8, 2012

Corkscrew Desert Sanctuary?

Don't expect the old growth cypress to be replaced with saguaros any time soon. But in just a short few years the hydrologic response at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary seems to have suddenly changed to a  drier state.

Can you see that on the hydrograph below?

The hydrograph above displays median stage for three 15-year periods:
1960-1975, 1976-1990 and 1991-2005 in comparison to the most
recent 5-year period starting in 2006.

Maybe it's a normal atmospheric pattern ...

It could be too that groundwater usage or surface water management is at play. Or could it be a taste of the future? Consider that by some metrics the 1990s and early 2000s were wetter than the 1960s and 1970s.


So it's not like we saw this one coming.

June and July rains were subpar over Corkscrew Swamp and Okaloacoochee Slough.  Those two months brought just 11.5 inches of rain, five inches below the normal 16 inch average.  That in part could explain why Lake Trafford is similarly scraping at the bottom of a multi-decadal low.

Lake Trafford is touching down at new historic
low water mark for the month of August

In the meanwhile (until water returns),

Visitors to Corkscrew are advised to just look at the trees.


1 comment:

troutbirder said...

We've beeb birding to Corkscrew on both our visits to Florida (and Twins spring training) . I'm very sad to learn this beautiful sanctuary is a serious risk . I know the wood storks have left because of the drought... :(