Apr 17, 2014

Water table "free fall"

It almost felt like the wet season out there today,

Afternoon showers were popping up left and right.

The above hydrograph shows a wetland water depth summary for Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve.  The solid blue line indicates water depth from 2012 to present.  The horizontal color coding indicates the ecological thresholds for major vegetation communities in the swamp, from bottom to top: dry season refugia, pond apple and marsh, cypress domes and strands, dwarf cypress marl prairies, and hydric and mesic pines.  The variable shading (i.e. dark to light) show the historic statistics and range, as measured from 1993 to present.The dotted white line indicates the long-term median level, as calculated from 1993 to present.  Currently, water levels are low, but pretty typical for this time of year.  That means that surface water is mostly absent except for the deeper areas (i.e. domes and strands) where the peat remains moist.    

But don't count on them to last.

The swamp water table has dropped 8 inches since the beginning of April. And chances are it will continue to drop in the weeks ahead.

The hydrograph matches 
what we see on the ground:

Dry but moist in the deepest holes,
with puddles of water becoming
increasingly harder to find.

Not that you'll be able to see it:

In most places it's now under the ground.

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