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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Storm Runoff and Soil Erosion in South Florida As Affected by Water Table Fluctuations.

Authors
item Savabi, M
item Shinde, Dilip - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Bulgakov, D. - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Norton, Lloyd

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 5, 2003
Publication Date: January 15, 2004
Citation: Savabi, M.R., Shinde, D., Bulgakov, D.A., Norton, L.D. 2004. Storm runoff and soil erosion in south Florida as affected by water table fluctuations. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 59 (1): 28-35.

Interpretive Summary: Before the South Florida were canalized, the immense spatial scale of the wetland systems provided for extensive wet season storage that allowed surface water to persist well into the dry season. This system of natural drainage resulted in sustained water flows and natural sequential patterns of seasonal flooding and drying that supported native plant communities and Everglades wildlife throughout the year. Agricultural production in south Florida is very vulnerable to flooding. For instance, during Tropical Storm Gordon in 1994, is was estimated that about 17 percent of the agricultural area was adversely affected by flooding with an estimated $89 million lost due to the storm. The objective of this study was to measure storm runoff, soil water retention curve, and soil erosion for the farms in south Miami-Dade under different water table regimes. Our results indicate that rainfall-runoff relation is the same for the three common soil types (Perine, Krome, and Chekika) when tested under a rainfall simulator. However, soil loss from Perrine soil was significantly higher than Chekika and Krome soils. In addition, Perrine soil has a higher soil water content than Chekika and Krome at any given suction. The results of this study will help management planning for any alteration of the south Florida hydrology due to the restoration of Everglades National Park.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural production in south Florida, USA is very vulnerable to flooding. For instance, during the topical storm Gordon in 1994, it was estimated that about 17 percent of the agricultural area was adversely affected by flooding. A goal of the Everglades Restoration Plan is to increase water flow to the Everglades National Park and this may result in an elevated water table in parts of Miami-Dade County. Agricultural production in these areas during the wet season could be adversely affected by spatial and temporal flooding. Useful hydrologic data concerning rainfall-runoff relations, erosion and water holding capacity are limited for the region. The objective of this study was to measure storm runoff, soil water retention curve, and soil erosion of the farms in south Miami-Dade under different water table regimes. Our results indicate that rainfall-runoff relation is the same for the three common soil types (Perrine, Krome, and Chekika) when tested under a rainfall simulator. However, soil loss from Perrine soil was significantly higher than Chekika and Krome soils. In addition, Perrine soil has a higher soil water content than Chekika and Krome at any given suction. The results of this study will help management planning for any alteration of the south Florida hydrology due to the restoration of Everglades National Park.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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