Modeling belowground water table fluctuations in the Everglades Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Humid lands, such as riparian zones, peatlands, and unsubmerged wetlands, are considered among the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, providing a bountiful habitat for a large number of plant and animal species. In such ecosystems, the water table dynamics play a key role in major ecohydrological processes. The aim of the present study is to test with field data a recent analytical model for the estimation of the long-term probability distribution of the belowground water table position in groundwater-dependent environments. This model accounts for stochastic rainfall and processes such as infiltration, root water uptake, water flow from/to an external water body, and capillary fluxes. The water table model is tested using field data of groundwater levels recorded in three different sites within the Everglades (Florida, USA). A sensitivity analysis of the model to the soil and vegetation parameters is also carried out. After performing a procedure to determinate appropriate model parameters for the three sites, the steady state probability distribution functions of water table levels predicted by the model are compared to the empirical ones at both the annual and the seasonal time scale. The model is shown capable to reproduce many features of the observed distributions although there exist model predictions which still show some discrepancies with respect to the empirical observations. The potential causes for these discrepancies are also investigated and discussed. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

author list (cited authors)

  • Pumo, D., Tamea, S., Noto, L. V., Miralles‐Wilhem, F., & Rodriguez‐Iturbe, I.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • November 2010