Adapting to a Changing Sea

Monitoring Florida Bay

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Marine Research Institute has been participating in a multidisciplinary effort to map and monitor the discolored- water phenomenon that is occurring in Florida Bay. Monthly field efforts include collection of in situ water quality data at established stations and an aerial overflight designed to determine the status and extent of discolored-water patches.

The 1-km resolution AVHRR images may provide a daily synoptic view of the Florida Bay area and therefore may have the potential to depict the areal extent and location of the discolored water patches on days that biologists are not in the field.

Monthly aerial surveys are used at the Florida Marine Research Institute to map the distribution and extent of turbid water masses in Florida Bay. Water samples are collected and analyzed from around the Bay to determine the composition of the major water masses. Based on the results of these analyses, the original 19 classified colors are summarized into 5 groups of turbidity.

Surface salinity levels are, in part, controlled by rainfall and land-management practices. As an environmental parameter, salinity levels in turn affect the distribution of marine flora and fauna. Salinity levels were collected over a period of several weeks by Florida Marine Research Institute scientists.

Other images and datasets available from the Florida Marine Research Institute

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Gene Carl Feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Todd Carlo Viola, JASON Foundation for Education (todd@jason.org)
Revised: 23 Jan 1996