Publication Date

2016-05-02

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2016-05-02

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2016-03-30

First Committee Member

Douglas Fuller

Second Committee Member

Shouraseni Sen Roy

Third Committee Member

Kathleen Sullivan Sealey

Abstract

In 2000, the United States Congress passed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Its focus is aimed at realigning the current hydrologic patterns of the greater Everglades watershed to historical hydro-cycles. One component was the construction of a one-mile bridge in 2013 (the Limited Revaluation Report (“LRR”) Bridge) as part of the Tamiami Trail Modification Project (TTMP). The LRR Bridge is the first phase of a planned 6.5-miles of bridging of the Tamiami Trail. If successful, the LRR Bridge should result in increased photosynthetic activity, as a result of the increased penetration of water through the Shark River Slough. This thesis seeks to assess whether MODIS-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) serves as an effective tool to monitor long-term impacts of the TTMP on the Shark River Slough. Analysis of the relationship between Sum NDVI and water level yielded mixed results. Strong correlations, with low r2 values, were observed for all sites combined and when analyzed on or off slough. However, a site-specific analysis generated mostly weak correlations, yielding few patterns. MODIS-derived NDVI generated from 2002-2015 was then used to quantitatively examine trends in water level and photosynthesis. An examination of pre- and post-construction of the bridge yielded spatially comprehensible patterns. Pre-construction patterns show that negative slope was pervasive throughout the slough, but there is evidence that year-on-year increases in Sum NDVI are discernible post-construction. Positive trends in the Northeast Shark River Slough suggest that MODIS-derived NDVI has the potential to spatially evaluate ecosystem changes in order to quantify progress.

Keywords

Everglades; MODIS; NDVI; Tamiami Trail; Shark River Slough

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