Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Larry C. Peterson

Second Committee Member

John A. Gifford

Third Committee Member

Sarah K. Meltzoff

Fourth Committee Member

Melissa Memory


Submerged prehistoric archaeological material exists on the continental shelf in Florida. Florida Bay is a shallow marine body of water located between the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys. Previously, no attempts have been made to locate such material in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park. This National Park Service funded study was initiated to develop a method to quantify submerged prehistoric cultural resources that may be harmed by world sea level rise and regional anthropogenic changes. No technology now exists to remotely sense prehistoric archaeological material, thus this investigation involved first the development of a predictive model. This included an analysis of sea level change since the Pleistocene, island migration, and identification of karst features and freshwater peat within Florida Bay. The methodology included use of ArcGIS, geophysical remote sensing, and subsurface sampling. The study revealed that (1) the basins within Florida Bay were likely freshwater during the Archaic (9950-2450 BP) and (2) present day mudbanks and islands were exposed dry land. Submerged prehistoric archaeological material was not identified in Florida Bay but it is hypothesized such material exists preserved beneath the mudbanks and mangrove islands.


Florida Bay; Cultural Resources; Prehistoric; Archaeology; Predictive Model