Extreme repeat loop
Rise and Fall of Flood and Drought

Explaining the seasons …

Is rarely easy in the swamp.

Hydrologic Seasons of the Swamp

On the one hand …

There’s the wet and dry season. That sounds easy enough. But that delineation is based on rain from the sky, not the lay of water on the land. Wetlands hold onto water weeks, even months, after the spigot from the sky turns off.

That’s where soil moisture comes in handy.

Soil Moisture History of Big Cypress National Preserve

Or you may be interested in when the sheet flow season starts up, as shown in blue, purple and black on the on the calendar chart below.

Can you see how the swamp has generally been wetter since the 1990s than it was for the twenty years (1970-1980) prior?

Flooding history of Big Cypress National Preserve

The seasons are in constant motion. And they vary from year to year. Just when you think it can’t get any drier the summer rains begin and everything is sopping wet.

Anomalies in other ecosystems, drought and flood are annual norm in the swamps of Big Cypress National Preserve.

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