Simple as sheetflow

How does sheetflow “get going” in the Everglades?

It’s not as simple as it looks.

In Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve it’s the same old story year after year: rainfall fills up the swamps deep enough and wide enough that by mid summer, if you look closely, you’ll see it flowing south like molasses … although not exactly cold.

Compare that to Loxahatchee up in the headwaters of the Everglades.

Flow into and out of it is not governed solely by seasons, but rather by its structures … and the regulatory schedule they abide to.

Case in point has been this past year:

Its southern release gates – the S-10s – were closed during its traditional “high-water season,” but were opened on two occasions during the past year: (1) from late May into July 2009 and (2) from March 2010 to present …

Despite being at a lower level than the fall peak wet season.

The reason?

Simply stated:
That’s what the regulation schedule says to do.

Of course there are lots of complex reasons for that.

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