Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Ruiliang Pu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Rains, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Reader, Ph.D.


ASTER, Wetland Assessment Procedure, Evapotranspiration, Groundwater


In the past, the Northern Tampa Bay Area (NTBA) wetlands saw severe declines in hydrologic conditions due to excessive groundwater withdrawal rates. Eventually these rates were reduced to allow the wetlands to recover. To monitor this recovery, the Southwest Florida Water Management district (SWFWMD) set up a fieldwork based scoring methodology, called the Wetlands Assessment Procedure (WAP). WAP has been used in many studies of the area since groundwater withdrawal reductions; with many of those studies finding the recovery to be mixed at best. However, these studies were very limited in the number of wetlands they could assess due to the limitations of fieldwork. Therefore, it was proposed that remotely sensed variables associated with water consumption and stress be used to assess the recovery of the NTBA wetlands, as remote sensing allows for efficient assessments of targets over large area. Utilizing ASTER imagery scenes from 2005 and 2014, 211 wetlands’ remotely sensed responses of NDVI, Land Surface Temperature (LST), and Evapotranspiration (ET) were mapped and statistically examined for trends indicating improvement or decline. Furthermore, a subset of WAP scores for the two years were examined and compared to the remotely sensed values. The results were contradictory, with remotely sensed responses showing an improvement over the time period, WAP scores indicating a decline in hydrologic conditions, and the two methods showing little to no fit when modeled against each other. As such, it is believed at this time that the remotely sensed method is not suitable for measuring the indicators of wetland recovery used in the WAP methodology.