Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mark C. Rains, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph D. Hughes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark T. Stewart, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kenneth E. Trout, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ping Wang, Ph.D.


Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, base flow, stream flow, run off, hydrodynamic model, particle transport, residence time


For this dissertation I studied flow and transport in low gradient Florida streams. Chapter 2 is a statewide analysis of long-term variations in stream discharge. The results from Chapter 2 suggest that changes in mean annual stream discharge are controlled by the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO). During the warm phase, mean annual discharge decreases in central Florida and increases in north Florida. The opposite is true during the cool phase, with mean annual discharge increasing in central Florida and decreasing in north Florida. This pattern is observed for both components of stream discharge, base flow and runoff.

The following two chapters are part of an analysis of particle transport in low gradient mangrove estuaries. Chapter 3 describes the use of a numerical model to simulate the hydrodynamics of a coastal reach of the Shark River, Florida Everglades and the development of a Lagrangian particle tracking model. The particle tracking model uses the output from the hydrodynamic model to simulate the movement of particles released within the model domain. In Chapter 4, the hydrodynamic and particle tracking models are used to estimate the historical particle residence time in the Shark River Slough Estuary (SRSE) and determine the key factors controlling particle residence time and fate in mangrove estuaries. The mean and median residence times in the model domain are 16 and 8 hours, respectively, and 60% of all particles exit the model domain downstream, towards the Gulf of Mexico. Particle residence time varies greatly depending on the particle release location and timing. The residence time is significantly lower for particles released in the middle of the channel and for particles released during the wet season, spring tides or during upstream flows. Additionally, there is a decreasing trend in mean particle residence time from 1997 through 2017, mirroring an increasing trend in mean annual water levels in the SRSE. The combined results of this dissertation show the impact that a variable climate can have on stream flow and particle transport.

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Hydrology Commons