Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Sarah E. Kruse, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Rains, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chester Weiss, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Crisman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mahmood Nachabe, Ph.D.


ground-penetrating radar, electric resistivity, electromagnetic induction, 3D Forward Modeling, Inversion, Mangrove Forest, wetlands, Florida, hydrogeology


This dissertation consists of three projects utilizing electric and electromagnetic (EM) methods to better understand critical-zone hydrogeologic conditions in select Florida wetlands and waters.

First, a time-lapse electrical resistivity (ER) survey was conducted in section of mangrove forest on a barrier island in southeast Florida to image changes in pore-water salinity in the root zone. ER data show the most variability in the root zone over a 24-hour period, and, generally, the ground is more resistive during the day than overnight.

Second, a suite of three-dimensional forward models, based on varying lateral boundaries and conductivities typical of a coastal wetland, were run to simulate the EM response of a commerical electromagnetic induction instrument crossing over said boundaries. Normalized profiles show the transition is sharper in a hypersaline regime than one where freshwater and clay are present. Furthermore, enough variability exists in hypersaline regimes to justify collecting profile measurements in multiple coil configurations to constrain the nature of a lateral boundary.

Also, under certain circumstances, there are kinks in the EMI response even across abrupt boundaries due to concentrated current density at a layer's edge.

Lastly, geophysical surveys were conducted at six wetlands in west-central Florida to characterize potential hydrostratigraphic units and compare/contrast them to the current conceptual model for cypress dome wetlands. ER was used to image the geometry of the top of limestone; ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to image stratigraphy beneath and surrounding wetlands. These wetlands can be grouped into two models. Topographic highs surrounding wetlands are controlled by the undulating top of limestone at sites where the region is characterized by limestone ridges. In contrast, topographic highs are controlled by thick sand packages at sites regionally characterized by sand dunes over scoured limestone.