Tidal and long-term exchanges through channels in the Middle and Upper Florida Keys
Abstract:Current meter time series collected during 1994 and 1995 from channels in the Middle and Upper Florida Keys are used to investigate the movement of water between Florida Bay and Hawk Channel on the Atlantic side of the keys. The cumulative net displacement through Channel Two and Indian Key Channel indicates a long-term net outflow into Hawk Channel. Data from Whale Harbor Channel and Snake Creek show a long-term net flow into Florida Bay. Measurements from Tavernier Creek show a net inflow during the first half of a 3-mo study period and a nearly equal outflow during the second half. Amplitudes and local phase angles of the principal tidal constituents are used to calculate tide-induced volume transport. For the M2 constituent, the volume moving past the study site during each half tidal cycle varies from 0.8 × 106 m3 in Tavernier Creek to 12.5 × 106 m3 in Channel Two. The other principal semidiurnal and diurnal constituents (S2, K1, and O1) add volumes ranging from 13 to 47% of the M2 value. Long-term transport associated with the principal tidal constituents varies from 1.6 m3 s−1 in Tavernier Creek to 68.6 m3 s−1 in Channel Two. Results indicate a tide-induced movement of water into Florida Bay through four of the five channels. Only Whale Harbor Channel shows a net outflow. Current meter and bottom pressure records from Channel Two and Indian Key Channel are used to calculate total volume transport. Average outflows through Channel Two and Indian Key Channel are −53.9 and −30.3 m3 s−1, respectively. Comparison of volume transport calculated from observed currents and water levels with values calculated from observed currents and predicted water levels suggests that historical current meter data can be paired with predicted tidal water level fluctuations to estimate total transport within a few percent. Channel transport values estimated from calibration data obtained during a single tidal cycle can have errors of ± 20%.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1998
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