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Correlation of Water Quality Indicators for Coastal Marshes

Title: Correlation of Water Quality Indicators for Coastal Marshes.
Name(s): Hendrix, Matthew, author
Chen, Gang, professor directing thesis
Watts, Michael, committee member
Clark, Clayton, II, committee member
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Florida provides some of the most diverse and beautiful environments in the United States, with northwest Florida being a nearly undisturbed bounty of lush lands, springs, and other geological and ecological features. Increases in population have recently started to jeopardize some of Florida's prized areas, including the Ochlocknee-St Marks Basins. Development and agriculture has started to affect watersheds and waterbodies. This study has evaluated the water quality of coastal marshes at the St. Marks national Wildlife Refuge in terms of coliform and chlorophyll a. With these constituents, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, pH, conductivity, and total suspended solids were evaluated. The study took place with data from January 2009 to June 2009. The study site of this research, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, is located 25 miles south of Tallahassee along the Gulf Coast of Florida. To analyze for coliform, 100ml samples were filtered on cellulose nitrate membranes and subsequently incubated. After 24hrs the fecal coli forms were counted and recorded. Measuring the chlorophyll a was done taking a volume of water from a particular depth and filtering it through a fine glass fiber filter to collect all of the particulate material great than 1 micron. To extract the chlorophyll, acetone/alcohol was used as a solvent and then measured using an optical kit and Luminometer utilizing a chlorophyll a standard. Effective diffusion was then measured in the lab using a diffusion coefficient in distilled water. This process was also observed using a Hamamatsu high sensitivity monochrome digital camera in a dark room, with the sample being placed in a petri dish with native soil. Chlorophyll a adsorption was measured by introducing the sample to a column filled with goethite-coated silica sand. Transport parameters were obtained by fitting the experimentally obtained Chlorophyll a breakthrough data using an implicit, finite-difference scheme. All the parameters were optimized by minimizing the sum of squared differences between observed and fitted concentrations using the nonlinear least-square method. Some key observations over the sample period include the dropping of DO as the summer months began indicating increased microbial activity with temperature. TKN and Chlorophyll were observed to increase as temperature increased. When observing Chlorophyll as a function of TKN, the Pearson Correlation and the plot indicate that with increased TKN more microbiological activity occurs - such as with plants, algae, etc. Interestingly when Chlorophyll was plotted as a function of DO, the low DO encourages microbial growth, however only to an extent. The point can be made that less polluted water has less microbial activity. The correlation between coliform and turbidity showed an increase of coliform with NTU. Chlorophyll as a function of turbidity showed no correlation. However as a first order function, d[Chlorophyll a]/d[Turbidity] displayed a linear relationship with turbidity, indicating the correlation of chlorophyll a variation with respect to turbidity. When conductivity was plotted against pH, the variability of conductivity and pH was not significantly different. Chlorophyll a also had a correlation with pH. With the increase of pH, chlorophyll a exponentially decreased. This research shows the increased ability to forecast and assess risk presented by development and agriculture of coastal environment based on physical and chemical variations in coastal wetland ecosystems.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-5361 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2012.
Date of Defense: November 1, 2012.
Keywords: environment, water quality
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Gang Chen, Professor Directing Thesis; Michael Watts, Committee Member; Clayton Clark, II, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Civil engineering
Environmental engineering
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Hendrix, M. (2012). Correlation of Water Quality Indicators for Coastal Marshes. Retrieved from