Biogeochemical classification of South Florida's estuarine and coastal waters

Mar Pollut Bull. 2013 Oct 15;75(1-2):187-204. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.07.034. Epub 2013 Aug 19.


South Florida's watersheds have endured a century of urban and agricultural development and disruption of their hydrology. Spatial characterization of South Florida's estuarine and coastal waters is important to Everglades' restoration programs. We applied Factor Analysis and Hierarchical Clustering of water quality data in tandem to characterize and spatially subdivide South Florida's coastal and estuarine waters. Segmentation rendered forty-four biogeochemically distinct water bodies whose spatial distribution is closely linked to geomorphology, circulation, benthic community pattern, and to water management. This segmentation has been adopted with minor changes by federal and state environmental agencies to derive numeric nutrient criteria.

Keywords: Environmental impact; Estuaries; Segmentation; South Florida; Water biogeochemistry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Estuaries*
  • Florida
  • Seawater / chemistry*
  • Urbanization
  • Water Pollution / statistics & numerical data*