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 Home |Tampa Bay Study| Reports | Demonstration Projects, Task 1: Baseline Mapping

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Contents | Background | Objectives & Strategy | Partners | Baseline Mapping | Groundwater & Surface Water | Wetlands & Seagrass | Information System Management | University Partnerships | Deliverables | Structure

Gulf of Mexico Estuaries - Tampa Bay Pilot Study
Demonstration Projects


Task 1: Baseline Mapping

Satellite photograph of Tampa Bay
Figure 1. Satellite photograph of Tampa Bay indicating demonstration project study sites near the Alafia River and Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve. Modified from USGS Open-File Report 97-287 (Raabe and Stumpf, 1991).
The need for baseline maps and bathymetry for the Tampa Bay Region was identified as a priority item by NOAA, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Southwest Florida Water Management District. These maps were created at broadscale and fine scale and provided the background information that biologists, geologists and water resource scientists need in order to develop high resolution digital maps and GIS products that were intended to be available through web-based data management systems.

Broadscale mapping efforts helped provide a context for the smaller demonstration site locations with respect to urbanization, land use, watershed area, etc. Fine scale maps were used for comparison between localities and as working maps for scientific information. Finescale maps focused on two locations in Tampa Bay: Alafia River area and Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve (See Fig. 1).

These localities were chosen based upon critical needs as determined by meetings with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Seagrass Working Group, FMRI, and discussions at the USGS GOM Estuaries Integrated Science Workshop.

Briefly, these two sites were chosen with respect to urbanization, water quality, and estuarine health. The study site near the Alafia River was selected as an example of a highly disturbed part of the Tampa Bay estuary, and Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve was selected because it is a state-protected area with fewer anthropogenic impacts.

Task 1A: Broad Scale Mapping
Documentation of Urbanization, Historical Land Use Change, and Basemap Formulation

Task Participants:

Vince Caruso (NMD), Dean Gesch (NMD), John Brock (GD), Dan Sechrist (NMD), John Koehmstedt (NMD), Jimmy Johnston (BRD), Pat O’Neil (BRD), Janet Tilley (NMD), and William Acevedo (NMD).

Task Summary and Objectives:

Tampa Bay has undergone increased urbanization and land use change over the last 50 years. We will document this change by compilation of historical maps, water data and biological data into the GIS format to:

  1. Build a seamless high resolution digital elevation model (DEM) for the Tampa Bay area using lidar measurements for land areas combined with NOAA's historical and current bathymetry data and USGS newly acquired bathymetry for the water. Pinellas County will be the main focus area of the lidar work, with other areas to follow as data are made available. These data are critical for the development of baseline maps that will be used to generate GIS products for results of all other topical studies. Identified as a time critical need---Vince Caruso and Dean Gesch (NMD), and John Brock (GD) will work on this task (Jan-Apr ’01).

  2. Create GIS data layers with multi-temporal land cover and land use information from historical imagery, photographs and maps of the Tampa Bay region. Archive imagery and maps will be researched and scanned into a digital format and spatially integrated with other data already available in digital form. These historical data are to be used in tracking changes in vegetation and geomorphology in the Tampa Bay watershed. Identified as a time critical need--Dan Sechrist and John Koehmstedt (NMD), Jimmy Johnston and Pat O’Neil (BRD) and Darren Khona (U. of Florida) will work on this task (Jan-Jun ’01). These scientists will collaborate with the SWFWMD-SWM to access, compile, georectify, and digitally format historical aerial photography of Tampa Bay. The NMD component will focus on broad-scale imagery encompassing all of the Tampa Bay region (approximately 1:100,000 scale). The BRD component will focus on high resolution site specific imagery to produce a complementary systematic GIS map product. Their focus area will include the wetlands near the mouth of the Alafia River and the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve at Terra Ceia. Resulting map products are critical baseline information for geological, biological, and water quality investigations.

  3. Urbanization: Create multi-temporal GIS layers delineating urban vs. non-urban land over the past century. These data are used to monitor urban development and the distribution of impervious surfaces. Dan Sechrist, John Koehmstedt, and Janet Tilley (NMD) and others will work on this task (Jan-May ’01). Develop a predictive model for the urban footprint /impervious surfaces of the future. This is useful for modeling future impacts of urbanization on bay ecology. William Acevedo and Janet Tilley (NMD) will work on this task (May-June ’01).

  4. Perform geographical analysis of the current and predicted future risk to the population and built environment from major hazards as a demonstration of decision support and query capabilities. These natural hazards may include hurricanes, storm surges, coastal erosion, or floods and their potential impacts on the Tampa Bay watershed. These scenarios applied data developed by other project tasks (elevation, bathymetry, land cover, coastal geomorphology) and other Federal (NOAA, Census, COE), State (FMRI, SWFWMD), and local (TBEP) partners. The analysis will address historical changes that have taken place in the coastline, changes that have occurred in the distribution and density of the population, housing, commercial and industrial sectors, and land values. Information from past disasters and their impact on the region will be factored into the analysis. Michael Crane (NMD) will direct the work on this task (February-Aug ’01)

Task 1B: Fine Scale Mapping
Precise Bathymetry, Surficial Geology, and Benthic Habitat Mapping

Task Participants:

Mark Hansen (USGS-GD), Mark Fonseca (NOAA). Other potential collaborators: Al Hine (USF), Dave Naar (USF), Stan Locker (USF), Gregg Brooks (Eckerd College), Dave Duncan (Department of Environmental Science and Policy, USF).

Task Summary and Objectives:

With the exception of shipping channels and select locations, the bathymetry of Tampa Bay has not been updated since the 1950’s. NOAA and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) has identified the need for updated bathymetry with emphasis on shallow bathymetry (<3m). This information is critical for providing baseline bathymetry maps for Tampa Bay and for current efforts by NOAA (Mark Fonseca) to generate and apply a REI wave model for examining long-shore bar destruction and related seagrass die-off in Tampa Bay.

  1. Precise Bathymetry: Bathymetric mapping in select site areas (Fig. 1) will be acquired concurrently with high definition seismic profiling and benthic habitat mapping. Bathymetric change analysis will be performed by comparing new data sets to historical (NOAA) data sets to establish bathymetric change. Bathymetry and bathymetric change data will be presented in GIS format and will be incorporated into NOAA’s REI Wave Model for Tampa Bay.

  2. Shallow Seismic Mapping: Shallow seismic mapping will occur concurrently with bathymetric mapping using a CHIRP (multi-frequency) seismic system. This system is capable of identifying shallow stratigraphic layers which are greater than 30cm in thickness and composed of fine to medium sand/shell. Less resolution is obtained in fine sands and mud. Identification of shallow stratigraphic layers is critical for establishing links between shallow and deep (>15m) stratigraphy (deep stratigraphic mapping by USF has begun) and for identifying layers containing aquifers that feed fresh water into the Bay through point or sheet sources. Shallow seismic mapping will provide critical information for identifying locations for groundwater flux investigations and resistivity mapping. Seismic data will also be presented in GIS format.

  3. Benthic Habitat Mapping: High resolution side-scan sonar, capable of imaging features 20cm in height, will be used concurrently with bathymetric and seismic mapping system to map benthic habitats in Tampa Bay. Efforts will be coordinated with Questor Tangent Corporation to utilize newly developed software for classifying sonar images. A low light video camera will be attached to the side-scan sonar to film bottom environments. This information will aid in ground-truthing and to assist in the classification process. Surficial bottom samples will be collected in representative areas for ground-truthing sonar images and to assess grain size, composition, and other sedimentological parameters. These data will be put into GIS format to allow integration of biological and water data (salinity, contaminants)

*All mapping efforts were coordinated with the University of South Florida (Al Hine, Dave Naar, Stan Locker, and Dave Duncan), Eckerd College (Gregg Brooks), and NOAA to avoid overlap with existing mapping exercises and to integrate data sets.
Contents | Background | Objectives & Strategy | Partners | Baseline Mapping | Groundwater & Surface Water | Wetlands & Seagrass | Information System Management | University Partnerships | Deliverables | Structure

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