Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

Coral Fluorescence Records Everglades Hydrology: 1918-1983

Event Name/Location

Program and Proceedings: Association of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean 21st Annual Meeting May 24-27, 1988

Presentation Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


An ultraviolet laser was used to study the fluorescence spectrum of coral skeletons. Montastrea annularis heads growing near the mouth of the New River Canal, Florida, had unusual three-part growth and fluorescence records:

  1. 1918-1944. High growth, annual fluorescence peak.
  2. 1945-1969. Low growth, high fluorescence, except during drought years
  3. 1970-1983. High growth, annual fluorescence peak.

The first change followed opening of the New River Canal to drain the Everglades-Lake Okeechobee Agricultural Area for sugar cane cultivation. In 1969 canal flows were sharply reduced, and urban and agricultural waste waters pumped into diked conservation areas in order to increase infiltration into a dangerously lowered aquifer.

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