The Okefenokee Swamp is a 160,000 ha freshwater wetland in Southeast Georgia, USA that developed in a landscape basin. Hydrologic variability across the swamp suggests that water-surface elevations are not uniform across the swamp. The topographic surface map discussed herein was developed to describe the swamp topography at local to landscape scales and relate the swamp peat- and sand-surface elevations to elevation above mean sea level. These data were then used to relate water-surface elevations across the swamp so that the swamp hydrologic environment could be described spatially and temporally with a spatial hydrology model. The swamp was divided into 5 sub-basins that reflect similar seasonal hydrodynamics but also indicate local conditions unique to the basins. Topographic gradient influences water-level dynamics in the western swamp (2 sub-basins), which is dominated by the Suwannee River floodplain. The eastern swamp (3 sub-basins) is terraced, and the regional hydrology is driven less by topographic gradient and more by precipitation and evapotranspiration volumes. The relatively steep gradient and berm and lake features in the western swamp's Suwannee River floodplain limit the spatial extent of the Suwannee River sill's effects, whereas system sensitivities to evapotranspiration rates are more important drivers of hydrology in the eastern swamp.
Additional publication details
Development of a grid-cell topographic surface for Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia