The U.S. Geological Survey cooperative ground-water monitoring program in Miami-Dade County, Florida, expanded from 4 to 98 continuously recording water-level monitoring wells during the 1939-2001 period. Network design was based on area specific assessments; however, no countywide statistical assessments of network coverage had been performed for the purpose of assessing network redundancy.
To aid in the assessment of network redundancy, correlation analyses were performed using S-PLUS 2000 statistical analysis software for daily maximum water-level data from 98 monitoring wells for the November 1, 1973, to October 31, 2000 period. Because of the complexities of the hydrologic, water-supply, and water-management systems in Miami-Dade County and the changes that have occurred to these systems through time, spatial and temporal variations in the degree of correlation had to be considered. To assess temporal variation in correlation, water-level data from each well were subdivided by year and by wet and dry seasons. For each well, year, and season, correlation analyses were performed on the data from those wells that had available data. For selected wells, the resulting correlation coefficients from each year and season were plotted with respect to time. To assess spatial variation in correlation, the coefficients determined from the correlation analysis were averaged. These average wet- and dry-season correlation coefficients were plotted spatially using geographic information system software.
Wells with water-level data that correlated with a coefficient of 0.95 or greater were almost always located in relatively close proximity to each other. Five areas were identified where the water-level data from wells within the area remained correlated with that of other wells in the area during the wet and dry seasons. These areas are located in or near the C-1 and C-102 basins (2 wells), in or near the C-6 and C-7 basins (2 wells), near the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority Well Field (2 wells), near the Hialeah-Miami Springs Well Field (6 wells), and near the West Well Field (21 wells). Data from the remaining 65 wells (most of the wells in the network) generally were not correlated with those of other wells during both the wet and dry seasons with an average coefficient of 0.95 or greater for the comparison.
Because many of the wells near the West Well Field and some near the Hialeah-Miami Springs Well Field had not been in operation for very long (most having been installed in 1994), the averaged correlation coefficients for these wells were often determined using only a few seasons of data. For the few instances where water-level data were found to be well correlated on average for a lengthy period of record, short-term declines in correlation were often identified. In general, it would be beneficial to compare data for longer periods of record than currently available.