Continuous Stream Discharge, Salinity, and Associated Data Collected in the Lower St. Johns River and Its Tributaries, Florida, 2017

Open-File Report 2019-1078
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers



The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, plans to deepen the St. Johns River channel in Jacksonville, Florida, from 40 to 47 feet along 13 miles of the river channel, beginning at the mouth of the river at the Atlantic Ocean, to accommodate larger, fully loaded cargo vessels. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, (1) installed continuous data collection stations to monitor discharge, salinity, and associated parameters at 23 sites prior to the commencement of dredging and (2) monitored stage and discharge at 13 sites and water temperature, specific conductance, and salinity at 16 sites; all parameters were monitored at some sites.

This is the second annual report by the U.S. Geological Survey on data collection for the Jacksonville Harbor deepening and contains information pertinent to the data collection sites during the 2017 water year, from October 2016 to September 2017. One data collection site on the St. Johns River below Shands Bridge was added to the network during this timeframe after the previously monitored location was damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

Discharge and salinity varied widely during the data collection period, reflecting the effects of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The annual mean discharge at Trout River was greatest among the tributaries, followed by annual mean discharges at Durbin Creek, Ortega River, Julington Creek, Pottsburg Creek, Clapboard Creek, Cedar River, Broward River, and Dunn Creek. Among the tributary sites, annual mean salinity was highest at the site closest to the Atlantic Ocean, Clapboard Creek, and lowest at the site farthest from the ocean, Durbin Creek. Annual mean salinity data from the main-stem sites on the St. Johns River indicate that salinity decreased with distance upstream from the ocean, which is expected. Relative to salinity for the 2016 water year, annual mean salinity in the tributaries was higher for the 2017 water year at four monitoring locations, lower at four monitoring locations, and the same at one location. Of the three sites where salinity was calculated on the main stem in the 2016 water year, salinity was higher at one monitoring location in the 2017 water year and lower at two locations.

Suggested Citation

Ryan, P.J., 2019, Continuous stream discharge, salinity, and associated data collected in the lower St. Johns River and its tributaries, Florida, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1078, 35 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Continuous stream discharge, salinity, and associated data collected in the lower St. Johns River and its tributaries, Florida, 2017
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2019-1078
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191078
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center
Description viii, 35 p.
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Lower St Johns River
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details