Continuous Stream Discharge, Salinity, and Associated Data Collected in the Lower St. Johns River and Its Tributaries, Florida, 2018

Open-File Report 2020-1061
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, in order to accommodate larger, fully loaded cargo vessels. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, monitored stage, discharge, and (or) water temperature and salinity at 26 continuous data collection stations in the St. Johns River and its tributaries.

This is the third annual report by the U.S. Geological Survey on data collection for the Jacksonville Harbor deepening project and contains information pertinent to the data collection during the 2018 water year, from October 2017 to September 2018. Changes to the network on the main stem of the St. Johns River include the addition of (1) three new stations to monitor water temperature and salinity at Racy Point, Shands Bridge, and above Buckman Bridge; (2) stage data collection at both Buckman Bridge and Dames Point Bridge; and (3) three additional parameters, namely stage, velocity, and streamflow direction, to the St. Johns River at Jacksonville and Dames Point Bridge.

Discharge and salinity varied widely during the data collection period, which included residual effects from Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and above-average rainfall for all counties in the project area over the 4-month period from April to July. The annual mean discharge at Durbin Creek was greatest among the tributaries, followed by annual mean discharges at Ortega River, Trout River, Cedar River, Julington Creek, Clapboard Creek, Broward River, Pottsburg Creek, and Dunn Creek. The annual mean discharge for each of the main-stem sites was higher in the 2018 water year than that of the previous 2 years of this study. Among the tributary sites, annual mean salinity was highest at Clapboard Creek, the site closest to the Atlantic Ocean, and lowest at Durbin Creek and Ortega River, the sites farthest from the ocean. 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 annual mean salinity calculated since the 2016 water year, annual mean salinity at all monitoring locations was lower for the 2018 water year, except for Durbin Creek, which was the same.

Suggested Citation

Ryan, P.J., 2020, Continuous stream discharge, salinity, and associated data collected in the Lower St. Johns River and its tributaries, Florida, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1061, 34 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 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, 2018
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1061
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201061
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center
Description viii, 34 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