Tide propagation through coastal wetlands is a complex phenomenon affected by vegetation, channels, and tidal conditions. Generally, tidal flow is studied using stage (water level) observations, which provide good temporal resolution, but they are acquired in limited locations. Here, a remotesensing technique, wetland InSAR (interferometric synthetic aperture radar), is used to detect tidal flow in vegetated coastal environments over broad spatial scales. The technique is applied to data sets acquired by three radar satellites over the western Everglades in south Florida. Interferometric analysis of the data shows that the greatest water-level changes occur along tidal channels, reflecting a high velocity gradient between fast horizontal flow in the channel and the slow flow propagation through the vegetation. The high-resolution observations indicate that the tidal flushing zone extends 2-3 km on both sides of tidal channels and can extend 3-4 km inland from the end of the channel. The InSAR observations can also serve as quantitative constraints for detailed coastal wetland flow models.
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