Spring Creek Springs and Wakulla Springs are large first magnitude springs that derive water from the Upper Floridan Aquifer. The submarine Spring Creek Springs are located in a marine estuary and Wakulla Springs are located 18 km inland. Wakulla Springs has had a consistent increase in flow from the 1930s to the present. This increase is probably due to the rising sea level, which puts additional pressure head on the submarine Spring Creek Springs, reducing its fresh water flow and increasing flows in Wakulla Springs. To improve understanding of the complex relations between these springs, flow and salinity data were collected from June 25, 2007 to June 30, 2010. The flow in Spring Creek Springs was most sensitive to rainfall and salt water intrusion, and the flow in Wakulla Springs was most sensitive to rainfall and the flow in Spring Creek Springs. Flows from the springs were found to be connected, and composed of three repeating phases in a karst spring flow cycle: Phase 1 occurred during low rainfall periods and was characterized by salt water backflow into the Spring Creek Springs caves. The higher density salt water blocked fresh water flow and resulted in a higher equivalent fresh water head in Spring Creek Springs than in Wakulla Springs. The blocked fresh water was diverted to Wakulla Springs, approximately doubling its flow. Phase 2 occurred when heavy rainfall resulted in temporarily high creek flows to nearby sinkholes that purged the salt water from the Spring Creek Springs caves. Phase 3 occurred after streams returned to base flow. The Spring Creek Springs caves retained a lower equivalent fresh water head than Wakulla Springs, causing them to flow large amounts of fresh water while Wakulla Springs flow was reduced by about half.
|Title||Groundwater flow cycling between a submarine spring and an inland fresh water spring|
|Authors||J. Hal Davis, Richard Verdi|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Ground Water|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Florida Water Science Center|