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The Floridan aquifer underlies portions of five states.
Source: USGS
The Floridan Aquifer is a portion of the principal artesian aquifer that extends into Floridamarker and is composed of carbonate rock and located beneath the coastal regions of the Southeastern United States and is one of the world's most productive aquifers. It is under all of Florida as well as large parts of coastal Georgiamarker and areas of coastal Alabamamarker and South Carolinamarker . (See figure)


In 1936, geologist Victor Timothy Stringfield first identified the existence of Floridan Aquifer in peninsular Florida and referred to the carbonate units as the "principal artesian formations." In 1944, M. A. Warren of the Georgia Geological Survey described an extension of this system in south Georgia and applied the term "principal artesian aquifer" to the carbonate units involved. In 1953 and 1966 Stringfield also applied the term "principal artesian aquifer" to these rocks. In 1955, Garald G. Parker noted the hydrologic and lithologic similarities of the Tertiary carbonate formations in southeast Florida, concluded that they represented a single hydrologic unit, and named that unit the "Floridan aquifer."


The Floridan aquifer, as opposed to surficial aquifers, is the portion of the principal artesian aquifer that extends into Floridamarker, parts of southern Alabamamarker, southeastern Georgiamarker, and southern South Carolinamarker. In Florida it supplies the cities of Daytonamarker, Flagler Beachmarker, Gainesvillemarker, Tampamarker, Jacksonvillemarker, Ocalamarker, St. Petersburgmarker, and Tallahasseemarker, several municipalities in South Florida, and numerous rural communities.


The principal artesian aquifer is the largest, oldest, and deepest aquifer in the southeastern U.S. Ranging over 100,000 square miles, it underlies all of Florida and The Floridan portion developed millions of years ago during the late Paleocene to early Miocene periods, when Florida was underwater. Wakulla Springs in Wakulla Countymarker, Florida is one of a number of major outflows of the Floridan with a flow rate of 200-300 million gallons of water a day. A record peak flow from the spring on April 11, 1973 was measured at 14,324 gallons (54,226 liters) per second - equal to 1.2 billion gallons (4.542,494) cubic meters) per day.

Groundwater in the Floridan aquifer is contained under pressure by a confining bed of impermeable sediments. When the water pressure is great enough, the groundwater breaks to the surface and a spring flows. Water temperature and flow from a Floridan spring is relatively constant.

In general, as the water flows through the Florida aquifer systems it matures. The water quality becomes more alkaline and the sulfate content increases as does the amount of dissolved solids.

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