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Ground water and surface water constitute a single dynamic system in roost parts of the Suwannee River basin due to the presence of karat features that facilitate the interaction between the surface and subsurface. Low radon-222 concentrations (below background levels) and enriched amounts of oxygen-18 and deuterium in ground water indicate mixing with surface water in parts of the basin. Comparison of surface water and regional ground water flow patterns indicate that boundaries for ground water basins typically do not coincide with surface water drainage subbasins. There are several areas in the basin where ground water flow that originates outside of the Suwannee River basin crosses surface water basin boundaries during both low-flow and high-flow conditions. In a study area adjacent to the Suwannee River that consists predominantly of agricultural land use, 18 wells tapping the Upper Floridan aquifer and 7 springs were sampled three times during 1990 through 1994 for major dissolved inorganic constituents, trace elements, and nutrients. During a period of above normal rainfall that resulted in high river stage and high ground water levels in 1991, the combination of increased amounts of dissolved organic carbon and decreased levels of dissolved oxygen in ground water created conditions favorable for the natural reduction of nitrate by denitrification reactions in the aquifer. As a result, less nitrate was discharged by ground water to the Suwannee River.
Additional Publication Details
Interactions between ground water and surface water in the Suwannee River basin, Florida
Journal of the American Water Resources Association