Water samples from four wells from the main Floridan aquifer (300-400 m below mean sea level) in southeast Florida exhibit 234U 233U activity ratios that are significantly lower than the secular equilibrium value of 1.00. Such anomalous values have been observed previously only in waters from sedimentary aquifers in the near-surface oxidizing environments. These four wells differ from six others, all producing from the same general horizon, in being located in cavernous highly transmissive zones. We hypothesize that the low activity ratios are indicative of a relic circulation pattern whereby water from the surface aquifer was channelled to lower levels when sea level was much lower. At a deeper cavernous level, known as the Boulder Zone (800-1,000 m below mean sea level), the U isotopes, along with other chemical constituents, show progressive changes with increasing distance from an inferred flow source in the Straits of Florida. This tends to support the hypothesized landward flow (though with a more northerly component) of cold seawater in the extensively transmissive Boulder Zone. ?? 1978.
Additional publication details
Uranium-isotope variations in groundwaters of the Floridan aquifer and Boulder Zone of south Florida