Large karstic springs in east-central Florida, USA were studied using multi-tracer and geochemical modeling techniques to better understand groundwater flow paths and mixing of shallow and deep groundwater. Spring water types included Ca-HCO3 (six), Na-Cl (four), and mixed (one). The evolution of water chemistry for Ca-HCO3 spring waters was modeled by reactions of rainwater with soil organic matter, calcite, and dolomite under oxic conditions. The Na-Cl and mixed-type springs were modeled by reactions of either rainwater or Upper Floridan aquifer water with soil organic matter, calcite, and dolomite under oxic conditions and mixed with varying proportions of saline Lower Floridan aquifer water, which represented 4-53% of the total spring discharge. Multiple-tracer data-chlorofluorocarbon CFC-113, tritium (3H), helium-3 (3Hetrit), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) - for four Ca-HCO3 spring waters were consistent with binary mixing curves representing water recharged during 1980 or 1990 mixing with an older (recharged before 1940) tracer-free component. Young-water mixing fractions ranged from 0.3 to 0.7. Tracer concentration data for two Na-Cl spring waters appear to be consistent with binary mixtures of 1990 water with older water recharged in 1965 or 1975. Nitrate-N concentrations are inversely related to apparent ages of spring waters, which indicated that elevated nitrate-N concentrations were likely contributed from recent recharge. ?? Springer-Verlag 2006.
Additional publication details
Mixing of shallow and deep groundwater as indicated by the chemistry and age of karstic springs