Leakage from sinkhole lakes significantly influences recharge to the Upper Floridan aquifer in poorly confined sediments in northern Florida. Environmental isotopes (oxygen 18, deuterium, and tritium), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs: CFC-11, CCl3F; CFC-12, CCl2F2; and CFC-113, C2Cl3F3), and solute tracers were used to investigate groundwater flow patterns near Lake Barco, a seepage lake in a mantled karst setting in northern Florida. Stable isotope data indicated that the groundwater downgradient from the lake contained 11–67% lake water leakage, with a limit of detection of lake water in groundwater of 4.3%. The mixing fractions of lake water leakage, which passed through organic-rich sediments in the lake bottom, were directly proportional to the observed methane concentrations and increased with depth in the groundwater flow system. In aerobic groundwater upgradient from Lake Barco, CFC-modeled recharge dates ranged from 1987 near the water table to the mid 1970s for water collected at a depth of 30 m below the water table. CFC-modeled recharge dates (based on CFC-12) for anaerobic groundwater downgradient from the lake ranged from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s and were consistent with tritium data. CFC-modeled recharge dates based on CFC-11 indicated preferential microbial degradation in anoxic waters. Vertical hydraulic conductivities, calculated using CFC-12 modeled recharge dates and Darcy's law, were 0.17, 0.033, and 0.019 m/d for the surficial aquifer, intermediate confining unit, and lake sediments, respectively. These conductivities agreed closely with those used in the calibration of a three-dimensional groundwater flow model for transient and steady state flow conditions.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Chemical evolution of groundwater near a sinkhole lake, northern Florida: 1. Flow patterns, age of groundwater, and influence of lakewater leakage|
|Series title||Water Resources Research|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|
|Contributing office(s)||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|
|Other Geospatial||Lake Barco|