Historical patterns of acidification and increasing CO2 flux associated with Florida springs

Limnology and Oceanography
By:  and 



Florida has one of the highest concentrations of springs in the world, with many discharging into rivers and predominantly into eastern Gulf of Mexico coast, and they likely influence the hydrochemistry of these adjacent waters; however, temporal and spatial trends have not been well studied. We present over 20 yr of hydrochemical, seasonally sampled data to identify temporal and spatial trends of pH, alkalinity, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), and CO2flux from five first-order-magnitude (springs that discharge greater than 2.83 m3 s−1) coastal spring groups fed by the Floridan Aquifer System that ultimately discharge into the Gulf of Mexico. All spring groups had pCO2 levels (averages 3174.3–6773.2 μatm) that were much higher than atmospheric levels of CO2 and demonstrated statistically significant temporal decreases in pH and increases in CO2 flux, pCO2, and alkalinity. Total carbon flux emissions increased from each of the spring groups by between 3.48 × 107 and 2.856 × 108 kg C yr−1 over the time period. By 2013 the Springs Groups in total emitted more than 1.1739 × 109 kg C yr−1. Increases in alkalinity and pCO2 varied from 90.9 to 347.6 μmol kg−1 and 1262.3 to 2666.7 μatm, respectively. Coastal data show higher CO2 evasion than the open Gulf of Mexico, which suggests spring water influences nearshore waters. The results of this study have important implications for spring water quality, dissolution of the Florida carbonate platform, and identification of the effect and partitioning of carbon fluxes to and within coastal and marine ecosystems.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Historical patterns of acidification and increasing CO2 flux associated with Florida springs
Series title Limnology and Oceanography
DOI 10.1002/lno.10573
Volume 62
Issue 6
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher ASLO
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 2404
Last page 2417
Country United States
State Florida
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