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Hydrogeologic setting, conceptual groundwater flow system, and hydrologic conditions 1995–2010 in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina

Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5030

Water Availability and Use Science Program
By:
ORCID iD , ORCID iD , ORCID iD , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185030

Links

  • Document: Report (46.3 MB pdf)
  • Plate: Plate 1 (3.02 MB pdf)
  • Data Releases:
    • USGS data release - Groundwater Withdrawals in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, 1995–2010
    • USGS data release - Soil-Water-Balance model datasets used to estimate mean groundwater recharge in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, 1995–2010
    • USGS data release - Potentiometric Surface Contours, Wells, and Groundwater Basin Divides for the Upper Floridan Aquifer in Florida and Parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama, May–June 2010—Updated
  • Download citation as: RIS | Dublin Core

Abstract

The hydrogeologic setting and groundwater flow system in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina is dominated by the highly transmissive Floridan aquifer system. This principal aquifer is a vital source of freshwater for public and domestic supply, as well as for industrial and agricultural uses throughout the southeastern United States. Population growth, increased tourism, and increased agricultural production have led to increased demand on groundwater from the Floridan aquifer system, particularly since 1950. The response of the Floridan aquifer system to these stresses often poses regional challenges for water-resource management that commonly transcend political or jurisdictional boundaries. To help water-resource managers address these regional challenges, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Availability and Use Science Program began assessing groundwater availability of the Floridan aquifer system in 2009.

The current conceptual groundwater flow system was developed for the Floridan aquifer system and adjacent systems partly on the basis of previously published USGS Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) studies, specifically many of the potentiometric maps and the modeling efforts in these studies. The Floridan aquifer system extent was divided into eight hydrogeologically distinct subregional groundwater basins delineated on the basis of the estimated predevelopment (circa 1880s) potentiometric surface: (1) Panhandle, (2) Dougherty Plain-Apalachicola, (3) Thomasville-Tallahassee, (4) Southeast Georgia-Northeast Florida-South South Carolina, (5) Suwannee, (6) West-central Florida, (7) East-central Florida, and (8) South Florida. The use of these subregions allows for a more detailed analysis of the individual basins and the groundwater flow system as a whole.

The hydrologic conditions and associated groundwater budget were updated relative to previous RASA studies to include additional data collected since the 1980s and to reflect the entire groundwater flow system, including the surficial, intermediate, and Floridan aquifer systems for a contemporary period (1995–2010). Inflow to the groundwater flow system of 33,700 million gallons per day (Mgal/d) was assumed to be exclusively from net recharge (precipitation minus evapotranspiration and surface runoff). Outflow from the groundwater flow system included spring discharge (7,700 Mgal/d) and groundwater withdrawals (5,200 Mgal/d). Estimates for all components of the groundwater system were not possible because of large uncertainties associated with internal leakage, coastal discharge, and discharge to streams and lakes. A numerical modeling analysis is required to improve this hydrologic budget calculation and to forecast future changes in groundwater levels and aquifer storage caused by groundwater withdrawals, land-use change, and the effects of climate variability and change.

Suggested Citation

Bellino, J.C., Kuniansky, E.L., O’Reilly, A.M., and Dixon, J.F., 2018, Hydrogeologic setting, conceptual groundwater flow system, and hydrologic conditions 1995–2010 in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5030, 103 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185030.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Hydrogeologic Setting
  • Conceptual Groundwater Flow System
  • Hydrologic Conditions
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeologic setting, conceptual groundwater flow system, and hydrologic conditions 1995–2010 in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2018-5030
DOI:
10.3133/sir20185030
Year Published:
2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
FLWSC-Tampa
Description:
Report: viii, 103 p.; Plate: 36.0 x 49.0 inches; Data Releases
Country:
United States
State:
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y