Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 3:40 PM


REESE, Ronald S., Florida Integrated Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 7500 SW 36th Street, Davie, FL 33314,

The mostly carbonate Floridan aquifer system (FAS) of central and southern Florida is a widely used resource with a complex hydrostratigraphic framework that is managed primarily in a subregional context according to water management jurisdictional boundaries. As use of the FAS increases, a consistent regional hydrostratigraphic framework is needed for effective management across these boundaries. Stratigraphic marker horizons within and near the top of FAS were delineated and mapped to develop a preliminary, correlative stratigraphic framework. This framework was used to identify and determine aquifers, subaquifers, and confining units and map their spatial distribution. These horizons are based on lithologic changes and geophysical log signatures identified in previous studies, and they were extended throughout the study area primarily by correlation of natural gamma-ray logs. The FAS consists of the Upper Floridan aquifer, middle confining unit, and Lower Floridan aquifer. A regional, productive zone is delineated and informally referred to as the Avon Park permeable zone. This zone is present over most of the study area and is characterized by thick units of dolostone with interbedded limestone and high fracture permeability. The zone has been identified in different regions in previous studies, either as the upper part of the Lower Floridan aquifer or as the lower part of the Upper Floridan aquifer. In this study it is generally considered to be within the middle confining unit. Transmissivity of the Avon Park permeable zone, a major source of water supply, generally ranges from less than 1x104 up to 1.6x106 ft2/day, and is greatest in central Florida where dolomite is developed as a major component of the zone. A large area of low transmissivity (less than 105 ft2/day) in southern Florida coincides with an area where limestone is the predominant lithology within the zone. Major uses of the FAS now include withdrawal for public and agricultural supply, including treatment with reverse osmosis, aquifer storage and recovery, and disposal of treated wastewater. Water-level and water-quality conflicts could arise between these competing uses, and delineating the extent and hydraulic connectivity of the Avon Park permeable zone within the FAS may help managers and others predict and minimize such conflicts.