Presentation (Project) Title

Time Series Analysis of Groundwater Levels in the Lafayette Blue Springshed

Mentor Information

Patricia Spellman (School of Geosciences)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

The Suwannee River Basin is a 9,990 mi2 watershed whose major river, the Suwannee River, is primarily sustained by groundwater influx in its lower reaches. The lower reaches of the Suwannee River receive water from over 150 springs discharging from the Upper Floridan Aquifer (UFA), some of which have been classified as priority springs that require targeted resource management. One continually monitored spring, Lafayette Blue, is one such priority spring that provides baseflow to the Suwannee River. The UFA is a highly productive karst aquifer which supplies the majority of regional municipal and agricultural water supply. Recent investigations into the water quality of Lafayette Blue springs shows significant increases in Nitrate, primarily due to fertilizer application as agriculture in the region increases. The area surrounding Lafayette Blue springs is projected to see a 22% increase in agriculture over the next two decades. Due to these increases, understanding the impacts of agriculture on both water quality and quantity are necessary for proper water resources management. Completing a time series analysis on groundwater levels, hydraulically connected streams, and spring discharge to the lower Suwannee River allows us to identify coincident water level declines within the springshed and their potential impacts on Suwannee River flows. These data will also be used to develop models that will help answer questions about 1) the comparative role of climate and agriculture on water quantity declines 2) how future demands may impact specific springs such as Lafayette Blue and the overall baseflow to the Suwannee River.

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Time Series Analysis of Groundwater Levels in the Lafayette Blue Springshed

The Suwannee River Basin is a 9,990 mi2 watershed whose major river, the Suwannee River, is primarily sustained by groundwater influx in its lower reaches. The lower reaches of the Suwannee River receive water from over 150 springs discharging from the Upper Floridan Aquifer (UFA), some of which have been classified as priority springs that require targeted resource management. One continually monitored spring, Lafayette Blue, is one such priority spring that provides baseflow to the Suwannee River. The UFA is a highly productive karst aquifer which supplies the majority of regional municipal and agricultural water supply. Recent investigations into the water quality of Lafayette Blue springs shows significant increases in Nitrate, primarily due to fertilizer application as agriculture in the region increases. The area surrounding Lafayette Blue springs is projected to see a 22% increase in agriculture over the next two decades. Due to these increases, understanding the impacts of agriculture on both water quality and quantity are necessary for proper water resources management. Completing a time series analysis on groundwater levels, hydraulically connected streams, and spring discharge to the lower Suwannee River allows us to identify coincident water level declines within the springshed and their potential impacts on Suwannee River flows. These data will also be used to develop models that will help answer questions about 1) the comparative role of climate and agriculture on water quantity declines 2) how future demands may impact specific springs such as Lafayette Blue and the overall baseflow to the Suwannee River.