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Summary of the Hydrology of the Floridan Aquifer System In Florida and In Parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama

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- Regional Analysis
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Hydrogeology
Hydraulic Properties of the Aquifer System
Regional Flow System
Groundwater Development
Groundwater Chemistry
Potential for Future Development
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By Richard H. Johnson and Peter W. Bush
Professional Paper 1403-A

Introduction

The prolific Floridan aquifer system is one of the major sources of ground-water supplies in the United States. The aquifer system underlies all of Florida, southern Georgia, and small parts of adjoining Alabama and South Carolina, a total area of about 100,000 mi2. High average rainfall (about 53 in. per year) and generally flat topography combine to provide abundant recharge to the Floridan.

The aquifer system provides water supplies for many cities, including Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, and St. Petersburg in Florida and Brunswick and Savannah in Georgia. In many areas it is the sole source of freshwater. Pumpage for industrial and agricultural uses is even larger than for public supply. Withdrawals for irrigation have increased sharply in recent years; in 1980, about 3 Bgal/d were withdrawn from the Floridan for all uses. Although this stress has produced areas of regional water-level decline, and local cones of depression, more than one-half of the aquifer area has experienced no significant (greater than 10 ft) head decline in the early 1980's. However, despite the enormous amount of untapped water available from the Floridan, water is not always available where needed locally.

During 1978-83, the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) conducted a regional assessment of the Floridan aquifer system that involved the review and synthesis of many previous studies of the Floridan, the acquisition of new data in selected areas, and the extensive use of computer models to simulate ground-water flow. This investigation, which is summarized in this report, is one of several studies of the USGS's RASA (Regional Aquifer-System Analysis) program. As discussed in the Foreword, the RASA program involves quantitative appraisals of the major ground-water systems of the United States.

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