Floridan Aquifer

The source of Florida’s many springs, the Floridan Aquifer covers the entire state and reaches northward into Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. | Aquifers | Biscayne | Floridan | Intermediate | Surficial | Springs | Estuaries and coast | Water bodies | Florida’s water districts

Intro - Source of the springs

The world's most charismatic aquifer

By Robert V. Sobczak

Do you remember the old Avis slogan:

“We’re number 2 … we try harder?”

Florida’s four aquifers

It’s a phrase that applies equally well to Florida. Not many things were invented on the peninsular state, but there are lots of things that were perfected here – concentrated orange juice, airboats, air conditionings, swamp buggies, and amusement parks to name a few.

But Florida is home and birthplace to a hydrologic original: it’s called the Floridan Aquifer, and Gerald Parker, late geologist of the U.S. Geological Survey, was its inventor.

I know what you’re thinking: that I in fact mean he “discovered” it … as do explorers, not “invented” it from scratch, say, like the light bulb of Thomas Edison. Edison, incidentally, wintered in Ft Myers, and as fate would have it, also tapped water from the Floridan Aquifer (before it had its name) for his pool – using a thousand foot deep well.

In steps Garald Parker …

He saw that the water bearing body beneath his feet overran the bounds of Florida’s many geologic formations: Towards the Big Bend it’s exposed at the surface, south of Okeechobee it’s buried deep, and throughout the peninsula its everywhere. He saw the Floridan (… and named it) for what it truly was: the state’s biggest water body. And by labeling it as he did, Parker also became the first to use the term aquifer, now a mainstay of the hydrologic lexicon.

That makes Florida home of the world’s first aquifer, and Gerald Parker both its inventor and discoverer. If only Ponce de Leon had such luck with the Fountain of Youth!

Recent Blog Posts

Go Hydrology 3.0
New features for the water cycle enthusiast

Do you love the water cycle …

But always feel you’re on the outside looking in?

Go Hydrology 3.0 Explained

Fear not and join the club. And by the club I mean both Go Hydrology and everybody else out there under the sun. The water cycle is the great uniter that connect us all and that we are constantly trying to figure out. With Go Hydrology it’s less about the product than the process. I always say in life, if you enjoy the process (i.e. the water cycle) then you’re on the right path and everything else will fall in place. As for the product, I’ve always been a “get the project done” type person, and that’s probably what inspired me to build Go Hydrology from the start, and also refine it (and refine it) over time. The above video explains some recent restructuring on the blog with two big goals in mind: (1) increasing discoverability (i.e. for you to find what you want) and (2) turning it into a Florida wide watershed journal. Most of all we’re all in this together. So if you have any comments or ideas, let me know and we’ll figure it out. When it comes to the water cycle and our watersheds, we’re all on the same team.

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Quotable: “The water cycle is our passport to nature”

Spring-fed swamp?
Proof that water can jump

Back in the day …

Yes, the swamp was spring fed.

Water gushing to the surface from 600 feet below

It’s source:

The absence of canals allowed hydrostatic pressure to build up. The result was that early settlers were convinced that fissures in the earth, not rainwater, fed the swamp.

Vortex at a submerged culvert site

Sounds like a fun place to visit.

My opinion: Water deserves a place to be free.

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My philosophy: It’s good to see water still doing crazy fun things!

World’s first Aquifer
And how it was discovered (There will be water!)

Do you remember the old Avis slogan:

“We’re number 2 … we try harder?”

Florida’s four aquifers

It’s a phrase that applies equally well to Florida. Not many things were invented on the peninsular state, but there are lots of things that were perfected here – concentrated orange juice, airboats, air conditionings, swamp buggies, and amusement parks to name a few.

But Florida is home and birthplace to a hydrologic original: it’s called the Floridan Aquifer, and Gerald Parker, late geologist of the U.S. Geological Survey, was its inventor.

I know what you’re thinking: that I in fact mean he “discovered” it … as do explorers, not “invented” it from scratch, say, like the light bulb of Thomas Edison. Edison, incidentally, wintered in Ft Myers, and as fate would have it, also tapped water from the Floridan Aquifer (before it had its name) for his pool – using a thousand foot deep well.

In steps Garald Parker …

He saw that the water bearing body beneath his feet overran the bounds of Florida’s many geologic formations: Towards the Big Bend it’s exposed at the surface, south of Okeechobee it’s buried deep, and throughout the peninsula its everywhere. He saw the Floridan (… and named it) for what it truly was: the state’s biggest water body. And by labeling it as he did, Parker also became the first to use the term aquifer, now a mainstay of the hydrologic lexicon.

That makes Florida home of the world’s first aquifer, and Gerald Parker both its inventor and discoverer. If only Ponce de Leon had such luck with the Fountain of Youth!