Sheetflow is a seasonal regime,
And rain dependent, right?
Each wet season we can count on the swamp preserve’s sheetflow rising up above a thousand cubic feet per second, as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at Tamiami Trail. Normally that lasts for a good four months or so (although only two this year – see above) before it dwindles down to close to nothing for most of the winter dry season and into the spring.
Compare that to spring flow “up peninsula,”
It doesn’t rise wildly, but nor does it fall …
Groundwater is as steady a hydrologic producer as we have on the peninsula.
|Entrance to Silver Springs near Ocala|
Were the swamps ever fed by springs?
The Peace River famously was – by Kissengen Spring, which dried up long ago due to overpumping the aquifer below. The glades are known to have depended on overflow from Lake Okeechobee, but that was surface water, not from the ground, right?
The missing ingredient here is what you can no longer see for the reason that it’s no longer there: Or in other words, the sawgrass plain that once upon a time lay immediately south. It stayed super-saturated like a soaking wet sponge which, font-like, slow-dripped water south into the deep water sloughs and interconnected swamp even after the skies ran dry.
Of course rain was always the number one producer …
Only now it’s the Only Show in Swampville.