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Dear FGS friends and customers,

  The Winter 2013 issue of FGS News and Research brings you the latest in activities and accomplishments of your state geological survey.  With our realignment last year into DEP Regulatory Programs, the FGS has witnessed increased involvement in supporting geoscience needs across the agency.  We also continue our core mission activities such as data collection, dissemination and mapping.  In addition to reading the articles herein I invite you to watch “ Rocks, Water, Life: Florida’s Geology” which is being aired on Florida Public Television.  This Florida Crossroads program features past and present FGS staff as well as geologists in consulting and academia. 

The FGS looks forward to a productive new year!

Best regards,

Jonathan D. Arthur, Ph.D., P.G.
Director and State Geologist
Office of the Florida Geological Survey
Florida Department of Environmental Protection


In This issue Bar

•FGS continues Arsenic in Groundwater Research More…

•Sediment Thickness Mapping Offshore of St. Lucie County More…

•FGS Cores Over a Thousand Feet for 2011-2012 STATEMAP Projects  More…

•Dye Trace Study of Wastewater Facility Published More…

•FGS Provides Earth Science Week Activities for Citizens More…

•FGS Geophysical Logger is Back in Business More…

•Ken Campbell Retires from FGS More…

• FGS staff recognized as DEP Employees of the Month   More…

•Lithogeochemical Studies Conducted on Florida Rock Units  More…

•Lake Miccosukee Dye Trace More…

•FGS Receives National Park Service Grant  More…

•STATEMAP Program Receives Funding for Geologic Mapping More…

•The USArray Comes to Florida More…

•FGS Responds to Sinkhole Emergencies Following TS Debby More…

•When Lakes Go Dry: Floridan Aquifer Takes Surface Water More…

•IN MEMORIAM: Paulette Bond  More…

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Groundwater study at Lithia, Hillsborough Co.   Arsenic, a known carcinogen and naturally present in some minerals, has the potential to be mobilized into the groundwater. The FGS continues to be engaged in hydrogeochemical studies related to arsenic. Among the research focus areas are natural and anthropogenic mechanisms for arsenic release in groundwater, including aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), managed aquifer recharge (MAR) and reclaimed/reuse projects.

  Our current project seeks to characterize natural and anthropogenic sources of arsenic and other trace metals in Florida’s aquifer systems. The purpose of the research is to identify geochemical processes relating to arsenic concentration changes through time in selected monitoring and domestic supply wells. The results from this study will ultimately contribute to the overall goal of understanding natural and anthropogenic causes of arsenic mobilization. The project is an eighteen month study at two locations, Merritt’s Mill Pond (Jackson County) and Lithia (Hillsborough County), sites with known arsenic variability. These sites will be monitored monthly for water levels, redox conditions and trace metals analyses.

  Another ongoing arsenic study involves ASR and MAR, a widely accepted technology for addressing water supply issues. This study includes potable and non-potable ASR sites. It is a continuation of previous multi-year studies to better understand the effect of aquifer matrix on waters stored during ASR. Plans are to study ASR systems using storage zones from various lithostratigraphic units as well as different types of recharge water. The use of reclaimed/reuse water for recharge is more common than ever and could facilitate an understanding of water-rock interactions which could lead to improvements in ASR and water quality.

Contact persons/info: Paul Hansard  or  Cindy Fischler

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Offshore sand map
  This project utilized over 400 miles of acoustic profiler data to map the thickness of potentially usable sand offshore of St. Lucie County on the central east coast of Florida. Acoustic profiling is a technique commonly used to delineate structure and bedding planes in sub-seabed sediments and rocks. Continuous reflections from such structures and bedding planes are obtained by generating high frequency sonic impulses and recording the reflections that return from the interfaces between acoustically contrasting sediments. The acoustic profiles generated, created from data recorded in two-way travel time, are frequently displayed in depth and can be considered comparable to a geologic cross section.

  Based on previous work by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the probable base of potentially usable sand was identified in the area. Using the acoustic profiles, that horizon and the seabed were both digitized. The thicknesses between those horizons were calculated and a sediment thickness map generated. The map shown here is a portion of our larger map that details sediment thicknesses in the Pierce and St. Lucie Shoal. These shoals are linear with a northeast to southwest alignment slightly askew to the coastline. The Pierce Shoal is symmetrical in cross-section while the St. Lucie Shoal is asymmetrical with its steeper flank facing to the southeast. The thickest sediment section shown, at 35 plus feet, lies on the crest of the southern portion of the St. Lucie Shoal.

Contact person/info: Dan Phelps 

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FGS Cores Over a Thousand Feet for 2011-2012 STATEMAP Projects
Photo of core   Each year the FGS supports the STATEMAP project through the Geological Data Acquisition and Management Program’s stratigraphic core drilling program. Excellent quality cores are necessary to provide critical lithologic data for geologic maps and cross-sections. While STATEMAP relies on the FGS lithologic library for existing samples, there are often large expanses of property with no available geologic information. Additionally, questions raised by fieldwork and assessment of existing samples can only be answered by new drilling.

  This year the FGS drilled 1,269.5 feet of continuous core at four sites utilizing two drill rigs. Two cores were drilled for Open File Map Series (OFMS) 103, the Geologic map of the western portion of the USGS Inverness 30 x 60 minute quadrangle, central Florida for a total of 490.5 feet. W-19312 was drilled to a depth of 230 feet below land surface (BLS) in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area. W-19331 was drilled to a depth of 260.5 feet BLS. Both cores were completed by Eric Thomas as the driller operating the Mobile Drill. FGS veteran and drilling guru Ken Campbell assisted Eric. The next two cores were drilled for OFMS 104, the Geologic map of the USGS Tarpon Springs 30 x 60 minute quadrangle, central Florida for a total of 779 feet. Eric cored W-19364 at Colt Creek State Park to a depth of 245.5 feet BLS with the Mobile Drill. Bob Cleveland cored W-19336 to a depth of 533.5 feet BLS at the Serenova Preserve with the Schramm drill rig. Geophysical logs were collected at both of the first two sites, and the FGS logged W-19336 and W-19364 during August 2012 (see headline FGS Geophysical Logger is Back in Business.)

Contact person/info: David Paul 

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Dye Trace Study of Wastewater Facility Published
Dye Trace Report Cover
  The FGS is pleased to announce the publication of the Report of Investigation 111, “Demonstrating interconnection between a wastewater application facility and a first magnitude spring in a karstic watershed: Tracer study of the Southeast Farm Wastewater Reuse Facility, Tallahassee, Florida” by Todd Kincaid, Gareth Davies, Christopher Werner, and Rodney DeHan. Results of this study were used in the city’s decision to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility to Advanced Wastewater Treatment to minimize nutrient and other contaminants inputs into the karstic watershed of Wakulla Spring.

  As a background to this and other studies, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Geological Survey initiated collaborative hydrogeological characterization and groundwater tracing studies to delineate the direction and rate of groundwater flow passing beneath the City of Tallahassee’s Southeast Farm Wastewater Reuse Facility (wastewater spray field) and to identify springs in which that groundwater discharged in the St. Marks and Wakulla watersheds. The study was initiated by the FGS and carried out through a contract with Hazlett-Kincaid, Inc., Cambrian Ground Water, and Florida State University Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute in cooperation with the City of Tallahassee and the U.S. Geological Survey. Divers from the Woodville Karst Plain Project volunteered their time and services to conduct all the necessary diving at no cost to the State.

  In January and March of 2006, tracer injections were completed in three wells located on the northern side of the wastewater spray field and one swallet (sinking stream) located on the southeastern part of the property using the fluorescent dyes phloxine-b, uranine, and eosin. For a period of up to 14 months, sampling was conducted at nine wells located at and beyond the southern boundary of the spray field as well as four springs in the St. Marks River watershed, two points in the St. Marks River, and five springs in the Wakulla River. The water samples were analyzed for the dyes’ wavelengths to determine the presence and relative amount of the injected tracers.

  The primary conclusion derived from this study was that groundwater from the wastewater spray field primarily flows southwest to Wakulla Spring at a rate of between 671 and 977 feet per day. Additional tracer detections at Indian, Sally Ward and McBride Slough Springs are believed to overflow from the primary conduit flow path driven by local hydraulic variations such as conduit constrictions. The traced flow paths followed the previously mapped potentiometric surface nearly directly down-gradient. Results of this study also demonstrate the efficacy of dye tracing over long distances in the Floridan aquifer system.

Contact person/info: Rodney Dehan 

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FGS Provides Earth Science Week Activities for Citizens
FGS drill rig display during open house   Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences was the theme of 2012’s Earth Science Week October 14-20. The Florida Geological Survey celebrated the event with two sessions of Cub Scout Night October 17-18. Seventy cub scouts and approximately 40 chaperones attended and learned about the process of collecting cores, fossils, rocks and minerals in Florida, as well as earthquakes, plate tectonics, groundwater and springs in Florida. Each session fulfilled a component of requirements for either a belt loop or badge in Geology.

  The FGS also took part in the first National Geologic Map Day with an Open House on Friday, October 19th. Over 75 people attended and learned about fossils, Florida rocks and minerals, observing rocks, minerals, sand and microfossils under microscopes, the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in mapping projects and ground-penetrating radar (GPR), as well as downhole geophysical methods. FGS staff partnered DEP’s Office of Environmental Education, who taught attendees about important parameters measured in water quality monitoring studies. Additionally, the Florida State University Antarctic Marine Geology Research Laboratory provided four tours of their facility highlighting research and collection methods and the archival process for Antarctic sediment cores.

  Earth Science Week 2013 will be hosted at FGS’ new facility October 13-19. It will provide the public with an opportunity to learn and view the new FGS site. More details will follow in the summer of 2013.

Contact person/info: Christopher Williams 

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FGS Geophysical Logger is Back in Business
Bore hole logger image
  The FGS is pleased to announce that its borehole geophysical logger is fully operational. Recently, FGS staff recalibrated all logging tools and purchased a new normal resistivity sonde to expand logging capability. In 2007, the FGS acquired a borehole geophysical logger with capability to log boreholes up to 3,000 feet in depth. The logger is a Mount Sopris MATRIXTM borehole logging system with a 1,000 meter, 1/8th inch diameter single conductor cable on an electric winch. Due to employee attrition, the operation expertise was lost, and the logger has not been used since 2009. Since re-calibration, FGS has logged two core holes that were drilled for the STATEMAP geologic mapping program. The picture shows an optical borehole image from 127 to 130 feet depth in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management area core hole in Hernando County. This image is from an OBI40 borehole imaging camera and shows an ‘unwrapped’ 360 degree image of the borehole. The top part of the image is the bottom of the casing string. At the very bottom of the casing you can see the casing drilling shoe with the cutting surface. The bottom part of the image is limestone from the Ocala Limestone showing a large (about 1 foot) vug or cavity feature with associated fractures. This picture shows the kind of image quality that the OBI40 can provide.

  In addition to the OBI40 borehole image camera, FGS’ logging tool suite includes natural gamma, spontaneous potential and single point resistivity, fluid temperature and fluid resistivity, borehole flowmeter, caliper, and normal resistivity. FGS also has an IdronautTM water-quality probe that can measure pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, fluid conductivity, and oxidation-reduction potential of in situ borehole fluids to a depth of 3,000 feet. The Idronaut can be set up to log water quality with depth or it can be placed at a specific depth in a well to log water quality with time. The Idronaut can be set up to measure changes in water quality during pumping by setting the sonde in the borehole below the pump.

  Borehole geophysical logging can greatly expand the information that can be obtained from wells drilled in a site investigation and from existing ‘wells of opportunity’. These logging tools can be used to characterize aquifer rock porosity and permeability and the fluid in the borehole. Natural gamma logs are particularly useful for correlation of lithology between boreholes. Normal resistivity can be used to evaluate aquifer or rock permeability. FGS is looking to log appropriate wells or boreholes that can provide geologic and water quality information to assist State programs or specific projects. Any stable wellbore two inches diameter or larger can be logged, as well as up to 3,000 feet in depth. Logs can be provided in either paper or digital (LAS) format

Contact person/info: Andy Smith 

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Ken Campbell Retires from FGS
Ken receiving Lifetime Achievement Award from Jon Arthur   On Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 Ken Campbell retired from the Florida Geological Survey with 36 years of service, one third of the FGS’s existence. Ken was an integral part of the FGS family as a field geologist, an author on numerous publications, and a mentor to many FGS staff. Several of the staff Ken supervised over his career have gone on to careers in environmental consulting and public service with the city of Tallahassee, the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the FGS, and elsewhere within DEP. In recognition of Ken’s commitment to excellence in public service, he was awarded the FGS Lifetime Achievement Award on April 4th, 2012 at the FGS annual awards luncheon.

  Hired in 1976 as part of the OPS team working cuttings and core from the FGS (then Florida Bureau of Geology, or BOG) lithologic repository, Ken became a full time geologist working on mine reclamation projects in 1978. From 1980 to 1987 he served as the Southwest Florida Water Management District geologist and from 1987 to 1990 served as the South Florida Water Management District geologist.

  Ken’s mechanical ability and love for the outdoors made him well suited for the drilling aspect of geology and he was ultimately placed in charge of the Drilling Operations group in 1990. Ken monumentally elevated the FGS drilling program by taking it from a program with a single Failing 1500 core rig and a small trailer-mounted drill using solid-stem augers to one that now operates and maintains three coring rigs (the Mobile Drill B-31, CME-75, and Schramm T450MAII). He also expanded the versatility and capabilities of the program to include borehole geophysical logging. He has been instrumental in many projects that required drilling cores or installing monitor wells including STATEMAP, the DEP Ambient Groundwater Monitoring Network, the Manatee Springs projects, various cooperative core and monitor well projects with the U.S. Geological Survey and water management districts, the City of Tallahassee Sprayfield project, the Woodville Recharge Basin project, the Gravity Anomaly study, the Daytona Beach project, the Suwannee Springshed Delineation project, and the FGS-DEP arsenic study, to name a few. Ken cored over 23,527.5 feet, or 4.5 miles, of core during his career.

  Ken is an author or co-author on 53 FGS publications. During the early 1990s, the FGS was involved in a county-by-county geologic mapping program in conjunction with a statewide radon study. Ken was responsible for producing numerous county geologic maps, which later provided the basis for the 2001 Geologic Map of Florida.

  Ken’s accumulated knowledge about the geology of Florida, his institutional memory about the history of the FGS itself, as well as its procedures past and present, have been an invaluable resource. His enthusiasm for collecting exceptional cores throughout the state can be emulated but hardly surpassed. His dedication to excellence and his work ethic have inspired numerous geologists at the FGS.
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Two FGS staff recognized as DEP Employees of the Month
Seth
 Seth Bassett was honored as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Employee of the Month for July, 2012. Seth joined DEP’s Florida Geological Survey in May 2010 with an extensive background of working with Geographic Information Systems and relational database software. Seth uses his programming and GIS knowledge to provide valuable contributions to STATEMAP projects and other programs within FGS.

  Seth was awarded a plaque from the 2012 Davis Productivity Awards for his innovative work in developing a customized software application using existing resources to collect field data with a laptop computer. Seth’s achievement can be easily modified and adapted for virtually any type of field data collection required by DEP and it was highlighted at the 2011 Geological Society of America annual meeting.

  Other projects by Seth have involved the implementation of concurrent editing of STATEMAP datasets by multiple staff. This allows for several staff to work on the same files simultaneously, minimizing duplication of effort and delay. Additionally, he has migrated STATEMAP projects into a geodatabase format, allowing for live editing of data sets.

 Seth lives in Tallahassee with his wife and two dogs and is currently earning a Ph.D. in Geography at Florida State University. He enjoys camping and running his blue tick hound in the woods and swamps of the Apalachicola National Forest. Seth’s dedication to excellence and service is an inspiration to others.

Traci  Traci Billingsley, business manager for the Florida Geological Survey, was honored as the DEP Employee of the Month for December, 2012.  Traci tracks details covering the office’s base operating budget as well as multiple contracts and grants. She accomplishes this daunting, often under-recognized service with a positive attitude and a gracious smile. In addition to these duties, she is also building manager and maintains FGS property.

  Traci serves her internal customers by tracking budgets, property and building management. Her meticulous work and dedication to excellence supports her customers so that they can accomplish their geologic research within budget, on time and within a good working environment. She also responds promptly to requests for information and reports from DEP’s Budget, Property, and Contracts and Grants offices. She continuously strives to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the grant tracking process and throughout the years has been an excellent steward of FGS funds.

  Willing to do whatever is needed, Traci is not limited by what is in her job description, going above and beyond in initiatives such as climbing into the lobby display case to sweep out 15 years of dust and dirt. Traci balances work with a busy life at home with her husband and children. She is also involved in her church and helping with the family business, Blacks Horses and Ponies Inc.

Contact persons/info: Seth Bassett and Traci Billingsley 

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Lithogeochemical Studies Conducted on Florida Rock Units
Photo of core pieces
  To better understand water-rock hydrogeochemical processes in the aquifers, including during aquifer recharge activities, one needs to be able to quantify the distribution of naturally-occurring trace metals in the rock units that make up Florida’s aquifer systems. To accomplish this, rock cores are collected using specialized drilling procedures, and are stored at the FGS core repository. Cores are analyzed by a variety of techniques to determine whole rock elemental abundances and element-mineral associations. Methods include fusion inductively-coupled plasma/mass spectrometry, instrumental neutron activation analysis, x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, Carbon and Sulphur are analyzed by infrared detector to yield CO2, total C, graphitic C, organic C, S and SO4 and a flow injection mercury system (FIMS) is used for mercury analyses.

  Trace mineralogical analyses on polished thin sections are completed using reflected and transmitted light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive and wavelength dispersive microprobe spectroscopy. The presence/absence of various minerals may be beneficial to identify processes that may adversely affect native and recovered water quality through water-rock interaction.

  Laboratory bench-scale leaching experiments using core are conducted under various geochemical conditions to evaluate water-rock hydrogeological processes and trace metal mobilization. While the bench-scale results may not reach equilibrium conditions for all potential reactions, and are not expected to provide a direct comparison with water-quality changes observed during aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) cycle testing, prediction of relative degrees and perhaps magnitudes of metals mobilization may be realized. Bench-scale studies are “reaction-kinetic” limited and demonstrate an approximation of potential aquifer conditions during ASR activities. Additional factors to consider during the application of bench-scale studies to field results are ground-water mixing, effects of scale (study area size), water-rock ratios, physical and chemical aquifer heterogeneities (dual porosity), pressure-temperature differences, core preservation and microbial activity. The information gained from bench-scale leaching may prove to be a powerful predictive tool in the design, testing, and operation of ASR wells

Contact persons/info: Paul Hansard and Cindy Fischler 

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Lake Miccosukee Dye Trace: Tracing Surfacewater and Groundwater Interaction
Dye introduction at Lake Miccosukee Sink   Due to extended drought conditions, the water level in the Floridan aquifer system has been lowered, causing regional drying down of lakes. In Lake Iamonia and Lake Jackson in Leon County, for example, the sediment plugs in sinkholes in the lake bottoms have collapsed into the aquifer. This is a natural process that occurs during droughts and periodic draining of these lakes is a normal occurrence. In fact, this is the geologic process that formed these local lakes. Without natural “drawdowns,” the lake basins would fill with organic sediments from the aquatic plants growing in them and become bogs or wet prairies.

  In the case of Lake Miccosukee, the sinkhole that would naturally drain the water is diked by a manmade earthen dam. In an effort to keep Lake Miccosukee healthy for fish and waterfowl, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) planned to draw down Lake Miccosukee by opening the water control structure in the dam. When the FWC contacted the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) to determine what effects the planned drawdown might have on the groundwater, the water management district staff suggested that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Geological Survey (DEP/FGS) be included in the discussions. Being aware of an ongoing DEP/FGS dye trace at Bird Sink near Lake Miccosukee, the NWFWMD also suggested conducting a dye trace during the drawdown event. Staff at all three agencies realized the unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of the surface and groundwater interaction afforded by the drawdown and immediately initiated a collaborative effort to get a dye trace underway.

  On June 6, 2012, six days after the initial discussions and shortly after the FWC water control structure at Lake Miccosukee was opened, twenty five pounds of Rhodamine WT dye was introduced into the flow streaming into Miccosukee Sink. Interestingly enough, less than two hours before, DEP/FGS staff had to meet a FedEx delivery truck for an unscheduled stop in the parking lot at Doak Campbell Stadium to obtain twenty pounds of the dye in order to be at the lake in time for the drawdown.

  Immediately following dye introduction, DEP/FGS staff deployed a water level logger at Bird Sink and charcoal sample packets at sampling stations on the Wacissa River, and at Natural Bridge on the St. Marks River. A charcoal sample packet station was established at Wakulla Springs on June 11th. These charcoal sample packets are collected every week to ten days if possible.

  On June 14th, the ISCO remote sampler (an electronically controlled sampling device that can be programmed to collect water samples at specified volumes and frequencies) at the St. Marks River Rise that had been used for the Bird Sink dye trace was redeployed. Given the fact that visible dye was detected in the springs of the St. Marks river during the Bird Sink dye trace, and that the current potentiometric surface maps indicate Miccosukee Sink was upgradient of Bird Sink, it was assumed that the most likely discharge location for the groundwater being recharged at Miccosukee Sink is at the St. Marks River Rise. The ISCO remote sampler was set to collect a water sample every twelve hours. If dye is detected in one of the charcoal packets deployed at the Natural Bridge sample location, then water samples from ISCO sampler will be analyzed for the week in hopes of establishing a breakthrough curve for the dye.

  Tropical Storm Debby caused extensive flooding in late June, delaying charcoal packet recovery and requiring retrieval and redeployment of the ISCO sampler. After the analytical data from the samples are obtained, the DEP/FGS expects to complete a report of its findings by May 2013.  If successful, this will be the longest distance dye trace ever completed in Florida, spanning approximately 30 miles.

Contact person/info: Tom Greenhalgh  

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FGS Receives National Park Service Grant
Anastasia Formation in beach cut
  The FGS received a grant for $130,092 from the National Park Service (NPS) in 2012 to complete geomorphic and geologic mapping in and around four National Park Service land holdings in northeastern Florida. The study area has a northern component in Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and the Fort Caroline National Memorial in Duval and Nassau counties and a southern component which includes Fort Matanzas National Monument and Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Johns and Flagler counties. The project focuses on the use of aerial imagery and ground-truthing reconnaissance to map the surface geomorphology of 12 U.S. Geological Survey 7.5 minute quadrangles containing the NPS lands. The mapping effort includes analyses of cores and cuttings in the FGS sample repository that were collected from within the study area.  New cores will be drilled to fill in data gaps and aid in assessing the subsurface geology in the region. The NPS is interested in an assessment of the geological resources in and adjacent to their landholdings. Understanding the geomorphology component is important for these NPS lands due to their proximity to marine environments which are susceptible to sea-level rise, storm surge, inlet dynamics and other coastal hazards. Project deliverables are due November 30, 2013.

Contact person/info: Christopher Williams 

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STATEMAP Program Receives Funding for Geologic Mapping
Proposed project mapping area to be conducted by
 STATEMAP in 2012-2013   The FGS STATEMAP program recently received $183,735 from the US Geological Survey for geologic mapping. The FGS proposed two areas for mapping for the 2012-2013 project: the Cedar Keys quadrangle and the Daytona quadrangle. The funding provided by the USGS was approximately 68% of what was requested, and was enough to map the Daytona quadrangle. Mapping of the Cedar Keys quadrangle was tabled for a future request.

  The awarded funds will be used for new geologic mapping of the USGS 30’ x 60’ Daytona quadrangle. This mapping, funded in part by the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP), represents the nineteenth year that the FGS has received funding from the NCGMP for geologic mapping in Florida. 

  These maps will provide a very useful tool for local planners and environmental scientists to use when making decisions about local growth plans, groundwater protection regulations, and other issues that affect the citizens of Florida. These maps, cross-sections and cores will be particularly useful as management tools for delineating areas of recharge, aquifer vulnerability and potential karst formation in the region.

  Several State and Federal agencies will benefit from this geologic mapping project, including the St. Johns River Water Management District, the US Geological Survey, Florida Department of Transportation, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (springs protection, total maximum daily load, and status groundwater monitoring network).

  Geologic mapping for the project will be completed in August of 2013 and will result in a new Open-File Map Series and Open File Report. The maps and report will be available through the FGS library in late 2013.

Contact person/info: Rick Green 

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The USArray Comes to Florida
Currently-installed USArray stations
  USArray consists of a portable array of 400 seismometers that have been deployed across the United States over a 10 year period. The USArray is part of EarthScope, a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). According to EarthScope, transportable Array Station 457A in Yulee, Florida is the first such station to reach the east coast of the U.S. By the end of 2013, the array's east coast stations will occupy 400 sites extending from Florida in the south to Michigan and Maine in the north, including sites in the southernmost regions of Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

  Including sites that lie on the border of Florida and Georgia, there are now 33 portable array stations within the state of Florida or on its northern border. Researchers have placed the stations in a grid approximately 43 miles apart. They will be in place and recording for approximately two years. There are also two permanent array stations within the state of Florida and just over its border in the state of Alabama. A "flexible component" array has been deployed from northern Florida and extending across Georgia where a denser network of seismometers was required. Data collected by all of these stations’ instruments are transmitted in real-time to the Array Network Facility at the University of California, San Diego, then archived at the IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) Data Management Center in Seattle. Each USArray station includes the instrumentation necessary to continuously sense, record, and transmit ground motions from a wide range of seismic sources, including local and distant earthquakes, artificial explosions, volcanic eruptions, and other natural and human-induced activities. Over the wide frequency range of seismic waves transmitted through the Earth (hundreds of seconds to ten cycles per second), the sensors of the seismic arrays resolve the smallest background motions at the quietest of sites, while remaining “on scale” for all but the largest ground motions from regional earthquakes.

Transportable Array station 457A in Yulee, Florida   The deployment of a typical station includes solar panels and a vault buried six feet below the surface to protect the broadband seismometer, digitizer/recorder, power (battery and solar) systems and communications controllers. The GPS receiver provides accurate timing to the recorder, and a data telemetry system. "Scientists can use these data to generate 3-D images of Earth's interior that are very similar to CT scans in medicine," says Greg Anderson, NSF program director for EarthScope. "The images show Earth's structure from the core to the surface in never-before-seen detail." The data collected should enable a broader understanding of the deep “basement” strata and structure that underlie Florida’s nearer surface sedimentary strata. It is anticipated that these data will foster greater understanding of possible deep structural involvement in features such as the St. Johns River Valley, the lineation of both Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, and Warm Mineral and Little Salt Springs in the Ft. Myers area.

Contact person/info: Dan Phelps 

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FGS Responds to Sinkhole Emergencies Following TS Debby in June 2012
Building damage from sinkhole activity in Live Oak, FL
  Sinkholes are a known geologic hazard within the State of Florida due to its karstic terrain and form with higher frequency after droughts and subsequent flooding from tropical storms. During a drought, a lack of rain and increased pumping from underground aquifers results in a lower water table, thereby reducing support for subterranean structures. A depression forms when rain and groundwater erode limestone and similar rocks below ground, creating caves. The ceiling of a cave will collapse when it weakens to the point where it can no longer support the earth above it, thus forming a sinkhole on the surface. This sometimes happens gradually, but can also happen quickly when heavy rains fall. Flooding causes more erosion below ground while adding weight to the saturated soil above.

  Conditions were “perfect” for a significant number of such sinkholes to form when a period of drought was followed by Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012. In the aftermath of the floods due to the storm, the FGS responded to requests from emergency management centers in Suwannee, Hernando, and Wakulla counties. In Suwannee County, the major concern was a large depression feature in downtown Live Oak which was potentially impacting the county courthouse. The responding FGS team made observations and conducted GPR surveys near the courthouse; results and other observations were shared with local officials. The team also visited sinkholes on private land in the area, collected data, and educated landowners. Ponds and streams were observed to bubble as subsurface cavities took surface water. 

  In Hernando County, thirty clusters of sinkholes were visited comprising at least 135 sinkholes. The observed sinkholes ranged from over 100 feet to just a few feet in diameter, depths ranged from a few feet to likely greater than 40 feet.  A combination of flooding and two sinkholes closed down the Sun Coast Parkway. Several sinkholes that occurred within or near retention ponds in Pasco and Hernando county landfills were also assessed. The FGS also provided support in Wakulla County where back-flooding through sinkholes was observed. The FGS Director Jon Arthur, and Assistant State Geologist Harley Means provided communications support and coordination for the period. More than 250 sinkholes formed in the wake of TS Debby in Suwannee, Marion, Wakulla, Hernando and Pasco counties.

Contact person/info: Harley Means 

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When Lakes Go Dry: Floridan Aquifer Takes Surface Water
Sinkhole in the bed of Lake Iamonia, June 1, 2012   Three large lakes reside north of Tallahassee and are situated between the Ochlocknee River on the west and Wards Creek on the east. They are Lake Jackson, Lake Iamonia and Lake Miccosukee. Besides sharing a common geographic location these lakes also share a common origin. These lakes, and other smaller ones in the area, were all created by karst activity. Each of the three large lake basins are actually the result of coalescing sinkholes that have developed over geologic time. This becomes obvious to even non-geologists when the water in these lakes drains into the underlying aquifer through sinkholes, leaving the lake bed dry.

  North Florida has experienced a prolonged drought since 1999, interrupted by several years of normal rainfall. The cumulative deficit of rainfall has decreased the water level in the underlying Floridan aquifer system. When this happens, void spaces once filled with water now contain air and provide little support to the overlying rock and soil. When the water levels in the Floridan aquifer system are sufficiently low, water can drain from these lakes more readily into the underlying aquifer through the sinkholes in the lake beds. If the amount of water entering the lakes via rainfall is less than the amount of water leaving the lakes by evaporation and draining the lake levels will decline. This is currently the case for these three large lakes.  Lakes Jackson, Miccosukee and Iamonia have drained many times in the past. These drydown events coincide with drought cycles and have historically occurred about every 25 years. Lake Iamonia and Lake Miccosukee both have had control structures installed around the lake drains (sinkholes) to facilitate having human control over drydown events. These structures in both lakes are currently open and are allowing the drydown to take place. Lake Jackson currently drains through Porter Sink which is the same sinkhole that was active during the drydown event in 1999. It, and other sinks in the lake, are not contained behind any control structures. Drydown events are a natural part of the ecology of these lakes and actually provides a benefit to them by allowing organic material that has built up on the lake bottom to oxidize. This cycling of nutrients is necessary to facilitate a healthy lake ecosystem.

  When the water in these lakes drains into the underlying Floridan aquifer system it then mixes with existing groundwater and flows south toward the coast. Some of this water may eventually discharge at Wakulla Spring. In an effort to understand what happens to this water once it enters the ground the Florida Geological Survey has been conducting research using dye tracing. FGS researchers released dye into the Lake Miccosukee sinkhole as water was flowing down through it and into the underlying Floridan aquifer system. Samples have been collected down-gradient at specific sites to see if the dye can be detected. If dye is detected at any of these sites it will demonstrate how this lake water moves through the aquifer once it disappears underground. It is important to know where surface water and groundwater interact as some surface water can carry contaminants into our aquifers. Most Floridians get their drinking water from these same aquifers.

Contact person/info: Harley Means 

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IN MEMORIAM:  Paulette Alice Bond, July 9, 1949 - November 23, 2012
Paulette
  Paulette Bond was born on July 9, 1949, the daughter of Paul and Jeanette Bond of Beckley, West Virginia. A 1967 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, she obtained a B.S. degree in geology from West Virginia University in 1971 and an M.S. degree in geology from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1975. She continued with advanced studies in geology at University of British Columbia and Florida State University.

  Paulette moved to Tallahassee in 1980 when she was selected to fill a one-year instructor position in the Florida State University Department of Geology. Nearly thirty years of service as a geologist with the FGS followed that temporary assignment. Until her retirement in 2010, Paulette wore many hats at the FGS, achieving her most significant contribution by using her unique combination of gifts. Through her artistic talent and creativity, passion for teaching and the environment, and her exceptional communication skills, she developed an outstanding Education and Outreach Program at the FGS.

  As part of that program, Paulette created and implemented annual interactive displays at Earth Day at the Capitol; coordinated the annual Earth Science Week at the FGS including activities for visitors of all ages in keeping with an annual theme; initiated and coordinated FGS “Scout Nights” to guide Webelo Scouts in earning their geology badges; and created educational artwork for a variety of publications. Two of Paulette’s most notable illustrations are the extremely popular posters, Florida’s Hydrogeologic Environment and Land Use and Spring Protection, which Greg Ira of DEP’s Office of Environmental Education commended in 2010 for “giving thousands a lasting mental picture of the world beneath our feet.”

  A lifelong love for learning matched Paulette’s passion for teaching as revealed by the wide range of topics covered by her publication history and the expertise she developed during her career. Paulette’s interests and expertise covered a vast array of topics from the peat resources of Florida to isotopic geochemistry, radon, uranium, and mercury in Florida and more. She collaborated on several anthropological studies; served as a district geologist; contributed to hydrogeological, environmental, and mineral resource projects and publications; researched and presented on methods of delivering environmental education to a variety of audiences; and published an atlas on geologic hazards in Florida. The FGS recognized Paulette’s service in 2007, bestowing on her the FGS Employee of the Year Award, and DEP honored her in August 2008 with the Employee of the Month Award.

  Paulette loved art, both painting and drawing. Not only did she use art to illustrate Florida’s geology and environment, but art also enabled her to “give back.” She frequently contributed to the annual Big Bend Cares Artopia art auction and to DEP-Bay, an online auction run by DEP as part of the annual Florida State Employees Charitable Campaign. Paulette auctioned her talent by offering to paint a pet portrait to the highest bidder. She also loved music and enjoyed playing the mandolin.

  During the last two decades of her life, Paulette endured breast cancer and other health problems. Despite this, she continued to live a rich, full, and active life. She wanted to be a “woman living with breast cancer rather than a woman dying of breast cancer” and she achieved that goal, maintaining a positive outlook and love for life until her death on November 23, 2012. We will remember Paulette, not only for the legacy of her work at the FGS, but also for her sunny smile and infectious laugh, her curiosity, indomitable spirit and positive attitude. She will be missed by the many, many friends whose lives she touched.
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