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Dear FGS Friends and Customers,

While many geoscience projects are underway at the FGS, Florida sinkholes remain at the top of the news. Multiple media interviews continue and presentations are being prepared for audiences at the National Academy of Sciences and the International Research Center on Karst (more to come on these events). Also, this quarter marked the launch of the Florida Sinkhole Vulnerability Mapping project, with a well-attended stakeholder meeting held in Live Oak, located near the center of the pilot-project region.

In other news, the FGS geologic mapping program was featured among other state surveys at the 125th Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. A poster presentation prepared by STATEMAP staff highlighted the evolution of Florida’s geologic maps since the first published map in 1913.

In conjunction with the GSA meeting was the mid-year meeting of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG). The AASG works to improve the service of state surveys across the nation and foster collaborative geoscience research opportunities with state and federal agencies, as well as to identify and voice geologic needs of the nation to decision makers. More than 1900 scientists and support staff comprise the nation’s state geological surveys. With state survey budgets totaling more than $240M, the AASG represents a powerful workforce.

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 joins FWC in Continental Shelf Research   More…

•FGS Celebrates Earth Science Week 2013 More…

•New Environmental Consultant Position at FGS   More…

•Two New U.S. Geological Survey Publications Utilize FGS Core Data More…

•Florida Specifier Article on FGS Sinkhole Vulnerability Project More…

•See Previous Editions Of FGS News And Research More…

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Side scan sonar image of sea floor and photo of sea bottom at point indicated by arrow.

Recently, the FGS joined the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in a research effort on the Southwest Florida Continental Shelf. Because the preservation of sport and commercial fisheries is important to the state of Florida, the FWC requested vessel support from the FGS. A research vessel, the R/V GeoQuest, was supplied for the project, complete with its captain, Mr. Julian Stringer. The vessel deployment ran from late April through early August of 2013.  

The FWC, via the Florida Marine Research Institute (FMRI), supplied side scan sonar equipment, equipment operators, and funding. The project collected data that allows shelf geomorphology to be more broadly tied to reef-fish habitats. These data are used by FWC to direct sampling efforts for the Florida Marine Research Institute’s reef-fish independent monitoring program. The surveys were conducted along the west Florida shelf between latitudes 26 and 28 degrees N, in water depths ranging from 98 feet to 328 feet (30 to 100 meters). Over half of the locations lay in water depths from 98 to 197 feet (30 to 60 meters). Each cruise ran from five to six days in length with multiple sites being surveyed each day. Each site was surveyed with the collection of 6.3 nautical miles of side scan sonar data. Each site survey consisted of three 2.1 nautical-mile-long survey lines.

Contact person/info: Dan Phelps 

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Students examine rocks and well cuttings under microscopes during FGS open house.

More than 250 people participated in FGS’ celebration of Earth Science Week in October, with a theme of “Mapping Our World.” The Florida Geological Survey celebrated the event with two sessions of Cub Scout Night, October 16-17 and a two-part Open House on Thursday and Friday, October 17-18. Cub Scouts and chaperones who attended and learned about fossils, rocks and minerals in Florida and Florida geology, as well as earthquakes, plate tectonics, groundwater and springs in Florida.  FGS guests also visited the Florida State University Antarctic Marine Geology Research Laboratory (AMGRF). National Geologic Map Day on Friday the 18th focused on mapping geologic hazards and people learned about fossils and Florida rocks and minerals. Visitors also observed rocks, minerals, sand, and microfossils under microscopes, and discussed geologic coring and techniques for core and cuttings collection, and the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in mapping geology and geologic hazards.

Contact person/info: Christopher Williams 

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Potentiometric surface map

A new position at the Florida Geological Survey has been created to coordinate with DEP Programs and all Water Management Districts (WMDs) through the Statewide Potentiometric Mapping Coordinating Group to support establishment of consistent potentiometric mapping throughout the state.   Among responsibilities of this position will be development of statewide potentiometric maps of the upper Floridan aquifer system, develop long-term plans to address data gaps in the potentiometric data network, and represent the FGS on the Florida Water Resource Monitoring Council. In partnership with WMDs and through dedication of this new position the FGS will publish peer-reviewed statewide potentiometric surface maps. As coordination of this effort becomes more streamlined, emphasis will be placed on potentiometric mapping of other aquifers throughout the state as needed. The effort will also include data mining along Florida’s state boundary of Georgia and Alabama to improve map accuracy and quality in these regions.

James “Jim” Cichon was selected to serve in this important capacity.  Jim holds a BA and Chemistry and BS in Geology from Florida Atlantic University, and is currently pursuing an MS in Computational Sciences at Florida State University.  His extensive knowledge and work experience in hydrogeology, GIS spatial analysis, data management and WMD operations make him an ideal person for the job.  We welcome Jim into this new important role!

Contact person/info: Jim Cichon  

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Image of U.S. Geological Survey publication cover.

Two publications of the U.S. Geological Survey utilize data from the FGS Broward County coring project featured in the Inagural Edition of this letter.  Both are viewable on line at the following urls:

Preliminary Stratigraphic and Hydrogeologic Cross Sections and Seismic Profile of the Floridan Aquifer System of Broward County, Florida. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1141/

and

Integrating Seismic-Reflection and Sequence-Stratigraphic Methods to Characterize the Hydrogeology of the Floridan Aquifer System in Southeast Florida
http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1181/

Contact person/info: Dave Paul 

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FDEP Office of the Florida Geological Survey | 903 W. Tennessee Street. MS 720 | Tallahassee | FL | 32304 | 850-617-0300 | http://www.dep.state.fl.us/geology/default.htm