Origin of Nutrients in Ground Water Discharging from the King's Bay Springs

Metadata Updated: January 29, 2020

The numerous springs and seeps in King's Bay in Citrus County, Florida (Figure 1) discharge ground water at the rate of approximately 975 cubic feet per second (630 mgd). The concentration of total nitrogen (ammonium+nitrite+nitrate+organic nitrogen) and total phosphorus in water discharging from the springs is approximately 0.35 mg/I and 0.04 mg/I respectively. At these concentrations, approximately 335 tons of nitrogen and 38 tons of phosphorus are contained in ground water discharging from the King's Bay Springs every year. Approximately 205 tons(~ 61% of the 335 tons total) of the nitrogen is in the form of nitrate. It has been determined by Romie (1990) that ground water discharging from numerous subaqueous springs in King's Bay is the source of 94 percent of the total nitrogen and 84 percent of the total phosphorus entering the bay. A possible effect of the increasing nutrient loading from spring discharge is the increased growth of Lyngbya majuscula, a filamentous blue-green algae (Romie, 1990) and other native and non-native species of aquatic vegetation. This vegetation can form large floating mats that remove oxygen from the water when they die and decay. Excess vegetation can also reduce the clarity of the water which can block sunlight from reaching sea grass and other beneficial bottom-dwelling vegetation. Finally, the mats are unsightly, their decay causes a foul odor, and they can impair navigation and other recreational uses of the water body. Ground water discharging in the King's Bay Springs originates as rainfall in the recharge area inland of the springs. The rainfall infiltrates the Floridan aquifer and flows seaward toward the springs. The portion of the recharge area that is most likely causing nutrient enrichment in the springs (the study area) is depicted in Figure 2. Because historical data on nitrate levels in ground water discharging from the King's Bay Springs and ground water in the study area are extremely limited, it is difficult to establish that nitrate concentrations have significantly increased prior to the beginning of regular water-quality monitoring in 1991. However, comparison of the median concentration of nitrate in Floridan aquifer ground water sampled from over 700 monitor wells statewide (0.01 mg/I) (Upchurch, 1992) to the current concentration of nitrate in ground water discharging from the springs (approximately 0.2 mg/I), indicates that the spring-water concentrations are 20 times higher than the natural ground-water concentrations. In addition, nitrate concentrations in samples collected between January 1991 and January 1998 from four of the most significant springs in the King's Bay Complex were statistically evaluated to determine whether nitrate levels in the springs were increasing. Of the four springs tested, one showed a statistically significant increasing trend.

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https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/110620

Dates

Metadata Created Date January 29, 2020
Metadata Updated Date January 29, 2020

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI Open Data

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date January 29, 2020
Metadata Updated Date January 29, 2020
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_110620
Maintainer
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level restricted public
Bureau Code 010:18
Metadata Context https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.jsonld
Metadata Catalog ID C:\Program Files (x86)\FWS\DataStore\Application\OpenData\FWS_ServCat_v1_1.json
Schema Version https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema
Catalog Describedby https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.json
Data Quality true
Harvest Object Id c5443423-3ab0-4ea2-914e-ea782de9783a
Harvest Source Id 5b7e4031-1e2d-428b-92e2-56554bbd7371
Harvest Source Title DOI Open Data
Data First Published 1998-01-01
Homepage URL https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/110620
Data Last Modified 1998-01-01
Program Code 010:094, 010:028
Related Documents "https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/110620"
Rights The information resource is proprietary and/or copyrighted. Access to this information by the public is very limited. Please contact the associated Point of Contact regarding additional use constraints and requirements for obtaining the information.
Source Datajson Identifier true
Source Hash 270c64446382ab8e2e22c765c45cfb66f37caf79
Source Schema Version 1.1
Category "Unpublished Report"

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