FLORIDA’S AQUIFERS AND SPRINGS

How many times have you popped open a plastic bottle of spring water and wondered where it came from? Probably not that often. But chances are that crystal clear water came gurgling out of Florida’s incredible, massive spring system. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself!

True/False

 

Show What You Know

Artesian pressure is a tricky concept to understand. Here’s an activity that’ll make it click, and here’s what you’ll need:

 Length of hose about 4 feet long (garden hose or something similar)

1 liter of water

Duct-tape

Funnel

Clamp

Drill

¼ inch drill bit

So this is what you do: First of all, make sure you’re working in an area that you don’t mind getting wet. Tape up one end of your hose with duct tape. Make sure it’s nice and tight so water won’t leak out. Next, drill a hole in the top of the hose, about 4 inches from the end you just sealed with tape. Now, lay the hose flat on a table so that the hole is pointing straight up towards the ceiling. Clamp the end of the hose (the sealed end). Make sure you don’t clamp it too hard…just tight enough so it’s secure. Now lift the other end about 2 feet off of the table and using your funnel, pour about a liter of water into the hose. Now watch what happens.

You have now just illustrated how artesian pressure works. The hose acts like the confining layers above and below the aquifer. The end of the hose with the funnel acts as the area of recharge, and the hole at the other end of the hose acts as the point of outflow. Congratulations, you’ve just created an artificial artesian spring!