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Location of Wakulla Springs.

Wakulla Springs is located 14 miles (23 km) south of Tallahassee, Florida and 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Florida at the crossroads of State Road 61 and State Road 267. It is protected in the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.

Contents

Description

Wakulla Springs
Wakulla Springs as it empties into the Wakulla River.

Wakulla cave is a branching flow-dominated cave that has developed in the Floridan Aquifer under the Woodville Karst Plain of north Florida.[1]

It is classified as a first magnitude spring and is the longest and deepest known submerged freshwater cave system in the world. Wakulla Springs is a major exposure point for the Floridan Aquifer. The spring forms the Wakulla River which flows 9 miles (14 km) to the southeast where it joins the St. Mark's River. After a short 5 miles (8.0 km) the St. Mark's empties into the Gulf of Mexico at Apalachee Bay.

History and discovery

Drawing of a mastodon skeleton by Rembrandt Peale

Scientific interest in the spring began in 1850, when Sarah Smith reported seeing the bones of an ancient mastodon on the bottom. Since that time, scientists have identified the remains of at least nine other extinct Ice Age mammals, deposited as far as 1,200 feet (360 m) back into a cave. Today, at a depth of about 190 feet, the fossilized remains of mastodons are in full view along with other fossils.

Prehistoric humans

Upper Paleolithic - Paleoindians lived at or near the spring over 12,000 years and were descendants of people who crossed into North America from eastern Asia during the Pleistocene epoch. Clovis spear points have been found at Wakulla Springs.

Prehistoric animal life

Animal life today

Alligator among shoreline vegetation at Wakulla Springs.

Found in and around Wakulla Springs are manatees, white-tailed deer, otters, alligators, Suwannee cooters, snapping turtles, softshell turtles, limpkin, purple gallinules, herons, egrets, bald eagles, anhingas, ospreys, Common Moorhens, wood ducks, black vultures and turkey vultures.

Hydrology

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Underwater cave system

Wakulla cave consists of a dendritic network of conduits of which 12 miles (19 km) have been surveyed and mapped. The conduits are characterized as long tubes with diameter and depth being consistent (300 ft or 90m depth); however, joining tubes can be divided by larger chambers of varying geometries. The largest conduit trends south from the spring/cave entrance for over 3.8 miles (6.1 km). Four secondary conduits, including Leon Sinks intersect the main conduit. Most of these secondary

Map shows transmissivity values of Floridan Aquifer as it exits at Wakulla Springs.

conduits have been fully explored. On December 15, 2007, Woodville Karst Plain Project divers physically connected the Wakulla Springs and Leon Sinks cave systems establishing the Wakulla-Leon Sinks cave system with total explored and surveyed passageway exceeding 28 miles (45 km) in length.[1]

Specifics on flow rate

Flow rate of the spring is 200-300 million gallons of water a day. A record peak flow from the spring on April 11, 1973 was measured at 14,324 gallons (54,226 liters) per second - equal to 1.2 billion gallons (4.542,494) cubic meters) per day.[2]

Wakulla Springs in film

Johnny Weissmueller at Wakulla Springs in 1941

Beginning in the 1938, several of the early Tarzan films including Tarzan's New York Adventure starring Johnny Weissmuller were filmed on location in Wakulla Springs. Other films such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, Night Moves, Airport 77 and Joe Panther starring Brian Keith and Ricardo Montalban were also filmed on location at Wakulla Springs.[3]




See also

References

  1. ^ a b Kernagis DN, McKinlay C, Kincaid TR (2008). "Dive Logistics of the Turner to Wakulla Cave Traverse". In: Brueggeman P, Pollock NW, eds. Diving for Science 2008. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 27th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL: AAUS;. http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/8011. Retrieved 2009-04-22.  
  2. ^ University of Wyoming: Wakulla Springs
  3. ^ Wakulla County.org

External links

Geography of Florida

Coordinates: 30°14′01″N 84°18′19″W / 30.23361°N 84.30528°W / 30.23361; -84.30528


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