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Hydrogeology Section

Applied Geoscience Services Section

The mission of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) - Florida Geological Survey (FGS) Applied Geoscience Services Section is to generate, analyze, interpret and disseminate hydrogeologic data and information to decision makers at all levels of government, academia, the consulting community and the public at large.

   
   Such data is generated through scientific research supported by federal grants and conducted by Section scientists, frequently in collaboration with other scientists in the university system, federal agencies and the private sector with close supervision by the Section’s project managers. This approach continues to produce unbiased, scientific information about Florida’s environment, its water resources and ecosystems. Such information is being put to good use in making land and water use decisions by local and State agencies and by serving as topics for perusing graduate degrees in environmental sciences.

    Critical to achieving the Section’s objectives is bridging the gap between basic and applied science by directing research to solving real societal problems in such areas as: The dynamics of heavy interaction between ground and surface water, developing predictive models for ground water flow and contaminant transport, evaluating the ecological impacts of sea level rise, determining aquifer vulnerabilities, evaluating the impacts of Aquifer Storage and Recovery, identifying geological formations suitable for carbon sequestration and geothermal energy generation. Basing decision-making and problem-solving on scientific data, will help streamline regulatory processes by eliminating redundancies and un-necessary requirements. This, in turn, can help in creating a better balance between environmental protection on the one hand and job creation and economical well being on the other.

Focus Areas
Activities

Focus Areas


Surface Water-Groundwater Program

  • Physical Aquifer Characterization - Aquifer-system mapping (identify permeable zones and confining units), geophysical characterization of aquifer-system properties, identify relation between geologic units and aquifer systems through generation of cross sections and contour maps; maintain database of aquifer hydraulic properties; provide knowledge of the hydrogeologic framework to facilitate source-water protection and improved aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) and injection well site location, design and monitoring plans, data sources for vulnerability modeling.



  • Surface Water-Groundwater Interaction – Investigate ground-water contribution to surface water via springs and seeps, including seepage of groundwater in coastal zones; support data collection and modeling efforts that address karst hydrogeologic settings; quantify interactions for regulatory purposes.



  • Geothermal Resources and Carbon Sequestration - Compile temperature gradient data for heat exchange systems and define suitable strata for sequestration of industrial carbon.

 

  • Geographic Information System Coverages and Databases Develop and provide hydrogeology coverages including aquifer framework data; facilitate access to the FGS_wells database, upgrade the lithologic database; develop digital geophysical log database; develop and maintain data in support of aquifer vulnerability mapping.



  • Hydrogeologic Resources – Develop, model and disseminate hydrogeology coverages, develop interactive data access for aquifer framework data for use in ground-water modeling; conduct aquifer vulnerability mapping for application in land-use, resource management and conservation activities; geophysical characterization of karst features, sinkhole studies and mapping, archive cave maps, locate and characterize onshore and coastal fresh water submarine springs, evaluate submarine springs as potential public water supplies for coastal communities.



  • Education and Communication Facilitate communication among Florida’s hydrogeologists as well as those requiring hydrogeologic expertise through the organization or sponsorship of technical workshops; participate in FDEP committees and working groups, liaison with Water Management Districts, other local, state and federal agencies, non-profit scientific organizations; produce environmental/earth-science education resources and curricula; public communication; publish and disseminate maps and reports in a variety of media.

 

  • Geochemistry - Evaluating how surfacewater injection into our aquifers affects water chemistry. As an example, the researchers discovered that injection of surfacewater, under certain conditions, releases trace metals, in small quantities, from the aquifer matrix material into the groundwater. It is currently evaluating the sources and the fate of those metals. This research is critical to understanding Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) water-rock interaction and metals mobilization.  Additional recent and ongoing projects include Everglades Restoration research, Florida springs and aquifer system ambient geochemistry data collection and interpretation, and water-quality trends analysis.



Activities


 

Last updated: October 17, 2014

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