In this section
Beecher Springs main view
photo by R. Means, FGS
Beecher Springs overview
Beecher Springs pool
Beecher Springs is a third-magnitude spring with a roughly oval-shaped spring pool about 150 feet long from east to west and 130 feet wide from north to south. A natural bank borders the pool to the east, and a concrete walk and retaining wall border the north and west sides. Gentle surface boils are visible in the northwest part of the pool, with a depth to water about 10 to 15 feet over the limestone vent. The east part of the spring pool appears to be appreciably shallower than the western part. Water flows south down a run for about 1.3 miles to discharge into the St. Johns River. Between the springs and the river, water is diverted into man-made holding ponds that are used as fish hatcheries by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. The spring is not open to the public.
Discharge at Beecher Springs was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1972 and 1985. St. Johns River Water Management District measured discharge 13 times from 1993 to 2001. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 5.80 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the period. The maximum measured discharge of 12.1 cfs occurred in May 1998; the minimum discharge of 6.3 cfs occurred in September 1993. The mean and median discharges for the period are 9.13 cfs and 9.04 cfs, respectively (see the table below).
Beecher Springs was sampled by USGS three times from 1960 to 1985. The district sampled Beecher Springs 13 times from 1993 to 2001. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.
Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Beecher Springs
|Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3||89.0||97.0||96.8||103.0||11||1960−2001|
|Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca||31.1||34.0||34.3||36.8||12||1993−2001|
|Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl||50.7||74.6||70.0||152.0||15||1960−2001|
|Fluoride, total, mg/L as F||0.12||0.13||0.13||0.14||11||1995−2001|
|Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg||7.2||8.4||8.4||11.6||12||1993−2001|
|Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N||0.01||0.01||0.01||0.01||3||1985−1998|
|Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P||0.10||0.12||0.11||0.14||12||1985−2001|
|Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P||0.12||0.13||0.13||0.13||2||1985−2001|
|Potassium, total, mg/L as K||1.2||1.6||1.5||2.3||12||1993−2001|
|Sodium, total, mg/L as Na||28.3||36.8||35.2||66.2||12||1993−2001|
|Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C||378||423||439||462||11||1993−2001|
|Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C||385||468||425||723||7||1960−2001|
|Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4||4.0||12.3||11.7||20.0||15||1960−2001|
|Total dissolved solids, mg/L||200||245||242||352||11||1972−2001|
|Water temperature, °C||22.6||23.3||23.0||26.8||16||1960−2001|
mg/L = milligrams per liter
cfs = cubic feet per second
Age of discharge water
The age of water discharging from Beecher Springs was determined by measuring the concentration of tritium, delta carbon-13, and carbon-14 in the spring discharge, which was measured in May 2001. Beecher Springs had a tritium concentration of 2.64 tritium units, which suggests that the water is less than 48 years old. Beecher Springs had a delta carbon-13 value of −8.98 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 44% modern carbon, which results from the mixing of Upper and Lower Floridan water. The adjusted carbon-14 age is recent.