St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District
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Water bodies, watersheds and storm water
Clifton Springs main western vent

Clifton Springs main western vent

Clifton Springs

Seminole County

Description

Clifton Springs is a third-magnitude spring composed of at least four separate springs, with multiple vents that feed two separate spring runs. The main spring pool is roughly circular with a diameter of 150 feet. The pool bottom is muddy, with algae-coated leaves and tree branches. The water is turbid and a prominent surface boil is visible. The run is about 10 feet wide and flows northwest for about 250 feet into Lake Jesup. East of the main pool, on the other side of Spring Avenue, there are several more boils which feed a narrow spring run that flows about 1,000 feet toward the northwest into Lake Jesup. The springs are located on a designated state historic site surrounded by several homes, sable palms, and moss-covered oaks.

Discharge

Clifton Springs run from vents east of CR 419

Clifton Springs run from vents east of CR 419

Discharge at Clifton Springs was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1972, 1973, and 1995. St. Johns River Water Management District measured discharge 12 times from 2000 to 2003. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 0.93 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the period. The maximum measured discharge of 1.89 cfs occurred in August 2003; the minimum discharge of 0.96 cfs occurred in July 1998. The mean and median discharges for the period are 1.44 cfs and 1.42 cfs, respectively (see the table below).

Water quality

Clifton Springs was sampled by USGS in 1972, 1973, and 1995. From 2000 to 2002, the district sampled the spring 11 times. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.

Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Clifton Springs

Clifton Springs Min Mean Median Max Count Period
Discharge, cfs 0.96 1.44 1.42 1.89 18 1972−2003
Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3 102.0 110.0 110.3 114.0 11 1972−2002
Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca 42.6 44.2 44.1 45.5 9 2000−2002
Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl 108.6 123.9 122.6 141.0 14 1972−2002
Dissolved Oxygen 1.33 1.33 1.33 1.33 1 2001
Fluoride, total, mg/L as F 0.18 0.19 0.19 0.20 9 2000−2002
Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg 13.4 14.5 14.3 15.3 9 2000−2002
Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.02 7 2000−2002
Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P 0.03 0.04 0.04 0.05 9 2000−2002
pH, field 7.14 7.80 7.81 8.17 13 1972−2002
Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 1 2001
Potassium, total, mg/L as K 2.4 2.7 2.7 3.0 9 2000−2002
Sodium, total, mg/L as Na 59.2 64.1 64.5 70.2 9 2000−2002
Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C 626 668 660 720 11 2000−2002
Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C 581 677 684 755 6 1972−2001
Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4 35.6 39.7 40.0 45.0 14 1972−2002
Total dissolved solids, mg/L 329 385 380 435 11 1972−2002
Water temperature, °C 22.8 24.9 24.6 27.5 12 1972−2002
Units: µmhos/cm = micromhos per centimeter
         mg/L = milligrams per liter
         cfs = cubic feet per second

Age of discharge water

The age of water discharging from Clifton Springs was determined by measuring the concentration of tritium, delta carbon-13, and carbon-14 in the spring discharge, which was measured in January 2001. Clifton Springs had a tritium concentration of 0.11 tritium units, which suggests that the water is about 75 years old. Clifton Springs had a delta carbon-13 value of −9.40 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 23% modern carbon, which results from the mixing of Upper and Lower Floridan aquifer water. The Fontes and Garnier (1979) carbon-14 age of Clifton Springs is 3,953 years old.

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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922