OFR 02-48

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Phelps, G.G., 2002, Source Water Identification and Chemical Typing for Nitrogen at the Kissimmee River, Pool C, Florida--Preliminary Assessment: Open-File Report 02-48, 38 p.


As part of the South Florida Water Management District's Ground Water-Surface Water Interactions Study, a project was undertaken to identify the ages and sources of water in the area of Pool C, Kissimmee River, Florida. Twenty-two water samples were collected along two transects: at a remnant river oxbows (Site D) and in the dredged part of the channel (Site C). The samples were analyzed for concentrations of fluoride and strontium, and for isotopes of oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Selected samples were analyzed for one or more additional isotopes (carbon-14, the ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86, tritium, and tritium-helium-3). Delta nitrogen-15 values for nitrate at Site C can be explained by soil nitrogen and fertilizer sources; at Site D soil nitrogen accounts for most values, although animal wastes may explain higher values. Some of the isotopic data seem to be contradictory: carbon-14 data apparently indicate that shallow ground water is younger at Site D than at Site C, whereas strontium-87/86 ratios lead to the opposite conclusion. More detailed analysis of major ions and nutrients for all sampling points, along with flow measurements, could allow more definitive interpretation of isotope data and provide additional insight into mixing of ground water and surface water at the sites.

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