WRIR 96-4063

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Barr, G.L., 1996, Hydrogeology of the Surficial and Intermediate Aquifer Systems in Sarasota and Adjacent Counties, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4063, 81 p.


From 1991-95, the hydrogeology of the surficial aquifer system and the major permeable zones and confining units of the intermediate aquifer system in southwest Florida was studied. The study area is a 1,400-square-mile area that includes Sarasota County and parts of Manatee, De Soto, Charlotte, and Lee Counties. Lithologic, geophysical, hydraulic property, and water-level data were used to correlate the hydrogeology and map the extent of the aquifer systems. Water chemistry was evaluated in southwest Sarasota County to determine salinity of the surficial and intermediate aquifer systems.

The surficial aquifer is an unconfined aquifer system that overlies the intermediate aquifer system and ranges from a few feet to over 60-feet thick in the study area. Hydraulic properties of the surficial aquifer system determined from aquifer and laboratory tests, and model simulations vary considerably across the study area.

The intermediate aquifer system, a confined aquifer system that lies between the surficial and the Upper Floridan aquifers, is composed of alternating confining units and permeable zones. The intermediate aquifer system has three major permeable zones that exhibit a wide range of hydraulic properties. Horizontal flow in the intermediate aquifer system is northeast to southwest. Most of the study area is in a discharge area of the intermediate aquifer system.

Water ranges naturally from fresh in the surficial aquifer system and upper permeable zones of the intermediate aquifer system to moderately saline in the lower permeable zone.Water-quality data collected in coastal southwest Sarasota County indicate that ground-water withdrawals from major pumping centers have resulted in lateral seawater intrusion and upconing into the surficial and intermediate aquifer systems.

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