Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center
Relative importance of surface-water and groundwater flows to Tsala Apopka Lake, west-central Florida
Project Chief: Scott McBride
Figure 1. Location of the canals and flow-control structures in the Tsala Apopka Lake study area.
Previous and on-going studies have shown that a strong hydraulic connection exists between surface water and groundwater in the Tsala Apopka Lake area (fig. 1). Tsala Apopka Lake is a difficult resource to manage due to its complexity. Reliable data on the nature of the hydraulic connection between the lakes and wetlands and the Upper Floridan aquifer is scarce. Analytical water budgets have never been developed for the system. Understanding how water moves through the system and interacts with the underlying aquifer would give water managers better insight into how to manage the system.
1) Assess the hydraulic connection of Tsala Apopka Lake with the Upper Floridan aquifer
2) Develop an analytical water budget for the lake system using both physical and remotely sensed hydrologic data
3) Develop an integrated surface water/groundwater model capable of evaluating the effects of climate changes, development, and alternative management approaches
One of the many wetlands found in the Tsala Apopka Lake system; photo by W. Scott McBride.
The surface-water component of the project involved implementing a hydrologic monitoring network. The data collected were used in conjunction with remote sensing techniques to calculate analytical water budgets. The hydrogeologic component of the study involved installing wells to monitor interactions between surface water and shallow groundwater, defining the hydrogeologic framework, and producing detailed potentiometric surface maps of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the vicinity of the Tsala Apopka Lake basin. The water quality and water chemistry component of the study involved collecting major ion, nutrient, isotope, and age dating samples from select groundwater and surface-water sites to evaluate the interaction of groundwater and surface water in the study area.
A USGS Scientific Investigations Report (SIR) will describe the hydrology, water budget, water chemistry, and the surface-water/groundwater model of Tsala Apopka Lake in west-central Florida.