Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center
Warm Mineral Springs, Sarasota County, Florida
Project Chief: Patty Metz
A decline in Warm Mineral Springs discharge has occurred during recent years, and during the same period, hydrologic conditions have changed in the area surrounding the springs. As development has expanded in this region, the need for groundwater has increased, and in southeastern Sarasota County, the increase in groundwater withdrawals has coincided with about a 10 to 20 foot decline in the potentiometric surface of the Upper Florida aquifer. It is difficult to determine the effect of increased withdrawals on spring flow because the depth of the source water to Warm Mineral Springs is unknown
Warm Mineral Springs, located in southern Sarasota County (fig. 1), is the only warm (87° F), highly-mineralized spring in Florida. This unique geothermal spring has hydrologic importance, ecological and archeological significance, and economic value for Sarasota County. Since 1946, a day spa has operated at the spring, attracting vacationers and health enthusiasts. In addition, the warm water from the spring attracts manatees to the adjoining spring run during the winter months, and provides vital habitat for these mammals as well as an opportunity for environmental education. Well-preserved human bones, artifacts, and Pleistocene age animal bones and plant remains have been found in and around the spring, indicating that the spring has long been an attraction for humans. Clearly, Warm Mineral Springs is a multi-use resource, with numerous stakeholders involved in its development, management and sustainable use.
The objective of this study is to provide a review, compilation, and objective summary of existing published and publically available data pertinent to the hydrology of the area. The data review and summary will help define and focus the questions about the hydrology that remain unanswered by previous studies. This review and summary will facilitate the design of a comprehensive study needed to help local, regional, and state water resources managers better understand and sustainably manage Warm Mineral Springs.
The principal activity of this study will be to summarize existing data pertinent to the hydrologic conditions and hydrogeology in the study and surrounding area, which is the first step in any subsequent comprehensive analysis of Warm Mineral Springs. A literature and file search will be conducted and all pertinent hydrologic data from the area will be reviewed, compiled, and summarized. An inventory of historical and current streamflow, groundwater levels, and water use will be completed. Data from driller’s completion reports, existing core data from wells in the area, and lithologic and geologic logs will be compiled. Water levels from existing wells will be evaluated and summarized. A water-quality inventory will be completed and data will be summarized.
[Results are not yet available].
A USGS Open-File Report will be published that will provide a comprehensive summary of existing data pertinent to the hydrologic conditions and hydrogeology in the study area and surrounding areas. In addition, data gaps will be defined, and a design for a comprehensive study of Warm Mineral Springs that will address those data gaps will be developed in consultation with the cooperators and stakeholders.