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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Decadal exploration of karst hydrogeology in the Woodville Karst Plain (WKP): A review of field investigation and modeling development


This paper provides a review of over thirty years of research and investigation in the Woodville Karst Plain (WKP) in northern Florida, which is representative of the Floridan Aquifer system, a karst aquifer in the southeastern United States. The WKP is a well-developed karst region where over 40 km of subsurface conduits are mapped by divers and tracer tests, and connected to Wakulla Spring, one of the largest freshwater springs in the U.S. Furthermore, the conduit networks expand and interact with seawater via the connection to a submarine spring, and impact groundwater flow cycle in the aquifer. Numerical models, based on multiple field investigations, have been developed to quantify the understanding of hydrogeologic processes in the WKP. Novel modeling approaches with capabilities were developed to simulate seawater and groundwater interaction in this dual-permeability aquifer. The WKP site has served as a valuable natural observatory for a series of studies documented in this paper to understand groundwater flow, contaminant transport and seawater intrusion in the well-developed karst subsurface system.

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