Alexander Spring in Lake County
Alexander Spring in Lake County

Geologists from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection claim that the U.S. state of Florida may have the largest convergence of freshwater springs on the planet, with over 700.[1] Hydrological springs are naturally occurring places where water flows from the aquifer (underground) to the surface. There are springs located within 21 Florida State Parks.

In the 1800s, the crystal clear water attracted development; 14 Florida cities have "Spring" in their name.[2] Spring names have been duplicated in different parts of the state, such as Gator[3] and Salt; Blue Spring was so common that the county name was added to differentiate between the seven locations.[4][5]

The first comprehensive study of Florida's springs was published in 1947. The next update was released 30 years later in the Florida Geological Survey Bulletin No. 31, Revised, "Springs of Florida".[6] In the 1977 Rosenau survey, there were sixteen offshore (under water) springs identified. All but two were situated on the Gulf coast. Since that time, scores of additional springs have been located and are being studied.[7] The most recent compendium of spring data is contained in the 2004 publication, Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 66, and identified 720 springs, of which 33 were first magnitude, 191 were second magnitude, and 151 were third magnitude.[7] Springs are identified by type: river rise (RR) is where a river emerges after flowing underground for a distance; a single spring (SS) has one underground source, but may flow through multiple rock fissures; a group spring (GS) has multiple underground sources; a sink (SK) is an opening in the Earth's surface that occurs from karst processes[8] and/or suffosion.[9]

Volume values listed are the most recent found, mostly after 2000, but water outflows have diminished significantly since the 1990s with drought conditions and increased pumping from the Floridan aquifer.[10] Water flow diminished and stopped completely at several locations, including White Springs and Worthington Springs, where tourists flocked to drink and soak in the mineral water beginning in the late 1800s.[1][11] The public water plant at Boulware Springs provided water for the city of Gainesville, Florida and the University of Florida until 1913, when reduced outflow required a new water source.[12][13]

Many of the springs listed herein are indicated as privately owned, which is a misnomer. "Private individuals cannot 'own' a spring that is along/accessible from a navigable waterway. They own the land around it above the normal high water mark."[14] Since the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA) defined the term "navigable waters", the meaning has been litigated. Following U.S. Supreme Court rulings, the Federal Register published EPA's final definition on November 26, 2008. Section (3) states: "intrastate lakes, rivers, and streams which are utilized by interstate travelers for recreational or other purposes (are navigable waters).[15] Courts have ruled that "shallow streams that are traversable only by canoe have met the test".[16]

Mag[7] Spring name Outflow body[7] Type[7] County[7] Daily flow
in millions[7]
Temp[7] Own[7] Photo
1st Alapaha Rise # Alapaha River RR Hamilton 383.9 US gallons (1,453 L) 70.3 °F (21.3 °C) P
1st Alexander Ocala National Forest St. Johns River SS Lake 60.9 US gallons (231 L) 74.5 °F (23.6 °C) F Cave diving
2nd Apopka # Lake Apopka SS Lake 16.0 US gallons (61 L) 75.5 °F (24.2 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Aucilla (Wacissa) Wacissa River GS Jefferson 189.4 US gallons (717 L) § 68.9 °F (20.5 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Baltzell Chipola River GS Jackson 31.5 US gallons (119 L) 67.7 °F (19.8 °C) S/C
2nd Beecher # St. Johns River SS Putnam 5.8 US gallons (22 L) 73.1 °F (22.8 °C) S
1st Big Blue (Wacissa) Wacissa River GS Jefferson 189.4 US gallons (717 L) § 68.9 °F (20.5 °C) P Cave diving
1st Blue State park St. Johns River SS Volusia 102.0 US gallons (386 L) 73.0 °F (22.8 °C) S Cave diving
Blue Spring State Park boil01.jpg
1st Blue Grotto (Silver) State park Silver River GS Marion 359.3 US gallons (1,360 L) § 74.3 °F (23.5 °C) P
2nd Blue Hole State park Chipola River SS Jackson 0.1 US gallons (0.38 L) 64.2 °F (17.9 °C) S
1st Blue Hole (Ichetucknee) State park Ichetucknee River GS Columbia 130.2 US gallons (493 L) § 71.4 °F (21.9 °C) S Cave diving
Ichetucknee Springs SP north springs02.jpg
4th Boulware Sweetwater Branch Creek SS Alachua 0.2 US gallons (0.76 L)[12] 72.0 °F (22.2 °C)[12] C
2nd Branford Suwannee River SS Suwannee 4.3 US gallons (16 L) 69.5 °F (20.8 °C) C
2nd Buckhorn Main # Alafia River GS Hillsborough 9.7 US gallons (37 L) 76.5 °F (24.7 °C) P
2nd Bugg # Lake Denham SS Lake 5.5 US gallons (21 L) 74.2 °F (23.4 °C) P
1st Cedar Head (Ichetucknee) State park Ichetucknee River GS Columbia 130.2 US gallons (493 L) § 71.4 °F (21.9 °C) S
1st Chassahowitzka Chassahowitzka River GS Citrus 34.3 US gallons (130 L) 73.4 °F (23.0 °C) S Cave diving
2nd Citrus Blue Withlacoochee River SS Citrus 10.5 US gallons (40 L) 72.8 °F (22.7 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Columbia # Santa Fe River SS Columbia 25.5 US gallons (97 L) 72.3 °F (22.4 °C) P
2nd Copper Suwannee River GS Dixie 8.8 US gallons (33 L) 71.1 °F (21.7 °C) P
NA Cow # Suwannee River SK Lafayette NA 71.8 °F (22.1 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Crystal Springs# Hillsborough River SS Pasco 30.0 US gallons (114 L)[17] 72 °F (22 °C) P
1st Cypress # Holmes Creek
Choctawhatchee River
SS Washington 65.3 US gallons (247 L) 67.7 °F (19.8 °C) P
2nd De Leon State park Spring Garden Creek
St. Johns River
SS Volusia 17.6 US gallons (67 L) 73.3 °F (22.9 °C) S Cave diving
De Leon Springs State Park15.jpg
NA Devil's Den None SK Levy NA 72.0 °F (22.2 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Devil's Ear/Eye/Little Santa Fe River GS Gilchrist 17.8 US gallons (67 L) 72.6 °F (22.6 °C) P Cave diving
1st Emerald (Gainer #2) Econfina Creek GS Bay 124.6 US gallons (472 L) § 70.5 °F (21.4 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Ellaville Suwannee River SS Suwannee 26.3 US gallons (100 L) 73.2 °F (22.9 °C) P Cave diving
1st Falmouth Karst fenster SS Suwannee 102.8 US gallons (389 L) 69.3 °F (20.7 °C) S
1st Fanning State park Suwannee River SS Levy 33.3 US gallons (126 L) 72.9 °F (22.7 °C) P
Fanning Springs Park springs01.jpg
2nd Fenney # Shady Brook
Lake Panasoffkee
SS Sumter 9.0 US gallons (34 L) 73.6 °F (23.1 °C) P
2nd Fern Hammock Ocala National Forest Juniper Creek
Lake George
GS Marion 6.9 US gallons (26 L) 71.7 °F (22.1 °C) F
1st Gainer #3 Econfina Creek GS Bay 124.6 US gallons (472 L) § 70.9 °F (21.6 °C) P/S Cave diving
4th Gator # Hammock Creek SS Hernando 0.2 US gallons (0.76 L) 65.5 °F (18.6 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Gilchrist Blue Santa Fe River GS Gilchrist 6.9 US gallons (26 L) 72.8 °F (22.7 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Gemini Springs Lake Monroe GS Volusia 6.5 US gallons (25 L) 72 °F (22 °C) C
Gemini Springs Park 2013.
2nd Ginnie Santa Fe River GS Gilchrist 37.6 US gallons (142 L) 72.5 °F (22.5 °C) P Cave diving
4th Glen Hogtown Creek SS Alachua 0.1 US gallons (0.38 L) 71.8 °F (22.1 °C) P
3rd Green Cove St. Johns River SS Clay 1.8 US gallons (6.8 L) 75.9 °F (24.4 °C) C
3rd Green Springs Lake Monroe SS Volusia 5.98 US gallons (22.6 L) 72 °F (22 °C) C
Green Springs from west bank looking east 2010.05.10.jpg
2nd Guaranto Suwannee River SS Dixie 6.0 US gallons (23 L) 73.0 °F (22.8 °C) C
2nd Hardee Withlacoochee River SS Hamilton 17.5 US gallons (66 L)[18] 76.6 °F (24.8 °C) S
2nd Hart Suwannee River GS Gilchrist 26.7 US gallons (101 L) 71.9 °F (22.2 °C) C Cave diving
2nd Hernando Salt # Mud River SS Hernando 21.3 US gallons (81 L) 74.9 °F (23.8 °C) P Cave diving
Zero Holton Creek Rise # Suwannee River RR Hamilton 0.0 US gallons (0 L) 71.8 °F (22.1 °C) S
1st Homosassa State park Homosassa River GS Citrus 56.2 US gallons (213 L) 74.3 °F (23.5 °C) S
2nd Hornsby # Santa Fe River SS Alachua 32.9 US gallons (125 L)[10] 72.5 °F (22.5 °C)[10] P Cave diving
2nd Hunter (Kings Bay) Crystal River GS Citrus 630.2 US gallons (2,386 L) § 73.4 °F (23.0 °C) C/P
1st Ichetucknee State park Ichetucknee River GS Columbia 130.2 US gallons (493 L) § 71.5 °F (21.9 °C) S
1st Jackson Blue Merritt's Millpond
Chipola River
GS Jackson 41.1 US gallons (156 L) 69.7 °F (20.9 °C) S/C
2nd Juniper Ocala National Forest Juniper Creek
Lake George
GS Marion 5.3 US gallons (20 L) 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) F
1st Kings Bay Crystal River GS Citrus 630.2 US gallons (2,386 L) § 73.2 °F (22.9 °C) S/P
1st Kini/Upper River Sink Karst fenster SK Wakulla 113.8 US gallons (431 L)[6] 69.8 °F (21.0 °C)[6] P
Zero Kissingen Peace River GS Polk 0.0 US gallons (0 L)[6] 72.0 °F (22.2 °C)[19] P
1st Lafayette Blue State park Suwannee River SS Lafayette 29.7 US gallons (112 L) 71.1 °F (21.7 °C) S Cave diving
4th Levy Blue # Waccasassa River SS Levy 1.1 US gallons (4.2 L) 69.8 °F (21.0 °C) C
1st Lime Sink Run State park Suwannee River SS Suwannee 111.8 US gallons (423 L)[14] 72.2 °F (22.3 °C) S
2nd Lithia Major, Minor Alafia River GS Hillsborough 19.7 US gallons (75 L) 77.2 °F (25.1 °C) C
3rd Little # Weeki Wachee River SS Hernando 3.4 US gallons (13 L) 74.6 °F (23.7 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Little River Suwannee River SS Suwannee 54.9 US gallons (208 L) 72.1 °F (22.3 °C) S Cave diving
1st Madison Blue State park Withlacoochee River SS Madison 46.1 US gallons (175 L) 70.3 °F (21.3 °C) S/C Cave diving
Madison Blue Springs SP spring01.jpg
4th Magnolia # Hammock Creek SS Hernando 0.3 US gallons (1.1 L) 74.3 °F (23.5 °C) P
2nd Manatee State park Suwannee River SS Levy 99.5 US gallons (377 L) 72.5 °F (22.5 °C) S Cave diving
Manatee Springs State Park Florida springs05.jpg
1st McCormick (Gainer #1) Econfina Creek GS Bay 124.6 US gallons (472 L) § 70.8 °F (21.6 °C) P Cave diving
1st Morrison Choctawhatchee River SS Walton 40.6 US gallons (154 L) 67.8 °F (19.9 °C) S/C Cave diving
1st Natural Bridge State park Karst fenster St. Marks River SS Leon 98.2 US gallons (372 L) 68.1 °F (20.1 °C) P
1st Nutall Rise Aucilla River RR Jefferson 232.7 US gallons (881 L) 70.3 °F (21.3 °C) P
3rd Orange # Orange Creek
Oklawaha River
GS Marion 1.9 US gallons (7.2 L) 74.0 °F (23.3 °C) P
2nd Otter Suwannee River SS Gilchrist 3.1 US gallons (12 L) 72.7 °F (22.6 °C) P
NA Paradise[20] None SK Marion NA 73.0 °F (22.8 °C) P Cave diving
3rd Peacock State park Suwannee River GS Suwannee 5.7 US gallons (22 L) 69.5 °F (20.8 °C) S Cave diving
2nd Pitt Econfina Creek GS Walton 3.6 US gallons (14 L)[6] 71.6 °F (22.0 °C)[6] C
2nd Poe Santa Fe River SS Alachua 3.9 US gallons (15 L) 72.5 °F (22.5 °C) C
2nd Ponce de Leon State park Sandy Creek
Choctawhatchee River
GS Holmes 5.7 US gallons (22 L) 67.8 °F (19.9 °C) S
Ponce De Leon SP06.jpg
1st Rainbow State park Rainbow River
Withlacoochee River
GS Marion 409.8 US gallons (1,551 L) 74.1 °F (23.4 °C) S/P
1st Roaring (Ichetucknee) State park Ichetucknee River GS Columbia 130.2 US gallons (493 L) § 70.0 °F (21.1 °C) S
2nd Rock Rock Springs Run Wekiwa River SS Orange 30.0 US gallons (114 L) 74.9 °F (23.8 °C) C
2nd Rock Bluff Suwannee River GS Gilchrist 17.9 US gallons (68 L) 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) P Cave diving
Zero Rossetter Withlacoochee River SS Hamilton 0.0 US gallons (0 L) 76.6 °F (24.8 °C) S
3rd Royal Suwannee River SS Suwannee 1.6 US gallons (6.1 L)[10] 72.7 °F (22.6 °C)[10] C
2nd Running East, West # Suwannee River GS Lafayette
18.2 US gallons (69 L) 71.8 °F (22.1 °C) P Cave diving
2nd Salt (Marion) Ocala National Forest Lake George SS Marion 49.4 US gallons (187 L) 74.5 °F (23.6 °C) F
2nd Sanlando # Wekiva River SS Seminole 8.5 US gallons (32 L) 76.4 °F (24.7 °C) P
2nd Santa Fe # Santa Fe River SS Columbia 81.4 US gallons (308 L)[10] 73.0 °F (22.8 °C)[10] P Cave diving
2nd Santa Fe Rise State park Santa Fe River RR Alachua 48.5 US gallons (184 L) 72.5 °F (22.5 °C) S Cave diving
2nd Shangri La # Merritt's Millpond
Chipola River
SS Jackson 2.5 US gallons (9.5 L)[3] 69.7 °F (20.9 °C) P Cave diving
1st Silver State park Silver River
Oklawaha River
GS Marion 359.3 US gallons (1,360 L) § 73.8 °F (23.2 °C) S
2nd Silver Glen Ocala National Forest St. Johns River GS Marion 70.5 US gallons (267 L) 74.1 °F (23.4 °C) F
1st Siphon Creek Rise # Santa Fe River RR Gilchrist 77.6 US gallons (294 L) 72.4 °F (22.4 °C) S
1st Spring Creek Apalachee Bay SS Wakulla 198.4 US gallons (751 L) 70.9 °F (21.6 °C) S/P
1st St. Marks Rise # St. Marks River RR Leon 292.1 US gallons (1,106 L) 68.8 °F (20.4 °C) P
2nd Starbuck # Wekiva River SS Seminole 9.4 US gallons (36 L) 76.1 °F (24.5 °C) P
1st Steinhatchee Rise Steinhatchee River RR Taylor
226.2 US gallons (856 L) 70.0 °F (21.1 °C) S
2nd Sun Suwannee River SS Gilchrist 4.5 US gallons (17 L) 72.7 °F (22.6 °C) P
2nd Suwanacoochee Withlacoochee River SS Suwannee 0.3 US gallons (1.1 L) 69.9 °F (21.1 °C) S Cave diving
2nd Suwannee Suwannee River GS Suwannee 9.1 US gallons (34 L) 72.5 °F (22.5 °C) S
2nd Suwannee Blue # Suwannee River SS Suwannee 8.6 US gallons (33 L) 70.9 °F (21.6 °C) P
1st Tarpon Hole (Kings Bay) Crystal River GS Citrus 630.2 US gallons (2,386 L) § 73.2 °F (22.9 °C) C/P
2nd Telford Suwannee River SS Suwannee 20.1 US gallons (76 L) 70.2 °F (21.2 °C) P
2nd Three Sisters (Kings Bay) Crystal River GS Citrus 630.2 US gallons (2,386 L) § 73.3 °F (22.9 °C) P
Three sisters springs near crystal river national wildlife refuge.jpg
1st Treehouse # Santa Fe River SS Alachua 25.8 US gallons (98 L) 71.4 °F (21.9 °C) P
1st Troy State park Suwannee River SS Lafayette 68.5 US gallons (259 L) 71.0 °F (21.7 °C) S Cave diving
2nd Volusia Blue State park St. Johns River SS Volusia 56.2 US gallons (213 L) 73.6 °F (23.1 °C) S Cave diving
2nd Vortex Blue/Sandy Creek
Choctawhatchee River
SS Holmes 4.5 US gallons (17 L) 71.6 °F (22.0 °C)[6] P Cave diving
2nd Wacissa Group Wacissa River GS Jefferson 189.4 US gallons (717 L) § 68.90 °F (20.50 °C) S/P
1st Wakulla State park Wakulla River SS Wakulla 252.02 US gallons (954.0 L) 70.2 °F (21.2 °C) S
3rd Waldo # Fenholloway River SS Taylor 0.7 US gallons (2.6 L) 74.5 °F (23.6 °C) P
3rd Wall[21] Boggy Bayou SS Pinellas 4.2 US gallons (16 L) 74.0 °F (23.3 °C) C
Spring, Wall Springs Park.jpg
3rd Warm Mineral Myakka River GS Sarasota 5.5 US gallons (21 L) 86.4 °F (30.2 °C) P
1st Weeki Wachee State park Weeki Wachee River SS Hernando 104.0 US gallons (394 L) 74.7 °F (23.7 °C) S Cave diving
2nd Wekiwa State park Wekiva River SS Orange
43.0 US gallons (163 L) 74.1 °F (23.4 °C) S
3rd[22] Welaka St. Johns River SS Putnam 5.1 US gallons (19 L) 74.7 °F (23.7 °C) P
2nd White Suwannee River SS Hamilton 26.1 US gallons (99 L) 68.0 °F (20.0 °C)[6] S
2nd Williford # Econfina Creek GS Washington
16.5 US gallons (62 L) 70.0 °F (21.1 °C) S
3rd Worthington Santa Fe River SS Union 0.2 US gallons (0.76 L)[6] 68.0 °F (20.0 °C)[6] C

See also


  1. ^ a b "Florida Springs". State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  2. ^ Marth, Del & Marty (1990). The Rivers of Florida. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press. pp. 100–102. ISBN 0-910923-70-1.
  3. ^ a b "Jackson Blue Spring Water Assessment" (PDF). November 2001. North West Florida Water Management District. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  4. ^ Stamm, Doug; Tim Whitney (1994). The Springs of Florida. Pineapple Press. pp. 112 pages. ISBN 1561640484.
  5. ^ Stamm, Doug (2008). The Springs of Florida. Pineapple Press. pp. 114 pages. ISBN 978-1561644186.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rosenau, Jack C.; Glen L. Faulkner; Charles W. Hendry; Robert W. Hull (1977). "Springs of Florida". Florida Geological Survey Bulletin. 31: 464 pages. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Schmidt, Walter; DEP (October 12, 2004). "Springs of Florida" (PDF). Florida Geological Survey Bulletin. 66: 677 pages. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  8. ^ Lard, L., Paull, C., & Hobson, B. (1995). "Genesis of a submarine sinkhole without subaerial exposure". Geology. 23 (10): 949–951. Bibcode:1995Geo....23..949L. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1995)023<0949:GOASSW>2.3.CO;2.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Caves and karst – dolines and sinkholes". British Geological Survey.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Hydrography-Springs and Seeps". Suwannee River Water Management District. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  11. ^ Ritchie, Bruce (2012-10-29). "White Springs mayor leads support for water legislation that seeks to protect springs". Florida Current. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "Water bodies, watersheds and storm water: Boulware Spring". St. Johns River Water Management District. Archived from the original on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Boulware Springs". Alachua County Library District. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  14. ^ a b c "List of First-Magnitude Springs in Florida". Apalachee Hills Landscape. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Revisions to the Regulatory Definition of "Navigable Waters"". November 26, 2008. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  16. ^ Lehman, Jeffrey; Phelps, Shirelle (2005). West's Encyclopedia of American Law, Vol. 7. Detroit: Thomson/Gale. p. 212. ISBN 9780787663742.
  17. ^ "Crystal Springs Preserve". Crystal Springs Preserve. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Underwater cave and spring on 305 acre plantation". United Country Real Estate. Archived from the original on April 19, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  19. ^ Cook, Charles. "Remembering Kissengen Spring" (PDF). University of South Florida. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  20. ^ Cundiff, Danny. "Paradise Springs Dive Plan". Dayo Scuba. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  21. ^ "Pinellas County, Florida, Park and Conservation Resources - Wall Springs Park". Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  22. ^ "Welaka Springs". St. Johns River Water Management District. Retrieved 3 February 2013.