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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Karst Underwater Research: Exploring the Sanctums Beneath Us

Published 5/2/2015
Mr. Hemphill along with the Karst Research Team has successfully mapped the Weeki Wachee cavern and spring system. They also recently discovered the elusive connection between the Weeki Wachee Spring System and a nearby spring named Twin Dees, northwest of Weeki Wachee.

In order to understand the spring systems and our aquifer, it is essential to know what karst actually refers to. Geologists have adopted the word karst to describe a landscape which features sinkholes, springs, caves and sinking springs. This type of landscape usually develops on limestone rock, but can also develop on dolostone, gypsum, and salt. Precipitation is absorbed into the ground and runs down from a higher elevation streaming to lower elevations. Naturally occurring weak acids in the rain and soil gradually dissolve the small fractures in the soluble bedrock, eventually forming a sinkhole.

Explored Weeki Wachee Springs to a depth of 407 feet. Confirming what was already suspected, that Weeki Wachee is the deepest known spring in the United States. Since then KUR explored a spring in Texas to 455 feet.

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