Regional hydrogeochemistry of a modern coastal mixing zone

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In west central Florida, groundwater samples were collected along flow paths in the unconfined upper Floridan aquifer that cross the inland, freshwater recharge area and the coastal discharge area. A groundwater flow and solute transport model was used to evaluate groundwater flow and mixing of fresh and saline groundwater along a cross section of the unconfined upper Floridan aquifer. Results show that between 8% and 15% of the fresh and 30-31% of the saline groundwater penetrates to the depth in the flow system where contact with and dissolution of gypsum is likely. The deeply circulating fresh and saline groundwater returns to the near- surface environment discharging CaSO4-rich water to the coastal area where it mixes with fresh CaHCO3 groundwater, resulting in a prediction of calcite precipitation in the modern mixing zone.

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Water Resources Research

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