The Amy H Remley Foundation  

Kings Bay Springs

On March 31, 2009, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB), assisted by David DeWitt of the Soutwest Florida Water Management District, completed a survey of Springs in Kings Bay, Crystal River. The Foundation is pleased to be able to reproduce here a map of Kings Bay showing the position of the springs discovered and documented, together with a table identifying the names of the features taken from Table 1. of the VHB report. Click here for the report.

Kings Bay Springs


Number Spring Name (number of vents)   Number Spring Name (number of vents)
1 Miller's Creek Spring   21 Kings Bay #1/ Idiots Delight #1
2 Fountain Spring/ City Hall Spring   22 Idiots Delight #2
3 Charlie's Fish House Spring   23 Idiots Delight #3/ Three Sisters Run
4 Birds Underwater Spring   24 Parker Island North Spring Complex (5)
5 Pool Spring   25 Parker Island Springs/ Little Hidden Spring (3)
6 Catfish Spring   26 Banana Island North Spring Complex (4)
7 NW 9th Avenue Springs (3)   27 FWS Spring Complex (2)
8 House Spring   28 Banana Island East Springs (6)
9 Jurassic Spring   29 Banana Island West Springs (2)
10 Hunters Spring/ American Legion Spring   30 Mullets Gullet Spring/ Tarpon Hole #2
11 Magnolia Circle Spring   31 Tarpon Hole/ Big Hole/ Crystal Spring
12 Pete's Pier Spring   32 King Spring/ Grand Canyon Spring
13 Moray Springs (3)   33 Plantation Point Hole
14 Shark Sink   34 Dave's Quest Springs (3)
15 Paradise Isles   35 Golfview (3)
16 Manatee Sanctuary/ Gator Hole/ Magnolia Spring/ Crystal Spring   36 Lightbourn's Ledge
17 Buzzard Island Spring   37 Wynn Court Springs (5)
18 Three Sisters #1/ Three Sisters Springs/ Middle Springs # 1   38 Black Spring
19 Three Sisters #2/ Three Sisters Springs/ Middle Springs # 2   39 Sid's Springs
20 Three Sisters #3/ Three Sisters Springs/ Middle Springs # 3   40 Gary's Grotto (2)
      41 Swamp Sink

The ground water recharge basin (Springshed) for Kings Bay Springs

Crystal River/Kings Bay is the largest estuarine water body in the United States having its water sources entirely from springs, and probably also in the world. The ground water issuing from the springs originates from the Floridian aquifer flowing under artesian pressure both from the northeast (Putnam County) and the southeast (Polk County). These flows converge in Citrus County. The (peizometric) flow paths are supplemented by faster flowing waters in fracture sets acting as conduits. It is the flow from fracture sets which contributes to the rates of flow from the various springs which are listed above. The following mapping of the groundwater recharge basin is over printed as yellow on satellite topographical imagery, with the principal roads shown in red. Data is derived from the FDEP database, courtesy of SWFWMD, to whom the Foundation is particularly indebted.

Kings Bay Springshed

Kings Bay Springshed with 2004 satellite imagery roads

Permeability of recharge areas (Percolation rates)

Springs Coast WatershedThe easterly slopes of the Brookesville Ridge overlay a poorly contained area of the Floridian and Surficial Aquifers, meaning that rainfall quickly collects excess nutrients and pollutants as it percolates through sandy soils into the groundwater supplying the sovereignty spring sources for the river systems which empty westwards into the Gulf of Mexico. These river systems as sovereignty spring runs contribute millions of dollars annually to the economy of Citrus County. Each has been determined to be set upon a process of eutrophication which will not only further harm the ecology of the rivers themselves, but will degrade the offshore seagrass meadows inexorably in due time. For further discussion see, Aquifers/Citrus County, and, Aquifers/Geology.

Potentiometric Contours Relative to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NVGD) of 1929, potentiometric contours show altitude at which water would have stood in tightly cased wells. Contour interval is usually ten (10) feet. They are hashed where approximately located, and hachures indicate depressions.

As is discussed below, the increase in salinity in the spring outlets in Kings Bay emphasizes the need to preserve the source of the fresher water entering the river system in the northeast section of the bay area. The watershed map above shows both the recharge areas and the "contours" of potentiometric underground flows, which suggest that the surviving source of fresh water may well be from the north as opposed to the common belief from the east. It is important that geochemical analysis be used to identify the most probable source of the fresh water so that protective decisions may be taken.

It follows that developments in these recharge areas, and interrupting flows from the north, must be actively discouraged. Otherwise destruction of the very ambiance and quality of life that draws people to Citrus County would be compromized.

Specific conductance (an indication of saltiness)

Kings Bay Sampling Stations Average of Kings Bay Sampling Stations
Kings Bay Sample Stations Kings Bay Sample Stations
Specific Conductance at Kings Bay Springs
Kings Bay Sample Stations
Kings Bay Spring Vents Conductivity Map

Kings Bay Conductivity

Specific conductance measured in micro siemens per centimeter provides, inter alia, a standardized indication of salinity which allows reliable comparisons to be made over time and from place to place. Ocean salinity has a measure of 50,000 units, equivalent to 34 parts per thousand of salt.

Over a three year period the average SC for Kings Bay has increased steadily by two and a half times. From February to June the SC for the main vent at Tarpon Spring increased by more than four times. From February to June 2007 the SC for Black Spring increased eight times to over 12,000 units, which was four times higher than readings in the bordering SW part of Kings Bay, indicating that the spring discharge was heavily influenced by up-welling of salt water normally laying under the fresh water from which the vent is served with aquifer water - a serious condition arising from drought and over pumping inland. It is interesting to note from the following graphic how saltiness of a spring in Kings Bay changed with the state of tide. In all probability the increases were due to subterranean pressures rather than surface water movements. The rises lagged the tidal highs.

Black Spring Specific Conductance

(See also section on Saltiness of Crystal River/Kings Bay under the Current Issues page).

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Novemver 14, 2011
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