Assessing Nonpoint Groundwater Contamination Florida caves

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Suwannee River, Florida

What is the distribution of land-use practices around caves in Florida that might impair groundwater quality? The Floridan aquifer is the major source of potable water in Florida. 

It is a karst aquifer, making it more vulnerable to contamination from nonpoint sources, that is, contamination that does not originate from a single point, such as a leaking gasoline tank, but rather from land-use practices over larger, less identifiable areas. Potential sources of nonpoint contamination include agriculture, pasture, rangeland, poultry farms, urbanization, and golf courses. Because of their areal extent, nonpoint sources pose much more difficult challenges for maintaining quality groundwater than point contamination sources. This lab assesses the susceptibility of 19 caves in northwest Florida to nonpoint groundwater contamination. 

Keywords:nonpoint groundwater contamination; karst; land use; aquifer; data generalization; dissolve; overlay; identity; proximity; buffer; extraction; clip; adding table fields; calculating table fields; summarizing tables, SpatiaLABS

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