Modeling Karst Sensitive Areas in Southwest Florida

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Modeling Karst Sensitive Areas in Southwest Florida

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Title:
Modeling Karst Sensitive Areas in Southwest Florida
Creator:
Mullane, Cheryl
Nelson, Mark
Publisher:
Jones Edmunds and Associates
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Genre:
Technical Report
serial ( sobekcm )
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United States

Notes

General Note:
Sinkholes are a common occurence in karst-sensitive areas throughout Southwest Florida. As development pressures continue, more comprehensive regulations need to be developed to protect the aquifer in karst-sensitive areas from untreated storm water. A raster model was developed to help identify there areas where sinkholes are likely to occur. Conditions surrounding existing sinkholes were analyzed to find trends where sinkholes exist. Factors such as soil type and depth to aquifer were evaluated. Once trends were determined, a raster model was created using the established criteria. Each contributing element was given a weighted rank, based on the advice of the project geologist, and combined to create a karst-sensitive area model. The model with help drive regulation that will protect the aquifer in vulnerable areas.
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Open Access
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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K26-02197 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.2197 ( USFLDC Handle )
7183 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Description
Sinkholes are a common occurence in karst-sensitive areas
throughout Southwest Florida. As development pressures
continue, more comprehensive regulations need to be developed
to protect the aquifer in karst-sensitive areas from
untreated storm water. A raster model was developed to help
identify there areas where sinkholes are likely to occur.
Conditions surrounding existing sinkholes were analyzed to
find trends where sinkholes exist. Factors such as soil type
and depth to aquifer were evaluated. Once trends were
determined, a raster model was created using the established
criteria. Each contributing element was given a weighted
rank, based on the advice of the project geologist, and
combined to create a karst-sensitive area model. The model
with help drive regulation that will protect the aquifer in
vulnerable areas.



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1 Modeling Karst-Sensitive Ar eas in Southwest Florida ESRI Paper # 1608 Cheryl Mullane Mark Nelson Jones Edmunds and Associates

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2 Abstract Sinkholes are a common occurrence in karst-sensitive areas throughout Southwest Florida. As development pr essures continue, more comprehensive regulations need to be developed to protec t the aquifer in karst-sensitive areas from untreated storm water. A raster model was develo ped to help identify these areas where sinkholes are likely to occur. Conditions surrounding existing sinkholes were analyzed to find trends w here sinkholes exist. Factors such as soil type and depth to aquifer were evaluat ed. Once trends we re determined, a raster model was created using the es tablished criteria. Each contributing element was given a weighted rank, based on the advice of the project geologist, and combined to create a karst-sensitive area model. The model will help drive regulation that will protect the aquifer in vulnerable areas.

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3 1.0 INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................4 1.1 BACKGROUND......................................................................................................4 2.0 APPROACH AND METHODS.................................................................................4 2.1 APPROACH.............................................................................................................4 2.2 METHODS...............................................................................................................5 3.0 SINKHOLE EVALUATION.....................................................................................5 3.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................5 3.2 EVALUATION CRITERION...................................................................................6 3.3.1 Proximity to Various Aquifer Depths and Subsurface Layer Thickness............6 3.3.2 Elevation of the Top of th e Intermediate Aquifer...............................................7 3.3.3 Top of the Intermediate Aquifer.........................................................................8 3.3.4 Thickness of Surfical Aquifer.............................................................................9 3.3.5 Thickness of Overburden over the Floridan Aquifer.......................................10 3.3.6 Thickness of the Hawthorn Group...................................................................11 3.3.7 Sinkholes in relation to Hydric Soil Groups...................................................12 3.3.8 Sinkholes in relation to Recharge and Discharge Conditions........................13 3.3.9 Sinkhole in relation to Closed Topographic Depression Density...................14 3.3.10 Sinkholes in relation to Marine Terraces.....................................................15 3.3.11 Sinkholes in relation to Urban and Built-Up Land Use...............................17 4.0 CRITERION WEIGHTING....................................................................................18 4.1 EVALUATION.......................................................................................................18 4.2.1 Top of Floridan Aquifer...................................................................................19 4.2.2 Surficial Aquifer Thickness..............................................................................20 4.2.3 Overburden of the Floridan Aquifer................................................................21 4.2.4 Hawthorn Group Thickness.............................................................................22 4.2.5 Difference between the Floridan Aquifer and Potentiometric Surface...........23 4.2.6 Hydric Soils Group..........................................................................................24 4.2.7 Marine Terraces...............................................................................................25 4.4 DATA NOT USED.................................................................................................26 5.0 GIS MODELING......................................................................................................27 5.1 MODELING RESULTS.........................................................................................27 5.2 MODELS................................................................................................................28 5.2.1 Model #1..........................................................................................................28 5.2.2 Model #2..........................................................................................................29 5.2.3 Model #3..........................................................................................................30 5.2.4 Model #4..........................................................................................................31 6.0 CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION....................................................................32 6.1 CONCLUSION.......................................................................................................32 6.2 DISCLAIMER........................................................................................................32 6.3 DISCUSSION.........................................................................................................32

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41.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND As population pressures continue at a relentless pace throughout Florida, development guidelines are needed to help ensure the safety and quality of our ground water drinking supply. The S outhwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) oversees this res ponsibility for most of the West and Southwest counties of the state. This area is known for its propensity toward sinkholes due to its karst topography. This subsurface characteristic (karst) is formed from solution pins or holes in the limestone below the soil, often described as a “swiss cheese” formation. Sinkholes can open up a direct connection to the Floridan Aquifer, Flori da’s major water supply. Along with potential aquifer contamination, sink holes cause a number of problems for Floridians including property and infr astructure damage. Jones Edmunds was challenged with helping SWFWMD to det ermine SKAs throughout their District. From this information, development gui delines can be creat ed that will help reduce the occurrence of sinkholes. To determine areas where future sinkho les are likely to occur, Geographic Information System s (GIS) was used to analyze c onditions around existing sinkholes. Subsurface Envi ronmental Investigations ( SEI) provided the locations of 2830 sinkholes in a spreadsheet form at with spatial coordinates. These locations were projected to point locations in a GIS dataset to be used in the analysis. These sinkholes are believed to be the most comprehensive listing of locations in Florida. It is understood that this is not a complete list of all sinkholes in Florida but it is the best available data to date. 2.0 APPROACH AND METHODS 2.1 APPROACH Sensitive Karst Areas are often characteri zed by the formation of sinkholes. By studying where sinkholes occur and the conditions surrounding them, correlations can be drawn as to what c onditions favor sinkhole occurrences, and thus SKA. Factors that could have an influence on si nkhole occurrence were considered for this study. Examples of these fact ors included soil type, and depth to Floridan Aquifer. Each individual factor used in this study will be further discussed in the following paragraphs. The criterion was examined individually with respect to its influence on sinkholes. The sinkhole locations were intersected with each criterion to determine a rate of occurrence for the attributes making up that criterion. For ex ample, with regards to soil type, soils were intersected with each of the 2830 sinkholes. Then the percentage of each soil type was calculated for the whole study area. From that

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5 information, a rate of occurrence was calcul ated. In the case of Hydric Group C soils, 234 sinkholes occurred on this type of soil type, where Hydric Group C makes up 13.5% of the study area re sulting in a .0066 sinkholes per 100,000 acres rate of occurrence for Hydric Group C soils. This rate of occurrence was calculated for each soil type in the study area. From the data obtained by each criterion we could draw correlations between each individual criterion and sinkhole occurr ence. In the case of soils we had a strong correlation between sinkhole occu rrence and Hydric Group A soils. From this data we could begin to put together a model, using rast er modeling, where grid surfaces are used to weight the significance of criteria associated with sinkhole occurrence. 2.2 METHODS Raster modeling was used for the analysis that supported this study. The following is a background on this type of GIS modeling: GIS layers are created for the various si te selection evaluation criteria. GIS layers are equivalent to variables in a mathematical statement. A rectangular mesh, or grid, is imposed on the GIS layers, thereby dividing the layers into grid cells. Each grid cell represents a locati on and a value for each variable. Grid layers are ranked and weighted by importance and combined to create a composite map depicting site suitability based upon all variables. 3.0 SINKHOLE EVALUATION 3.1 INTRODUCTION Sinkhole occurrence suitabi lity criteria were developed and evaluated by Jones Edmunds staff specializing in geology, environmental science and GIS with input from representatives of SWFWMD The following geophysical and environmental factors were determined by Jones Edmunds to possibly have and influence on the rate of sinkhole occurrence. Top of the Intermediate Aquifer Top of the Floridan Aquifer Thickness of the Surficial Aquifer Thickness of Overburden of Floridan Aquifer Thickness of Hawthorn Group Hydric Soil Group Recharge and Discharge Conditions Closed Topographic Depression Density

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6 Marine Terraces Urban and Built-Up Land Use 3.2 EVALUATION CRITERION The following paragraphs explain each criteria listed above. The results of each criteria is demonstrated through a map sho wing the spatial locations of sinkholes and the attributes of that criterion. A map or chart of is also provided that demonstrates the rate of occurrence. 3.3.1 Proximity to Various Aquifer Depths and Subsurface Layer Thickness Florida Geological Survey (FGS) created several GIS layers modeling different subsurface factors within the SWFWMD di strict. These data were created in a grid format with a 400x400 meter cell si ze. For this study the following subsurface factors were evaluated: Top of the Floridan Aquifer Top of the Intermediate Aquifer Thickness of the Surficial Aquifer Thickness of Overburden of Top of Floridan Aquifer (Ground Surface Elevation minus Top of Floridan Aquifer Elevation). Thickness of the Hawthorn Layer

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73.3.2 Elevation of the Top of the Intermediate Aquifer Elevation of the Top of the Floridan Aquifer ( feet above mean sea level/NGVD ) Sinkhole Occurrence per 100 acres 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.78 0 0 7 0 0 6 0 0 5 0 0 4 0 0 3 0 0 2 0 0 1 5 0 1 0 0 7 5 5 0 2 6 0 2 5 5 0 7 5 1 0 0 1 1 5 Figure 1 Top of the Floridan Aquifer Elevation

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83.3.3 Top of the Intermediate Aquifer Elevation of the Top of the Intermediated Aquifer ( feet above mean sea level/NGVD ) Sinkhole Occurrence per 100 Acres 0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0.035 0.04 -200-150-100-50050100152 Figure 2 – Top of Intermediate Aquifer

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9 3.3.4 Thickness of Surfical Aquifer Thickness of the Surficial A q uifer in FeetSinkhole Occurrece per 100 Acres 0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 50100150200250289 Figure 3 – Thickness of the Surficial Aquifer

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103.3.5 Thickness of Overburden over the Floridan Aquifer Thickness of Overburden on To p of Floridan A q uifer ( feet ) Sinkhole Occurrece per 100 Acres 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 501001502002503003504004505006007008009001000 Figure 4 – Thickness of Overburden Over the Floridan Aquifer

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113.3.6 Thickness of the Hawthorn Group Thickness of the Hawthorn Grou p Sinkhole Occurrence per 100 Acres 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.065 0 1 0 0 1 5 0 2 0 0 2 5 0 3 0 0 3 5 0 4 0 0 4 5 0 5 0 0 5 5 0 6 0 0 6 5 0 7 0 0 7 5 0 8 0 0 8 5 0 Figure 5 – Thickness of the Hawthorn Layer

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12 3.3.7 Sinkholes in relation to Hydric Soil Groups Soils data from SSURGO was intersected with sinkholes. This data was evaluated at the statewide level since data was available for sinkholes and soils at this level. A rate of sinkhole occurrence was calculated for each soil type. A85458.33%A723255302427.67% A/D10.07%B/D1086753394841.58% B80.55%B781969670.30% B/D28419.40%C352168205513.48% C23415.98%C/D222143870.09% C/D10.07%D441188159416.88% D825.60% Totals by SinkholeTotals over all by SoilsA11.81 A/DNA B10.23 B/D2.61 C6.64 C/D4.50 D1.86 Figure 6 Soils by Hydric Group

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133.3.8 Sinkholes in relation to Recharge and Discharge Conditions A model showing recharge and discharge of the Floridan Aquifer was created by the SWFWMD. This data as intersected with sinkholes to evaluated the areas where most sinkholes were occurring. Totals by Sinkhole Discharge 0 to 9.99 inches/year2238.50% Discharge 10 to 19.99 inches/year30.11% Recharge > 25 inches/year210.80% Recharge 0.01 to 3 inches/year2368.99% Recharge 10.01 to 25 inches/year137352.30% Recharge 3.01 to 10.01 inches/year76929.30% (blank) Grand Total2625 Totals for Whole Area Discharge => 20.00 inches/year700.11% Discharge 0 to 9.99 inches/year3627457.58% Discharge 10 to 19.99 inches/year1220.19% Recharge > 25 inches/year1620.26% Recharge 0.01 to 3 inches/year1058216.80% Recharge 10.01 to 25 inches/year817112.97% Recharge 3.01 to 10.01 inches/year761912.09% Grand Total63000 OCCURANCE Discharge => 20.00 inches/year00.000 Discharge 0 to 9.99 inches/year0.00610.615 Discharge 10 to 19.99 inches/year0.02462.459 Recharge > 25 inches/year0.129612.963 Recharge 0.01 to 3 inches/year0.02232.230 Recharge 10.01 to 25 inches/year0.16816.803 Rechar g e 3.01 to 10.01 inches/ y ear0.100910.093 Figure 7 Sinkholes in Relation to Recharge Areas

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143.3.9 Sinkhole in relation to Closed Topographic Depression Density Closed topographic depressions were created from USGS Quad maps. The data was digitized into a GIS dataset. From th is file a point was created in the center of each closed contour. A density anal ysis was done and intersected with the sinkholes. It was thought that there may be a correla tion between a high-density of closed topographic depressions and sink holes, however our data did not support this. Zone Density # of intersecting sinkholes percentage of total sinkholes total area of zone (acres) Density within zone (sinkholes per acre) 1 0.00 0.01 ctd per acre 1033 61% 5,031,404 4,871 2 0.01 0.02 ctd per acre 528 31% 842,148 1,595 3 0.02 0.03 ctd per acre 126 7% 268,516 2,131 4 0.03 0.04 ctd per acre 10 1% 87,107 8,711 5 0.04 0.05 ctd per acre 1 0% 14,623 14,623 6 0.05 0.06 ctd per acre 0 0% 6,457 7 0.06 0.07 ctd per acre 0 0% 4,809 8 0.07+ ctd per acre 0 0% 337 totals 1698 100% 6,255,401 Figure 8 Sinkholes in Relation to Closed Topographic Depressions

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153.3.10 Sinkholes in Relation to Marine Terraces Per 10,000 Acres Coharie Terrace 633.44924E-050.34 Includes Hazlehurst Terrace (formerly Brandywine), Coastwise Delta Plain, and part of High Pliocene Terrace23.72013E-060.04 Includes Sunderland Terrace and Okefenokee Terrace 3587.09475E-050.71 Palmlico Terrace 6677.32305E-050.73 Penholoway Terrace 3888.97091E-050.90 Silver Bluff Terrace 163.73807E-060.04 Talbot Terrace 4010.0001206671.21 Wicomico Terrace 8540.0001173281.17 Figure 9 Sinkholes in Re lation to Marine Terraces

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16

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173.3.11 Sinkholes in relation to Urban and Built-Up Land Use. Land Use data was provided by SWFWMD. The Urban and Built-Up areas were extracted from the data and intersected with sinkholes. Figure 10 Sinkholes in Relati on to Urban/Built-Up Land Use

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184.0 CRITERION WEIGHTING 4.1 EVALUATION Each criterion above was evaluated for it s importance to sinkhole creation based on the sinkhole rates for each attribute. Sinkhole criteria that showed a strong correlation with a particular attribute were considered to be an important characteristic of sinkhole formation. C onversely, criteria that did not show a strong correlation to a particular attr ibute were not considered an important element in sinkhole formation. Each criterion determined impor tant was then turned into a grid. Each cell of the grid represents an attribute of the criterion. Each attribute was then ranked form 0-9 based on the rate of sinkhole occurr ence, 0 had no occurrence of sinkholes, and 9 had the highest occurrence of sinkholes. The following criteria were determined to have attributes that possessed a strong correlation with sinkholes. A table is pr ovided with the rate of occurrence for each attribute and how it was ranked. A map representing the ranking is also provided.

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194.2.1 Top of Floridan Aquifer Elevation Rate Ranking -800 0.0000 1 -700 0.0081 1 -600 0.0046 1 -500 0.0059 1 -400 0.0030 1 -300 0.0091 1 -200 0.0276 1 -150 0.0350 1 -100 0.0864 2 -75 0.1105 2 -50 0.1106 2 -26 0.4593 6 0 0.6549 9 25 0.6002 8 50 0.2476 3 75 0.1889 3 100 0.0980 2 115 0.0000 1 Figure 11 Ranking of Top of Floridan Aquifer

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20 4.2.2 Surficial Aquifer Thickness Thickness Rate Ranking 1 to 50 0.027429181 9 51 to 100 0.013277151 4 101 to 150 0.00513638 2 151 to 200 0.000398668 1 201 to 250 0.000639866 1 251 to 289 0 1 Figure 12 Ranking of Surficial Aquifer Thickness

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214.2.3 Overburden of the Floridan Aquifer Thickness Rate Ranking 20-50 0.4864 9 51-100 0.4114 8 101-150 0.2373 4 151-200 0.1741 3 201-250 0.0691 2 251-300 0.0707 2 301-350 0.0430 2 351-400 0.0041 1 401-450 0.0096 1 451-500 0.0046 1 501-600 0.0060 1 601-700 0.0041 1 701-800 0.0028 1 801-900 0.0087 1 901-965 0.0000 1 Figure 13 Ranking of the Overburden of the Floridan Aquifer

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224.2.4 Hawthorn Group Thickness Elevation Rate Ranking 1 to 50 0.035300902 6 51 to 100 0.052147081 9 101 to150 0.039333489 7 150 to 200 0.012397184 2 201 to 250 0.009002483 2 251 to 300 0.005087516 2 301 to 350 0.001056949 1 351 to 400 0.000946885 1 401 to 450 0.000170539 1 451 to 500 0.000558531 1 501 to 550 0.001099457 1 551 to 600 0.001046451 1 601 to 650 0 1 651 to 700 0.000494573 1 701 to 750 0.000904417 1 751 to 800 0 1 801 to 836 0 1 Figure 14 Ranking of the Hawthorn Group Thickness

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234.2.5 Difference between the Floridan Aquifer and Potentiometric Surface Elevation Rate of Sinks Ranking -917 to -900 0 1 -899 to -850 0 1 -849 to -800 1.13754E-05 1 -799 to -750 0 1 -749 to -700 4.14549E-06 1 -699 to -650 0 1 -649 to -600 1.01434E-05 1 -599 to -550 6.49563E-06 1 -549 to -500 1.30013E-05 1 -499 to -450 0 1 -449 to -400 1.49941E-05 1 -399 to -350 9.171E-06 1 -349 to -300 0 1 -299 to -250 3.44516E-05 2 -249 to -200 2.29625E-05 1 -199 to -150 9.48032E-05 2 -149 to -100 0.000225446 4 -99 to -50 0.000251682 4 -49 to 0 0.000519866 9 1 to 50 0.000248011 4 50 to 100 8.44324E-05 2 Figure 15 Ranking of the Difference between the Floridan Aquifer and th e Potentiometric Surface

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24 4.2.6 Hydric Group Soils Soil Type Rate Ranking A 11.81 9 A/D NA 1 B 10.23 8 B/D 2.61 2 C 6.64 5 C/D 4.50 3 D 1.86 2 Figure 16 Ranking of Hydric Group Soils

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254.2.7 Marine Terraces Terrace Per 10,000 Acres Ranking Coharie Terrace 0.34 3 Includes Hazlehurst Terrace, Coastwise Delta Plain, and part of High Pliocene Terrace 0.04 1 Includes Sunderland Terrace and Okefenokee Terrace 0.71 5 Palmlico Terrace 0.73 5 Penholoway Terrace 0.90 7 Silver Bluff Terrace 0.04 1 Talbot Terrace 1.21 9 Wicomico Terrace 1.17 8 Figure 17 Marine Terraces

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26 4.4 DATA NOT USED The following data was not used in a modeling portion of the study Recharge areas – Recharge rates were not used in the study due to the coarseness of the grid the original model was created at. Closed topographic depressi ons – No strong correlation was found between a high density of closed topographic depressions and sinkholes Urban Areas – Urban areas were looked at onl y to show if there was a bias in where sinkholes were reported.

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27 5.0 GIS MODELING 5.1 MODELING RESULTS Four models were created from the abov e criteria. Each model was run with For each grid cell, a ranking was assigne d for each of the nine criteria (see Section 2.0 above). To come up with an ov erall score on a scale of 0 to 9 for each grid cell, the selected criteria were given a percent weighting according to their overall importance in the site sele ction. Input on criteria weighting was sought and received from Jones Edmunds pe rsonnel with expertise in Geology. A Sensitive Karst Area score was calcul ated for each grid cell in the model based on the evaluation process described in Sect ion 2.0. Grid cells that were not disqualified were scored on a normalized scale of 0-100%. A score of 90-100% meant that the grid cellÂ’s weighted average ranking was greater than or equal to the 90th percentile for all of the grid cells (i.e., the grid cellÂ’s score was greater than at least 90% of all of the grid cells ). A score of 0-10% meant that the grid cellÂ’s weighted average ranking was below the 10th percentile for all of the grid cells (i.e., 90% of all of the grid cells scored better). In terms of desirability, a sco re of 90-100% means that a grid cell is most likely to have sinkholes occur. Conversely, a score of 0-10% means that a grid cell is least likely to have sinkholes occur. T hese desirability rankings reflect only the criteria used in this study.

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28 5.2 MODELS 5.2.1 Model #1 Marine Terraces 20% Floridan Overburden 50% Hydric Soils 30% Figure 18 Model #1

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295.2.2 Model #2 Marine Terraces 20% Florian Overburden 20% Pot to Floridan 10% Hydric Soils 20% Surfical Thickness 10% Top of Floridan 10% Top of Intermediate 10% Figure 19 Model #2

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305.2.3 Model #3 Hydric Soils 30% Surfical Thickness 30% Top of Floridan 30% Top of Intermediate 10% Figure 20 Model #3

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315.2.4 Model #4 Floridan Overburden 50% Hydric Soils 50% Figure 21 Model #4

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326.0 CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION 6.1 CONCLUSION The results produced by the models help give SWFWMD scientific basis for defining Sensitive Karst Areas The results of the mode ls were consistent with areas that were known to have a propens ity toward sinkhole occurrence. The models were able to provide the District with “areas of concern” to help them regulate these areas more closely. T hese regulations can help set standard for development that will lessen the likelih ood of sinkhole occurrence and damage, thus helping to protect our drinking water supply. Each of the four models we re run weighing in different criteria at different weights. Throughout all four models, many of the same areas showed as SKAs. These models were not intended to be a final map for the District to outline SKAs. Further review is needed by experts in the field. This project was created as a planning tool for the District. 6.2 DISCLAIMER All data used in this study were obtained from published public domain resources and were not compiled, developed or veri fied for accuracy or completeness by Jones Edmunds. Jones Edmunds is not responsible for any inaccuracies or omissions in the published data. No field investigations (i.e., onsite walkthroughs, onsite photos, geotechnica l and hydrogeological surveys, ground penetrating radar surveys, protected spec ies/ ecology/critical habitat surveys, etc.) were conducted as part of this study. 6.3 DISCUSSION The District should examine these result s and discuss ways to fine tune the data into a final model. The results from th is study were preliminary and not intended to be a final map for the district to base regulati on on. Further input and discussion is still needed. This study should be used a guide for the District. The models were created at 400 x 400 meter cell size scale. The results should be used as district level planning tool and should not be examined at the site specific level. The model is flexible and as better or new relevant data is available it can be incorporated into the model to better fine tune it.

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33 Cheryl Mullane Jones Edmunds and Associates 730 NE Waldo Road Gainesville, FL 32641 (352) 377-5821 cmullane@jonesedmunds.com


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