In this section
Clifton Springs main western vent
Clifton Springs is a third-magnitude spring composed of at least four separate springs, with multiple vents that feed two separate spring runs. The main spring pool is roughly circular with a diameter of 150 feet. The pool bottom is muddy, with algae-coated leaves and tree branches. The water is turbid and a prominent surface boil is visible. The run is about 10 feet wide and flows northwest for about 250 feet into Lake Jesup. East of the main pool, on the other side of Spring Avenue, there are several more boils which feed a narrow spring run that flows about 1,000 feet toward the northwest into Lake Jesup. The springs are located on a designated state historic site surrounded by several homes, sable palms, and moss-covered oaks.
Clifton Springs run from vents east of CR 419
Discharge at Clifton Springs was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1972, 1973, and 1995. St. Johns River Water Management District measured discharge 12 times from 2000 to 2003. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 0.93 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the period. The maximum measured discharge of 1.89 cfs occurred in August 2003; the minimum discharge of 0.96 cfs occurred in July 1998. The mean and median discharges for the period are 1.44 cfs and 1.42 cfs, respectively (see the table below).
Clifton Springs was sampled by USGS in 1972, 1973, and 1995. From 2000 to 2002, the district sampled the spring 11 times. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.
Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Clifton Springs
|Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3||102.0||110.0||110.3||114.0||11||1972−2002|
|Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca||42.6||44.2||44.1||45.5||9||2000−2002|
|Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl||108.6||123.9||122.6||141.0||14||1972−2002|
|Fluoride, total, mg/L as F||0.18||0.19||0.19||0.20||9||2000−2002|
|Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg||13.4||14.5||14.3||15.3||9||2000−2002|
|Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N||0.01||0.01||0.01||0.02||7||2000−2002|
|Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P||0.03||0.04||0.04||0.05||9||2000−2002|
|Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P||0.05||0.05||0.05||0.05||1||2001|
|Potassium, total, mg/L as K||2.4||2.7||2.7||3.0||9||2000−2002|
|Sodium, total, mg/L as Na||59.2||64.1||64.5||70.2||9||2000−2002|
|Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C||626||668||660||720||11||2000−2002|
|Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C||581||677||684||755||6||1972−2001|
|Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4||35.6||39.7||40.0||45.0||14||1972−2002|
|Total dissolved solids, mg/L||329||385||380||435||11||1972−2002|
|Water temperature, °C||22.8||24.9||24.6||27.5||12||1972−2002|
mg/L = milligrams per liter
cfs = cubic feet per second
Age of discharge water
The age of water discharging from Clifton Springs was determined by measuring the concentration of tritium, delta carbon-13, and carbon-14 in the spring discharge, which was measured in January 2001. Clifton Springs had a tritium concentration of 0.11 tritium units, which suggests that the water is about 75 years old. Clifton Springs had a delta carbon-13 value of −9.40 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 23% modern carbon, which results from the mixing of Upper and Lower Floridan aquifer water. The Fontes and Garnier (1979) carbon-14 age of Clifton Springs is 3,953 years old.