Conduits within the unconfined Floridan Aquifer of west-central Florida include both horizontal and vertical components. In this paper, we investigate each and propose theories based upon cave survey data and a collection of over 300 Florida cave maps. First, we find that vertical portions of conduits visually correlate to fractures, and these fractures tend to be the dominant control of conduit directionality. Length-weighted rose diagrams of passage directions reveal a NW-SE and NE-SW pattern of conduit directions statistically similar to results found in remote sensing studies of photolinears. Secondly we note that horizontal elements of conduits occur at consistent horizons that are pervasive and laterally continuous. Their control is presently unknown but is potentially the result of some combination of lithology, fracture density, and water-table position.


Fresh Water Studies | Geology