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Crescent Beach Submarine Spring

WorldBlue  In short

There are known at least 15 submarine springs near the coast of Florida. The most powerful is Crescent Beach Submarine Spring – a spring that is unusually far away from the coast.

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GPS coordinates
29.7683 N 81.2083 W
Location, address
North America, United States, Florida, St. Johns County, in the sea 3.9 km from the beach of Crescent Beach
Springs, Subaquatic springs
Average discharge
Not measured, but very high

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Crescent Beach Submarine Spring is located 3.9 km from the coast of Florida.

The ocean ground at this location is some 18 m deep but the spring vent is at the depth of 38 m. This “hollow” or “spring pool” has a diameter of some 25 m.

On a calm day the spring boil can be seen on the surface of ocean – it beats through 18 m thick layer of water!


Most likely, this is a first magnitude spring (1.) with an extremely powerful discharge that thus far has not been measured. Exact discharge of Crescent Beach Submarine Spring is not known but some assessments mention up to 40,000 l/s what would make it the most powerful spring in Florida and USA and… world? Some other sources modestly mention that this is “at least 2nd magnitude spring”…

Freshwater or – almost freshwater

Spring water is slightly saline (6 g/l) contrary to the surrounding seawater (35 g/l). The smell of hydrogen sulfide (old boiled eggs) can be felt near this place.

It has been observed that the power of the spring fluctuates – after heavy rain the spring is more powerful.


Crescent Beach Submarine Spring has formed in a location where the “cover” over the Floridian Aquifer – clay-rich Miocene and Plio-Pleistocene formations – has been eroded and the Eocene formation – Ocala Limestone is exposed.

Spring formed during the ice ages, when the level of ocean was lower and this land was above the sea level.


Crescent Beach Submarine Spring is known since at least 1875 when the U.S. Coastal Survey made the first bathymetric maps of the area. But there are stories that this location was used to get fresh water on ships long before this.


  1. Re-examining the Submarine Spring at Crescent Beach, Florida. USGS Open-File Report 00-158, July 2000. Last accessed on 9th October 2023.
  2. Crescent Beach Submarine Spring, St. Johns River Water Management District. Last accessed on 9th October 2023.
  3. P.W Swarzenski, C.D Reich, R.M Spechler, J.L Kindinger, W.S Moore, Using multiple geochemical tracers to characterize the hydrogeology of the submarine spring off Crescent Beach, Florida, Chemical Geology, Volume 179, Issues 1–4, 1 September 2001, Pages 187-202. Last accessed on 9th October 2023.

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