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Steinhatchee River flows for some 600 meters under the ground and then resurfaces as a giant spring. This resurgence – Steinhatchee Rise – is one of the several giant river rises of Florida.
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Steinhatchee river disappears underground in a sink and flows for some 600 m until it resurfaces again in a large river rise.
River rises are rather common in Florida, some of them are very powerful. Such is, for example, Alapaha Rise with an output of 22 700 l/s. Elsewhere in the world are even more powerful underground rivers, such as Aouk Underground River in Western New Guinea, Indonesia. The resurgence of this giant river has an output of 300 000 l/s/
Steinhatchee Rise is less spectacular: in July 1999 its measured output was around 9910 l/s (1). This could be close to the medium annual output of this “spring” (2). When the amount of river flow reaches some 14 160 l/s, the capacity of the underground part is exhausted and part of the water starts running above the ground, but, as the flow decreases, the river returns underground.
The resurgence of Steinhatchee River forms a 22 by 10 m large pool that is up to 3.7 m deep. This pool is flanked by a low limestone ledge and steep, 3-4 m high banks that are covered with vegetation.
Around the rise are some sinkholes and fissures.
As it is characteristic of river rises, the water is not lucid contrary to water from classical karst springs. This is a typical water of a river in Floridian swamps, brown and tannic.
Just some 3-4 km downstream is another natural landmark – Steinhatchee Falls, one of the very few Floridian waterfalls.
- Springs of Florida (PDF file), Florida Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 66, 2004. Accessed on November 13, 2022.
- Minimum Flows and Levels, Steinhatchee River, Florida (PDF file), Suwannee River Water Management District, May 2018. Accessed on November 13, 2022.
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