Natural and cultural history of the
physical characteristics of the area:
The Piney-Z site,
which gets its name from an abundance of pine trees and z-shaped
land configuration is located east of Tallahassee about a mile
off Apalachee Parkway. The property was purchased by the city
in 1995 and includes the 193-acre Piney-Z Lake and 407-acres
of surrounding property. The Piney-Z Lake is one of the many
lakes in the Lake Lafayette Chain and is currently under restoration.
- Physical characteristics
- Impact on man
- The Floridan aquifer underlies all of Florida, south
Georgia, and parts of both Alabama and South Carolina.'
This particular aquifer system is one of the major sources
of ground-water in the United States. For this reason
and more, studies of its function have been done for
- Natural eutrophication is the process by which lakes
gradually age and become more productive. It normally
takes thousands of years to progress. However, humans,
through their various cultural activities, have greatly
accelerated this process in thousands of lakes around
the globe. Cultural or anthropogenic "eutrophication"
is water pollution caused by excessive plant nutrients.
Humans add excessive amounts of plant nutrients (primarily
phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon) to streams and lakes
in various ways. Runoff from agricultural fields, field
lots, urban lawns, and golf courses is one source of
these nutrients. Untreated, or partially-treated, domestic
sewage is another major source. (http://www.umanitoba.ca/institutes/fisheries/eutro.html)
- Limestone, with its high calcium carbonate content,
is easily dissolved in the acids produced by organic
materials. About 10% of the earth's land (and 15% of
the U.S.A.) surface consists of soluble limestone, which
can be easily dissolved by the weak solution of carbonic
acid found in underground water. When limestone interacts
with underground water, the water dissolves the limestone
to form karst topography - an amalgamation of caves,
underground channels, and a rough and bumpy ground surface.
Karst topography is named for the Kras plateau region
of eastern Italy and western Slovenia (Kras is Karst
in German for "barren land").
The underground water of karst topography carves our
impressive channels and caves that are susceptible to
collapse from the surface. When enough limestone is
eroded from underground, a sinkhole (also called a doline)
may develop. Sinkholes are depressions that form when
a portion of the lithosphere below is eroded away. (http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa060800a.htm)
MARGINAL REGION KARST SINKHOLE HYDROLOGY
- Water Quality Parameters
- Water Temperature: Human activities should not change
water temperatures beyond natural seasonal fluctuations.
To do so could disrupt aquatic ecosystems. Good temperatures
are dependent on the type of stream you are monitoring.
Lowland streams, known as "warmwater" streams,
are different from mountian or spring fed streams that
are normally cool. In a warmwater stream temperatures
should not exceed 89 degrees (Fahrenheit). Cold water
streams should not exceed 68 degrees (Fahrenheit). Often
summer head can cause fish kills in ponds because high
temperatures reduce available oxygen in the water. (http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcptmp.htm)
- Dissolved Oxygen: Dissolved oxygen analysis measures
the amount of gaseous oxygen (O2) dissolved in an aqueous
solution. Oxygen gets into water by diffusion from the
surrounding air, by aeration (rapid movement), and as
a waste product of photosynthesis. Total dissolved gas
concentrations in water should not exceed 110 percent.
Concentrations above this level can be harmful to aquatic
life. Fish in waters containing excessive dissolved
gases may suffer from "gas bubble disease";
however, this is a very rare occurrence. The bubbles
or emboli block the flow of blood through blood vessels
causing death. External bubbles (emphysema) can also
occur and be seen on fins, on skin and on other tissue.
Aquatic invertebrates are also affected by gas bubble
disease but at levels higher than those lethal to fish.
- pH: pH is a measure of the acidic or basic (alkaline)
nature of a solution. The concentration of the hydrogen
ion [H+] activity in a solution determines the pH. Mathematically
this is expressed as (http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcpph.htm):
pH = - log [H+]
- Turbidity: Murkiness of water.
- Phosphates: Phosphorus is one of the key elements
necessary for growth of plants and animals. Phosphorus
in elemental form is very toxic and is subject to bioaccumulation.
Phosphates PO4--- are formed from this element. Phosphates
exist in three forms: orthophosphate, metaphosphate
(or polyphosphate) and organically bound phosphate.
Each compound contains phosphorous in a different chemical
formula. Ortho forms are produced by natural processes
and are found in sewage. Poly forms are used for treating
boiler waters and in detergents. In water, they change
into the ortho form. Organic phosphates are important
in nature. Their occurrence may result from the breakdown
of organic pesticides which contain phosphates. They
may exist in solution, as particles, loose fragments,
or in the bodies of aquatic organisms. (http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcptp.htm)
- Nitrates: Nitrogen is one of the most abundant elements.
About 80 percent of the air we breath is nitrogen. It
is found in the cells of all living things and is a
major component of proteins. Inorganic nitrogen may
exist in the free state as a gas N2, or as nitrate NO3-,
nitrite NO2-, or ammonia NH3+. Organic nitrogen is found
in proteins and is continually recycled by plants and
animals. Nitrogen-containing compounds act as nutrients
in streams and rivers. Nitrate reactions [NO3-] in fresh
water can cause oxygen depletion. Thus, aquatic organisms
depending on the supply of oxygen in the stream will
die. The major routes of entry of nitrogen into bodies
of water are municipal and industrial wastewater, septic
tanks, feed lot discharges, animal wastes (including
birds and fish) and discharges from car exhausts. Bacteria
in water quickly convert nitrites [NO2-] to nitrates
- A graphing calculator and a cable measured the water
temperature. A kit with lots of bottles was used to measure
the dissolved oxygen. Above is a picture of Teagan. She
was so good at measuring that she had to do it five times.