Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
2nd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

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Big Awesome Siphon/Suck

Columbia County

Summary of Features

  • Scale--1st magnitude in reverse
  • Scenery--excellent
  • How Pristine?--completely pristine
  • Swimming--no!
  • Protection--unknown
  • Crowds--none
  • Access--good/canoe only
  • Facilities--none
  • Safety--potentially dangerous vortex
  • Scuba--unknown
  • Cost--free

Directions

From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  The siphon is approximately 1 mile upriver from the boat ramp, on the northeast side.  The siphon is about 0.5 miles upstream of Myrtle's Fissure.  Look for swirling vegetation adjacent to the bank.

Spring Description

The siphon is circular and 5-6 feet in diameter adjacent to the bank. Water swirls swiftly and powerfully from the Santa Fe River and down into the aquifer.  A large clump of eel grass was spinning continuously in the center of the siphon.  The eel grass was formed by centrifugal force into the shape of a cone or tornado, with a diameter of over two feet at the top/surface, and tapering as it extended underwater. This large clump was spinning at the rate of 1-2 revolutions per second.  The surface of the siphon and edge of the Santa Fe River were about 18 inches below the adjacent floodplain hardwood forest on date of visit in 2002.

Another, much smaller siphon (Little Awesome), is a few yards downstream on the same bank.

Use/Access

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features