|Sheetflow swings high and low,|
whereas springs gush steady all year long.
The swamp gets all its water direct from the sky. As shown on the hydrograph above, that means a feast and famine diet. Or in other words, lots of water all at once in the summer and then slowly receding and disappearing water through the winter and spring.
As for the springs, they aren't fountains from nowhere ... although they seem that way when you see them. Almost like a water fountain left in the "on" position, springs flow non-stop and quite constant all year long.
The Floridan Aquifer is their source.
|From left to right: sheetflow, spring flow and Lake O flow (at Moore Haven S-77)|
Was Lake Okeechobee ever the source of the swamp?
Answer: Yes, or partly, or at least to some degree ... from the Ft. Thompson Falls pooled Caloosahatchee which fed seeps that that drained south into cypress strands and marshy sloughs. Today, the S-77 controls water leaving the Lake in that direction -- which hasn't been open all summer -- and the Ft. Thompson Falls are gone.
That's why each night when the clouds aren't there the swamp thanks its lucky stars that you can't close the control gates to the sky.