Dec 9, 2014

Inventor of the source of a still elusive font

Concentrated orange juice, airboats, air conditionings, swamp buggies, and amusement parks ... Florida is more famous not for inventions

But perfecting their widespread use.

Florida perfected
but did not invent these

The notable exception is the Floridan Aquifer:

Florida is the birthplace and home to this hydrologic original, and Garald Parker, late geologist of the U.S. Geological Survey, is its proud inventor.


But inventor, really?

Wouldn't a more proper description be that he discovered it, as do explorers, instead; and not that he “invented” it from scratch, say, like the light bulb as did Thomas Edison. (Edison, incidentally, wintered in Ft Myers, and as fate would have it, also tapped water from the Floridan Aquifer (before it had its name) for his pool – using a thousand foot deep well.

Thomas Edison unwittingly used
but did not invent the Floridan Aquifer

But it was Garald Parker who discovered or rather I mean invented it.

Partly the culmination of careful scientific inquiry mixed in with possibly a Eureka Moment too: Garald Parker came to realize that the giant mass of water beneath his feet ... the one which overran the geologic bounds of any single rock Florida's many formations ... and one which towards the Big Bend was exposed at the surface where it formed springs ... and the one which south of Okeechobee where it was buried a thousand feet deep ... and the one that throughout the entire peninsula (and even up in to the continent)  where it was everywhere ... was actually a single water body.


Parker understood (and named) the water body for what it truly was:

The state’s biggest water body!

Garald Parker (right) invented and discovered the source
of Florida's many springs, one of which reputed to have youth
restorative qualities Juan Ponce de Leon (left) never found

Even more than that Parker was the first to coin the term aquifer as well, now a mainstay of the hydrologic lexicon.  The term aquifer is used to describe the contiguous (and productive) body of underground water, not the geologic formations in which it is contained.

That makes Florida home of the world’s first aquifer,


Garald Parker was both its discoverer and inventor.

If only Ponce de Leon had been as lucky with the Fountain of Youth.

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