One of the largest spring systems in the state has stopped flowing into Spring Creek along the Panhandle Gulf Coast. Researchers say they don't know why.
Normally several springs feed water from underground into the creek, but researchers and area residents say the flow has stopped in recent months.
One theory is that a September 10 earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico collapsed caves through which water flows from the underground aquifer into the creek.
But some local residents say the flow stopped more than six months ago, long before the earthquake.
Harley Means of the Florida Geological Survey said researchers collecting water samples in June reported that one of the springs seemed to be sucking water out of the creek instead of feeding water into it. The springs are known to sometimes reverse flow at high tide.
The state plans to begin a study on the springs that feed the creek, which could start early next year.