Tarpon Springs Sink USA

Insights from Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 31 Illuminate Tarpon Springs

Location and Formation

Tarpon Springs, a captivating submarine spring, is nestled at the eastern terminus of Spring Bayou. The spring graces the northern and western fringes of Tarpon Avenue and Bath Street in Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County. As Wetterhall (1965) notes, the spring basin boasts a kidney-shaped rim, stretching around 130 ft long and 60 ft wide. The depth plunges to 125 ft at its lowest point. Remarkably, the north, east, and west sides slope steeply towards the spring until reaching 60 ft, where they plummet vertically to approximately 100 ft. Conversely, the south wall showcases an overhang from 20 ft to 125 ft, while the abyss beneath 60 ft unveils a 40 ft long and 20 ft wide vertical void. The spring’s entrance emerges from the southern wall’s depths, close to its nadir.

  • Region: Florida
  • Coordinates: 28.146216, -82.759223
  • Depth: 115 ft
  • Remarks:
  • Type: Cave

Hydrological Connections

Historically, Tarpon Springs boasted a direct connection to Lake Tarpon, facilitated by Tarpon Sink and an underground conduit within the limestone of the Tampa Formation. Similar to other Gulf coast springs in Florida, including those neighboring the Suwannee River, Tarpon Springs experienced flow reversals triggered by tidal shifts and hydraulic forces. Comparable springs include Spring Creek in Wakulla County, Falmouth Spring in Suwannee County, and Troy Spring in Lafayette County. Notably, Tarpon Springs’ unique feature lay in its sporadic flow patterns and deep conduits, with channels linking the spring to Lake Tarpon surpassing 115 ft in depth.

Altering Dynamics

The narrative shifted in May 1969, with the construction of a dam encircling Tarpon Sink. This intervention curtailed Lake Tarpon’s natural ebb and flow, subsequently impacting Tarpon Springs. The once-frequent draining and refilling of the lake ceased, leading divers to report dwindling spring flow and the accumulation of sediment within the vent.

A Glimpse into Hydrology

Further insights into Tarpon Springs and the hydrological dynamics of Tarpon Lake can be gleaned from comprehensive reports by Heath and Smith (1954), Stringfield and LeGrand (1969), and Hunn (1974).

Preserving the Submarine Wonder

As Tarpon Springs’ narrative evolves, the intricate relationship between underwater conduits and natural flow dynamics unveils a captivating hydrological tale. While changes have influenced the spring’s behavior, its essence continues to intrigue researchers and enthusiasts alike.

Tarpon Springs Sink USA map


Where is Tarpon Springs Sink located?

Tarpon Springs Sink is situated at the east end of Spring Bayou in Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County.

What makes Tarpon Springs Sink unique?

Tarpon Springs Sink is a fascinating submarine spring with a kidney-shaped basin and deep conduits connecting it to Lake Tarpon.

Can the public access Tarpon Springs Sink?

Yes, Tarpon Springs Sink is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore its intriguing underwater features.

Dive Right In Scuba
Underwater caves