, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 47–57 | Cite as

Hydrology of a carolina bay located on the upper coastal plain of western South Carolina

  • Robert F. Lide
  • Vernon G. Meentemeyer
  • John E. Pinder
  • Lynne M. Beatty


Thousands of Carolina bays are found on the Atlantic Coastal Plain between northern Florida and New Jersey. Most of these shallow depressions are wetlands, and many hold temporary ponds that fluctuate in response to seasonal or long-term climatic conditions. Despite the abundance of bays, few studies have described their hydrologic regime. This study examines the hydrologic interactions of Thunder Bay, a 7-ha Carolina bay located on the Upper Coastal Plain of western South Carolina. Data from 38 piezometers, borehole logs, and records of pond stage and weather indicate that water ponded at Thunder Bay is a surface expression of the water table. Although fluctuation of pond stage is largely controlled by precipitation and evapotranspiration, nearly continuous seepage losses coupled with periodic ground-water inflow are also important components of Thunder Bay’s hydrologic regime.

Key Words

Carolina bay hydrology water balance wetlands 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Bennett, S. H. and J. B. Nelson. 1991. Distribution and status of Carolina bays in South Carolina. South Carolina Wildlife & Marine Resources Department, Columbia, SC, USA. Nongame and Heritage Trust Publication No. 1.Google Scholar
  2. Bouyoucos, G. J. 1926. Estimation of the colloidal material in soils. Science 64:362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cahill, J. M. 1982. Hydrology of the low-level radioactive-solid-waste burial site and vicinity near Barnwell, South Carolina. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 82-863.Google Scholar
  4. Daniels, R. B., E. E. Gamble, W. H. Wheeler, J. W. Gilliam, E. H. Wiser, and C. W. Welby. 1978. Water movement in surficial coastal plain sediments, inferred from sediment morphology. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station. Technical Bulletin No. 243.Google Scholar
  5. Dennehy, K. F., D. C. Prowell, and P. B. McMahon. 1989. Reconnaissance hydrogeologic investigation of the Defense Waste Processing Facility and vicinity, Savannah River Plant, South Carolina. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 88–4221.Google Scholar
  6. Diaz, H. F. 1983. Some aspects of major dry and wet periods in the contiguous United States, 1985–1981. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 22:3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Freeze, R. A. and J. A. Cherry. 1979. Groundwater. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA.Google Scholar
  8. Heimburg, K. 1984. Hydrology of north-central Florida cypress domes. p. 72–82.In K. C. Ewel and H. T. Odum (eds.) Cypress Swamps. University Presses of Florida, Gainsville, FL, USA.Google Scholar
  9. Johnson, D. W. 1942. The Origin of the Carolina Bays. Columbia University Press, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  10. Kirkman, L. K. 1992. Cyclical vegetation dynamics in Carolina bay wetlands. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.Google Scholar
  11. Klute, A. 1965. Laboratory measurement of hydraulic conductivity of saturated soil. p. 210–221.In C. A. Black (ed.) Methods of Soil Analysis. American Society of Agronomy. Agronomy monograph no. 9, part 1. Madison, WI, USA.Google Scholar
  12. LaBaugh, J. W. 1986. Wetland ecosystem studies from a hydrologic perspective. Water Resources Bulletin 22:1–10.Google Scholar
  13. LaBaugh, J. W., T. C. Winter, V. A. Adomaitis, and G. A. Swanson. 1987. Hydrology and chemistry of selected prairie wetlands in the Cottonwood Lake area, Stutsman County, North Dakota, 1979–82. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1431.Google Scholar
  14. Lide, R. F. 1991. Hydrology of a Carolina bay located on the Upper Coastal Plain, western South Carolina. Master’s Thesis. University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.Google Scholar
  15. Newman, M. C. and J. F. Schalles. 1990. The water chemistry of Carolina bays: A regional survey. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 118: 147–168.Google Scholar
  16. Pechmann, J. H., D. E. Scott, R. D. Semlitch, J. P. Caldwell, L. J. Vitt, and J. W. Gibbons. 1991. Declining amphibian populations: the problem of separating human impacts from natural fluctuation. Science 253:892–895.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Prouty, W. F. 1952. Carolina bays and their origin. Geological Society of America Bulletin 63:167–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rasmussen, W. C. 1958. Geology and hydrology of the “bays” and basins of Delaware. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bryn Mawr College. Bryn Mawr, PA, USA.Google Scholar
  19. Reeve, R. C. 1965. Hydraulic Head, p. 180–196.In C. A. Black (ed.) Methods of Soil Analysis. American Society of Agronomy. Agronomy monograph no. 9, part 1. Madison, WI, USA.Google Scholar
  20. Richardson, C. J. and J. W. Gibbons. 1993. Pocosins, Carolina Bays, and Mountain Bogs, p. 257–309.In W. H. Martin, S. G. Boyce, and A. C. Echternacht (eds.) Biodiversity of the Southeastern United States/Lowland Terrestrial Communities. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  21. Rogers, V. A. 1990. Soil survey of the Savannah River Plant area, parts of Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale counties, South Carolina. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  22. Schalles, J. F. and D. J. Shure. 1989. Hydrology, community structure, and productivity patterns of a dystrophic Carolina bay wetland. Ecological Monographs 59:365–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sharitz, R. R. and J. W. Gibbons. 1982. The ecology of evergreen shrub bogs, pocosins and Carolina bays of the Southeast: a community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington, DC, USA. FWS/OBS-82/04.Google Scholar
  24. Sharitz, R. R. and J. N. Knox. 1990. Endangered, threatened, and rare vascular flora of the Savannah River Site. Savannah River Site National Environmental Research Park Program, Aiken, SC, USA. SRO-NERP-20.Google Scholar
  25. Siple, G. E. 1967. Geology and ground water on the Savannah River Plant and vicinity. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1841.Google Scholar
  26. Thornthwaite, C. W. and J. R. Mather. 1957. Instructions and tables for computing potential evapotranspiration and the water balance. Drexel Institute of Technology, Centerton, NJ, USA. Publications in Climatology 10:185–311.Google Scholar
  27. Winter, T. C. 1981a. Effects of water-table configuration on seepage through lakebeds. Limnology and Oceanography 26:925–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Winter, T. C. 1981b. Uncertainties of estimating the water balance of lakes. Water Resources Bulletin 17:82–115.Google Scholar
  29. Winter, T. C. 1983. The interaction of lakes with variably saturated porous media. Water Resources Research 19:1203–1218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yin, Z. Y. and G. A. Brook. 1993. Evapotranspiration in the Okefenokee Swamp watershed: a comparison of temperature-based and water balance methods. Journal of Hydrology 131:293–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Lide
    • 1
  • Vernon G. Meentemeyer
    • 2
  • John E. Pinder
    • 1
  • Lynne M. Beatty
    • 1
  1. 1.Savannah River Ecology LaboratoryDrawer EAiken
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of GeorgiaAthens

Personalised recommendations