June 2022 Update (ft. Drone Footage!): Falling Creek Falls – Lake City, FL

(Please click on media to enlarge)

I returned to the falls in early June, hoping to capture some different perspectives with my newly acquired drone! I received my Part 107 commercial drone license in March and had been very eager to get my hands on a working drone to finally fly. The falls were running strong but clear with a relatively low sediment load, indicating primarily subsurface input rather than runoff carrying sediment. This occurs when rain recharges the aquifer, but enough time has passed since the rain event that overland runoff heavy with sediment has slowed. Precipitation that has infiltrated into the subsurface of the drainage basin feeding the creek now dominates, its water less sediment-laden due to filtration through the soil and soft bedrock. The level of the creek is still fairly low at the start of summer and the heavy rain it brings.

Note the channel position, well-defined contact between the more resistant “cap” limestone layer and the less resistant underlying layer, and the heavy erosion exposing tree roots along the steep banks of the creek.

Close-up of the falls. Note the potholes forming above and adjacent to the main course of the waterfall. Coarse sediment is spun around by eddies, grinding against the channel bottom in a circular motion and creating a pothole shape.

Downstream of the falls.

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