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Spring rains bring a return of the Freshwater Springs

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

National Park News

More than seven inches of rain in the last week have returned water to both Travertine Creek and the freshwater springs that feed the creek in the Platt Historic District of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Three inches of rainfall on April 29 delivered storm run-off which refilled Travertine Creek and its numerous swimming holes. That storm and accumulated rains in the last week led to flow returning to Antelope Springs on Sunday, May 3.

At present both Buffalo and Antelope Springs are flowing, though flow levels remain slightly below average. These freshwater springs are fed by the groundwater portion of the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer; while the recent heavy rains have brought the springs back to life, sustained rainfall throughout the spring and summer will be needed to ensure a continued flow.

Both Buffalo and Antelope Springs ran dry between late-December 2008 and mid-January of this year. This is the twentieth recorded instance in which the springs have run dry since the park was established in 1906. The longest recorded dry period for the springs and Travertine Creek was 33 months in the mid-1950s.

Park Superintendent Bruce Noble said, “We encourage visitors to come to the park to experience the return of the water along the creek and in the springs for themselves. Please exercise caution along trails and swimming holes as storm run-off and debris may still be present.”

More information on the freshwater springs of the Platt Historic District, including links to real-time flow information for Antelope Springs can be found on the park website at: https://imrcms.nps.gov/chic/naturescience/freshwatersprings.htm

 


Documented dry periods for Antelope and Buffalo Springs
  1. Mar 1911 - Apr 1912 (13 months)
  2. Sep 1912 - Nov 1913 (14 months)
  3. Mar 1918 – Dec 1919 (21 months)
  4. Apr 1927 – Aug 1927 (5 months)
  5. Aug 1934 – Sep 1936 (25 months)
  6. Sep 1937 – Feb 1938 (6 months)
  7. Sep 1938 – Jun 1940 (21 months)
  8. Dec 1951 – Apr 1952 (5 months)
  9. Sep 1952 – Jun 1954 (21 months)
  10. Aug 1954 – May 1957 (33 months)
  11. Jan 1959 – Dec 1959 (12 months)
  12. Aug 1963 – Nov 1964 (15 months)
  13. Aug 1965 – Jul 1967 (23 months)
  14. Dec 1, 1976 – Mar 31, 1977 (8 months)
  15. Dec 23, 1977 – Mar 31, 1978 (4 months)
  16. Dec 15, 1978 – Feb 28, 1979 (3 months)
  17. Dec 31,1979 – Sep 30, 1981 (21 months)
  18. Jul 10, 1984 – Oct 31, 1984 (4 months)
  19. Oct 6, 2006 – Oct 13, 2006 (2 weeks)
  20. Jan 12, 2009 – May 3, 2009 (4 months)



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