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 Mineral resources

The geology of Collier County, Florida ( FGS: Open file report 25 )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001024/00001
 Material Information
Title: The geology of Collier County, Florida ( FGS: Open file report 25 )
Series Title: ( FGS: Open file report 25 )
Physical Description: 14, 5 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Campbell, Kenneth M ( Kenneth Mark ), 1949-
Florida Geological Survey
Publisher: Florida Geological Survey
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1988
Subjects / Keywords: Geology -- Florida -- Collier County   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Kenneth M. Campbell.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management:
The author dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law and all related or neighboring legal rights he or she had in the work, to the extent allowable by law.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001545442
oclc - 21193377
notis - AHF8962
System ID: UF00001024:00001

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3 (MULTIPLE)
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9 (MULTIPLE)
        Page 10
    Mineral resources
        Page 11 (MULTIPLE)
        Page 12 (MULTIPLE)
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
Full Text


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State of Florida
Department of Natural Resources
Tom Gardner, Executive Director

Division of Resource Management
Jeremy Craft, Director

Florida Geological Survey
Walt Schmidt, State Geologist and Chief

Open File Report 25

The Geology of Collier County, Florida


Kenneth M. Campbell

Florida Geological Survey
Tallahassee, Florida

3 1262 04545 4237


State of Florida
Department of Natural Resources
Tom Gardner, Executive Director

Division of Resource Management
Jeremy Craft, Director

Florida Geological Survey
Walt Schmidt, State Geologist

Open File Report 25

The Geology of Collier County, Florida


Kenneth M. Campbell

Florida Geological Survey
Tallahassee, Florida

Florida Geological Survey
k Library
903 West Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32304





Kenneth M. Campbell

October, 1988


Although several authors have discussed the geomorphology of

the Florida peninsula, White's (1970) classification will be

utilized in this report. Collier County lies within the Southern

or Distal Physiographic Zone. The dominant geomorphic features

within the county include the Immokalee Rise, the Big Cypress

Spur, and the Southwestern Slope (White, 1970) (Figure 1). The

remainder of the county falls within the Gulf Coastal Barrier

Chain and Lagoons, Reticulated Coastal Swamps and the Ten

Thousand Islands.

The Immokalee Rise is located primarily in Hendry County but

extends into eastern.Lee County and northeastern Collier County.

The Immokalee Rise is bounded on the north by the Caloosahatchee

Valley, on the east by the Everglades, on the south-southeast by

the Big Cypress Spur and on the southwest by the Southwestern

Slope (White, 1970). The boundaries between these features are

poorly defined. The Immokalee Rise is described by White (1970)

as a "southerly extention of Pamlico (?) marine sand invading the

Distal Zone from the sand dominated Central Zone to the north."

White (1970) further states that the rise appears to have formed

as a submarine shoal which extended southward from a mainland

cape during the Late Pleistooene. Relict shoreline features are

only weakly developed, apparently due to low energy conditions as

the shoal emerged from the receeding sea (White, 1970). The

Immokalee Rise lies at elevations which range from 25 to 42 feet

above mean sea level (MSL) (Lane, 1980) and dips very gently to

the southwest. Numerous small karat lakes are located along the

margin of the rise (White, 1970).

The Big Cypress Spur is transitional between the Immokalee

Rise, the Everglades Trough and the Southwestern Slope.

Elevations on the spur are only slightly higher than those of the

Everglades and the Southwestern Slope. Drainage is from the

north, off the Immokalee Rise then to the Everglades and the

Southwestern Slope. The Big Cypress Spur is characterized by

large areas of limestone or marl exposed at the surface as well

as areas of sandy or peaty soils (Lane, 1980; Drew and Schomer,


The Southwestern Slope lies at elevations below

approximately 25 feet above MSL (Lane, 1980), between the Gulf of

Mexico and the western edges of the Immokalee Rise and the Big

Cypress Spur. Drainage is to the southwest. The majority of

this area is thinly mantled with sand (generally thickening to

the north) overlying an eroded Tamiami Formation limestone

surface (Drew and Schomer, 1984).

Cape Romano forms the southern end of the quartz sand

dominated Gulf Barrier Island Chain. The majority of the quartz

sand transported past Cape Romano is deposited in a large shoal

complex south of the cape. North of Cape Romano, the Collier

County coastline consists of barrier islands and lagoons.

The Ten Thousand Islands are located to the south of Cape

Romano and are transitional between the quartz sand dominated

barrier island coastline to the north and the carbonate

dominated, quartz deficient shoreline to the south. Sufficient

quartz sand is present to form beaches on the gulf side of the

outermost islands, but not enough to allow the beaches to

coalesce (White, 1970). The outer islands are often built on a

core composed of vermetid gastropodd) reef rock (Shier, 1969).

The inner islands are generally composed of oyster reefs. Both

types of islands are generally topped by mangrove swamps (White,


The Reticulated Coastal Swamps border the Gulf Coast in the

southern portion of Collier County. These swamps are tidally

influenced (elevations less than five feet above MSL), complexly

channeled mangrove swamps and coastal marshes. Thin organic and

marl deposits overlie limestone and calcareous sandstone of the

Tamiami Formation (Lane, 1980).


To date no wells in Collier County have penetrated Paleozoic

rocks. In the general region of Collier County, basement rocks

consist of predominantly mafic volcanic rocks (Winston, 1971;

Barnett, 1975). These rocks are Late Triassic Early Jurassic

in age. Well cuttings from W-15095 (Exxon, P1042) in Collier

County "reveal felsic igneous rock directly below the top of the


basement surface at a depth of approximately 17,000 feet"

(Arthur, 1988).

Mesozoic rocks consist of several thousand feet of

limestone, dolomite and evaporites. The Sunniland Formation

(Lower Cretaceous) is the source of oil and gas production in

Collier County. The top of the Sunniland Formation is

encountered at approximately 11,500 feet below MSL in Collier
County (Applegate and Lloyd, 1985).

Cenozoic rocks in Collier County consist of over 5,000 feet

of carbonates. Significant quantities of siliciclastic material

are present only in the Miocene and younger sediments (Figures


The Paleocene Cedar Keys Formation is the basal unit of the

Cenozoic section in Collier County. It consists primarily of

nonfossiliferous dolomite along with gypsum or anhydrite.

Anhydrite is often interbedded with the dolomite while gypsum

commonly fills pore spaces (Chen, 1965). The percentage of
evaporites generally decreases toward the top of the formation.

The top of the Cedar Keys Formation is found at approximately

3,400 feet below MSL in Collier County and has a thickness of

more than 2,000 feet (Chen, 1965). Braunstein et al. (1988) show

the age of the Cedar Keys Formation to range from the Late Paleo-

cene to the Early Eocene.

Unconformably overlying the Cedar Keys Formation is the

Oldsmar Limestone. The Oldsmar Limestone is presently considered

to be Early to Middle Eocene in age (Braunstein et al., 1988).

The Oldsmar consists of dolomite and limestone with gypsum,

anhydrite,- .and- hert.as minor components (Chen, 1965). In

Collier County, the Oldsmar Limestone ranges from about 800 to

1,200 feet thick and thins to the south (Chen, 1965).
The Middle Eocene Avon Park Formation consists of

fossiliferous limestone and dolomite with carbonaceous material

as thin seams, flecks and blebs along with minor quantities of

gypsum (Chen, 1965). Miller (1986) combined the Avon Park and

Lake City Limestones of previous usage into the Avon Park

Formation in order to more accurately reflect the absence of

lithologic characteristics on which to differentiate the two

units and to reflect the presence of considerable quantities of

dolomite. Miller's (1986) usage of the Avon Park Formation has

been adopted by the Florida Geological Survey. The thickness of

the Avon Park Formation in Collier County ranges from about 800

to 1,700 feet (Chen, 1965). The top of the Avon Park has been

encountered at depths of approximately 1,200 feet below MSL in

the northern part of the county and at depths of at least 1,700

feet below MSL in the west-central portion of the county (C. S.

Chen, 1963, unpublished lithologic logs W-5, W-1885, W-2420).

The Late Eocene Ocala Group consists of three formations.

In ascending order these are the Inglis, Williston and Crystal

River Formations (Puri, 1957). For the purposes of this report,

the formations of the Ocala Group will not be differentiated. In

Collier County, the Ocala Group consists of highly fossiliferous

limestone with only minor quantities of dolomite. The top of the

Ocala Group is at depths of 1,000 to 1,350 feet below MSL


(Peacock, 1983), and varies in thickness from about 300 to more

than 400 feet (Chen, 1965).

The Oligocene-age Suwannee Limestone consists of white or

beige recrystallized limestone (caloarenite and calcilutite)

containing abundant microfossils, quartz sand and trace amounts
of phosphate. The upper portion of the Suwannee contains up to

12 percent quartz sand while the lower portion generally contains

less than 3 percent sand (Peacock, 1983). Peacock (1983) shows

the top of the Suwannee Limestone at approximately 750 feet below

MSL in the north half of coastal Collier County, dipping to

depths of more than 900 feet below MSL in the northeastern

portion of the county. Peacock (1983) reports that the thickness

of the Suwannee Limestone ranges from approximately 100 feet in

the northeastern portion of the county to over 600 feet in the

coastal areas south of Cape Romano.

The Miocene-age Hawthorn Group unconformably overlies the

Suwannee Limestone. Scott (1986, 1988) raised the Hawthorn

Formation to Group status and erected new formations within the

Group statewide. The Hawthorn Group in Collier County consists

of two formations: the Arcadia Formation (Hawthorn carbonate

unit and Tampa Limestone of previous usage) and the Peace River

Formation (Hawthorn clastic unit of previous usage).

The Arcadia Formation consists primarily of dolomite,

dolomitic limestone and limestone that is variably

recrystallized, and contains variable amounts of phosphate and

quartz sand, and clay (Scott, 1988). Peacock (1983) reports that

the phosphate and quartz sand content ranges from 3 to 25
percent. The base of the Arcadia is a hard dolomite with well

developed secondary porosity (Peacock, 1983).

The top of the Arcadia Formation is found at approximately

200 feet below MSL at the extreme northwestern coastal corner of

Collier County (Knapp et al., 1986, Scott, 1988). The formation

top dips to approximately 450 feet below MSL in the central and
southern portions of the county and between 350 and 380 feet

below MSL along the eastern edge of the county (Peacock, 1983)

(Figures 2-5).

The Peace River Formation of the Hawthorn Group is a
predominantly siliciclastic unit which ranges in age from Early

Middle Miocene to possibly Early Pliocene (Scott, 1988). The

basal portion of the Peace River Formation in Collier County is a
green to grey, unconsolidated, phosphatic, quartz and dolomite

silt with scattered, very thin limestone beds (Peacock, 1983).

The middle portion of the Peace River consists of fine grained,

well sorted, slightly phosphatic sand with thin limestone beds

and in part a calcilutite matrix (Peacock, 1983). The upper

portion consists of poorly sorted, shelly sand and gravel along

with occasional thin beds of limestone and dolomitic silt

(Peacock, 1983).

The top of the Peace River Formation ranges from near MSL in

the north-central portion of the county (Knapp et al., 1986) to

over 150 feet below MSL in the vicinity of Cape Romano (Knapp et

al.; 1986, Scott, 1988). Through the majority of the central

portion of Collier County, the top of the Peace River is between

50 and 100 feet below MSL. The thickness of the Peace River

ranges from approximately 125 feet in the northwestern portion of

the county and thickens in a southeasterly direction to over 300

feet (Scott, 1988).

The Pliocene-age Tamiami Formation overlies the Hawthorn

Group in Collier County. It consists primarily of moldic

limestone, sandy limestone and occasionally calcareous sandstone

containing small amounts of phosphate sand (Peacock, 1983).

Matrix material in the Tamiami is often calcilutite, or where

recrystallized, calcite, and induration is variable (Peacock,

1983; Knapp et al., 1986).

The top of the Tamiami Formation is encountered from 0 to 10
feet above MSL throughout Collier County (Knapp et al., 1986)

with the exception of the coastal margin of the county where the
top of the Tamiami may be as much as 20 feet below MSL (Shier,

1969). The thickness of the Tamiami ranges from zero in the

vicinity of Lake Trafford in the northern portion of the county

to over 150 feet. Within a north-south band through the center

of Collier County, the Tamiami is less than 100 feet thick

(Peacock, 1983; Knapp et al., 1986).

Pleistocene and Holocene-age sediments in Collier County

consist primarily of quartz sand with minor quantities of clay

and shell (Lane, 1981). The Pleistocene and Holocene sands form

only a thin veneer where the Tamiami is at or near the ground
surface. In the vicinity of Immokalee in the northern portion of

the county, the surficial sands are 20 to 40 feet thick (Knapp et

al., 1986). Along the Gulf Coastal Barrier Chain and in the Ten

.Thousand Islands this unit may exceed 20 feet in


Two regional aquifer systems are important in Collier

County: the surficial aquifer system and the intermediate

aquifer system (Southeastern Geological Society, 1986). The
Floridan aquifer system, important in much of peninsular Florida,

contains nonpotable water (chloride and/or sulfate concentrations
above 250 mg/L) in the Collier County region (Knapp et al., 1986)

and thus will not be discussed in this report.

Surficial aquifer system

The surficial aquifer system is the most important in

Collier County from the viewpoint of public water supply (Knapp

et al., 1986). Knapp et al. (1986) subdivided the surficial

aquifer system into two units, the "water table" and "lower

Tamiami" aquifers, which are separated by a leaky confining unit.

The "water table aquifer" is present throughout Collier County

and extends from near the land surface to depths of as much as 50

feet (Knapp et al., 1986). The aquifer is composed of sediments

assigned to either undifferentiated surficial sands or the

Tamiami Formation. Impermeable beds in the Tamiami Formation

form the base of the "water table aquifer." The "lower Tamiami

aquifer" occupies limestones of the Tamiami as well as coarse

siliciclastic materials in the upper portion of the Peace River

Formation. The upper portion of the "lower Tamiami aquifer"

limestonee) is generally more permeable than the lower portion

(siliciclastics of the Peace River Formation) due to poor sorting

of the sands and the presence of caloilutite and silty matrix

(Knapp et al., 1986). The top of the "lower Tamiami aquifer" is
encountered between MSL and 100 feet below MSL and ranges from 75

to approximately 200 feet thick (Knapp at al., 1986).

Water quality within the surfioial aquifer system is

generally within potable standards (Knapp et al., 1986).

Characteristically it is low in dissolved minerals and low to

moderate in hardness. Chlorides reported by Knapp t al. .(1986)

range from 5-215 mg/L for the "water table aquifer" and 100-500

mg/L for the "lower Tamiami aquifer". Iron content in the "water

table aquifer" generally exceeds potable water standards (.3

mg/L) however it is generally lower in the "lower Tamiami
aquifer" (Knapp et al., 1986).

Intermediate aquifer system

The intermediate aquifer system is composed of dolosilt,

clay and limestone of the Peace River Formation. Knapp et al.

(1986) identified two aquifers in the intermediate aquifer

system. The "sandstone aquifer" is relatively thin and

discontinuous while the "mid-Hawthorn aquifer" underlies all of

Collier County (Knapp et al., 1986). The top of the "sandstone

aquifer" is encountered between 100 and 250 feet below MSL in

Collier County, and is missing from the southern half of the

county (Knapp et al., 1986). The "mid-Hawthorn aquifer" is

encountered at about 200 feet below MSL in the extreme

northwestern corner of the county and dips to the east and

southeast to over 400 feet below MSL. Average thickness is about

100 feet (Knapp et al., 1986).

Water quality within the intermediate aquifer system is

variable. Within the "sandstone aquifer" sulfate and hardness

are about the same as for the surficial aquifer system, while

iron concentrations are lower. Chlorides generally increase to

the south and west (Knapp et al., 1986). Water quality within

the "mid-Hawthorn aquifer" is generally poor, with high

concentrations of sulfate and hardness and moderate to high

chloride levels (Knapp et al., 1986).


Crushed stone, oil and gas are the primary mineral resources

in Collier County. Quartz sand and peat are also found, but at

the present time are not being mined.

Crushed stone is mined from the Pliocene age Tamiami

Formation primarily in western Collier County (Knapp et al.,

1986). All limestone mining within the county is by the open pit

method. Prior to mining, overburden (generally less than 5 feet)

is cleared away by bulldozers. The limestone is then fractured

either by heavy equipment or blasting. The fractured rock is

then extracted by dragline or front-end loader and transported to

crushers for processing (Campbell, 1986; Yon et al., 1988).

Primary processing and beneficiation operations include crushing

and screening to produce the desired size material as well as

washing to remove fines and impurities.


The primary uses of the Tamiami Formation limestone in

Collier County are road base rock, aggregate for concrete and

asphalt, riprap and drain field material. Fines are utilized as

filler material in bituminous road surface mixes (Campbell, 1986;

Yon et al., 1988).

oil and gas are produced from eight fields located either

entirely or partially within the county. Production is from the

Cretaceous-age Sunniland Formation at depths in excess of 11,500

feet below MSL (Applegate and Lloyd, 1985). Cumulative oil and

gas production through the end of 1987 for the fields located

entirely in Collier County was 31,867,000:batrels of oil and

2,959 million cubic feet of gas (unpublished data, C. Tootle,

Florida Geological Survey, 1988). These figures amount to

approximately 6 percent of the state wide total production of oil

and less than 1 percent of the gas production (unpublished data,

C. Tootle, Florida Geological Survey, 1988).


Applegate, A. V., and Lloyd, J. M., 1985, Summary of Florida
petroleum production and exploration onshore and offshore
through 1984: Florida Geological Survey Information
Circular 101, 69 p.

Arthur, J. A., 1988, Petrogenesis of early Mesozoic tholeiite
in the Florida basement and an overview of Florida basement
geology: Florida Geological Survey Report of Investigation
97, 39 p.

Barnett, R. S., 1975, Basement structure of Florida and its
tectonic implications: Gulf Coast Association of
Geological Societies, Transactions, v. 25, p. 122-142.

Braunstein, J., Huddlestun, P., and Biel, R., eds., 1988, Gulf
coast region: correlation of stratigraphic units of
North America (COSUNA) project: Tulsa, Oklahoma, American
Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Campbell, K. M., 1986, The industrial minerals of Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Information Circular 102, 94 p.

Chen, C. S., 1965, The regional lithostratigraphic analysis of
Paleocene and Eocene rocks of Florida: Florida Geological
Survey Bulletin 45, 105 p.

Drew, R. D., and Schomer, N. S., 1984, An ecological charac-
terization of the Caloosahatchee River/Big Cypress
watershed: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FWS/OBS-82/58.2,
225 p.

Knapp, M. S., Burns, W. S., and Sharp, T. S., 1986, Preliminary
assessment of the groundwater resources of western Collier
County, Florida: South Florida Water Management District
Technical Publication 86-1.

Lane, E., 1980, Environmental geology series West Palm Beach
sheet: Florida Bureau of Geology Map Series 100, scale

1981, Environmental geology series Miami sheet:
Florida Bureau of Geology Map Series 101, scale 1:250,000.

Miller, J. A., 1986, Hydrogeologic framework of the Floridan
aquifer system in Florida and in parts of Georgia, Alabama
and South Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Professional
Paper 1403-B, 91 p.

Peacock, R., 1983, The post-Eocene stratigraphy of southern
Collier County, Florida: South Florida Water Management
District Technical Publication 83-5, 42 p.

Puri, H. S., 1957, Stratigraphy and donation of the Ocala Group:
Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 38, 248 p.

Scott, T. M., 1986, A Revision of the Miocene lithostratigraphic
nomenclature, southwestern Florida: Transactions, Gulf
Coast Association of Geological Societies, v. 36, p. 553-

1988, Lithostratigraphy of the Hawthorn Group
(Miocene) of Florida: Florida Geological Survey Bulletin
59, 148 p.

Shier, D. E., 1969, Vermetid reefs and coastal development in the
Ten Thousand Islands, southwest Florida: Geological Society
of America Bulletin, v. 80, p. 485-508.

Southeastern Geological Society Ad Hoc Committee on Florida
hydrostratigraphio unit definition, 1986, Hydrogeological
units of Florida: Florida Geological Survey Special
Publication 28, 8 p.
White, W. A., 1970, Geomorphology of the Florida peninsula:
Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 51, 164 p.
Winston, G. 0., 1971, Regional structure, stratigraphy, and oil.
possibilities of the South Florida Basin: Gulf'Coast
Association of Geological Societies, v. 21, p. 15-19.

Yon, J. W., Jr., Spencer, S. M., Hoenstine, R. W., and Lane, E.,
1988, Mineral resources of Collier County, Florida: Florida
Geological Survey Map Series 120.



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