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A Fossil Hunter's Guide to the Geology of Panhandle Florida ( FGS: Open File Report 63 )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003731/00001
 Material Information
Title: A Fossil Hunter's Guide to the Geology of Panhandle Florida ( FGS: Open File Report 63 )
Series Title: Open file report
Physical Description: 11 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rupert, Frank
Florida Geological Survey
Publisher: Florida Geological Survey
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Tallahassee
Publication Date: 1994
Copyright Date: 1994
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Fossils -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Paleontology -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 11).
General Note: Cover title.
Statement of Responsibility: by Frank R. Rupert.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: 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: ltqf - AAA5430
notis - ALP8713
alephbibnum - 002295494
oclc - 37040111
issn - 1058-1391 ;
System ID: UF00003731:00001

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title page 1
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
Full Text













STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Virginia Wetherell, Secretary







DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNICAL SERVICES
Nevin G. Smith, Director







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Walter Schmidt, State Geologist and Chief






OPEN FILE REPORT 63






A FOSSIL HUNTER'S GUIDE TO THE GEOLOGY OF PANHANDLE FLORIDA

By

Frank R. Rupert


FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Tallahassee
1994


U, LaJIl i-k.~










SA Fossil Hunter's Guide to the

Geology of Panhandle Florida
Frank R. Rupert, P.G. 149


The Florida panhandle is perhaps the most
geomorphically and stratigraphically unique
portion of Florida. Figure 1 illustrates the more
extensive geomorphic zones comprising the
panhandle. A series of topographic highlands
extend across the northern edge of the
panhandle, and are comprised of two
geomorphic provinces named the Northern
Highlands and the Western Highlands. These
highlands are composed largely of clayey sands
and sandy clays of the Hawthorn Group and the
Miccosukee and Citronelle Formations. In the
panhandle, the Northern Highlands are locally
called the Tallahassee Hills. The Western
Highlands contain the highest land surface
elevations in the state, topping out at 345 feet
above mean sealevel on a hilltop in northern
Walton County. The Tallahassee Hills and
Western Highlands are separated by an
elevationally-lower region named the Marianna
Lowlands, an area underlain by shallow, solution-
hole-pocked limestones. Bordering the southern
edge of the Marianna Lowlands are two
topographically higher sand ridges named the
New Hope Ridge and Grand Ridge. These
ridges include a number of remnant hills, which
may approximate the original elevation of the
Marianna Lowlands.
The highlands of the northern panhandle are
bounded on the south by the Gulf Coastal
Lowlands, a flat, seaward-sloping plain
associated with marine erosion by high-standing
Pleistocene seas. In the eastern panhandle, a
distinct marine escarpment named the Cody
Scarp marks the dividing line between the zones.
Several sandy, ramp-like topographic slopes lie
along the northern edge of the Gulf Coastal
Lowlands. These include the Beacon Slope, the
Fountain Slope, and the Greenhead Slope.
Within the Gulf Coastal Lowlands many of the
geologic units comprising the highlands to the
north have been removed by erosion, leaving
only a relatively thin veneer of undifferentiated
sands resting on the bedrock. The age and
makeup of this shallow bedrock underlying the
Gulf Coastal Lowlands varies considerably from
east to west, but nearly all is carbonate rock.


In the deeper subsurface, the panhandle
retains the thick Eocene and Oligocene
carbonate substructure common to much of the
peninsula, but is characterized by a complex
series of younger geologic units, many with
lithologic components derived from the
continental mainland. Figure 2 illustrates a
geologic map and a shallow west-to-east
geologic cross section through the panhandle.
The geologic map is constructed to show the
extent of the formations as they occur within 20
feet of land surface. Each formation may be
much more extensive in the subsurface, but
because each eventually dips below the arbitrary
20 foot depth or pinches out, their entire extent
is hidden by shallower units shown on the map.
Areas underlain by more than 20 feet of
undifferentiated Pleistocene and Holocene sands
are shown as white areas on the map. These
illustrations should give even the casual reader
a visual perspective on just how complex and
varied the geology of northern Florida actually is.
The cross section trends along the approximate
dividing line between the highlands zones on the
north and the Gulf Coastal Lowlands on the
south. Bear in mind that the local stratigraphy
can and does vary somewhat both north and
south of this section.
In general, the stratigraphic units dip gently to
the west-southwest, into the broad Gulf of
Mexico Sedimentary Basin. This is especially
apparent at the western end of the cross section
in Figure 2. At the eastern edge of the
panhandle, the Cenozoic units lap onto the flank
of the Ocala Platform, a structurally positive
feature centered under Levy County in the Big
Bend Area. As these units lap onto this platform,
they rise to the surface in broad, erosionally-
planed regions, especially obvious in the Gulf
Coastal Lowlands. Both the Suwannee
Limestone and the younger St. Marks Formation
are brought to the surface in the southern
Wakulla-Jefferson County area as they lap up
onto the platform. Further west, limestone of the
Intracoastal Formation rises to the surface along
the eastern edge of Franklin County. Because of
the extent of marine erosion that occurred in the













WESTERN HIGHLANDS


MARIANNA LOWLANDS


TALLAHASSEE HILLS


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Figure 1: Geomorphic map of the Florida panhandle


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- 200






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--100






- -300
-30


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Geologic map modified from:


Campbell, (1993a-d);
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Figure 2: Geologic map and west-east cross section for the panhandle.


MAT1








Gulf Coastal Lowlands, many of the Middle
Miocene and Pliocene units that would normally
overly these carbonate units are largely missing
in the eastern panhandle. In the highlands
extending across the northern edge of the
panhandle, portions of these units remain,
forming the hills characteristic of this region.
The stratigraphy of the panhandle is further
complicated by a series of subsurface structural
features (Figure 3). As they dip off the flank of
the Ocala Platform, the geologic units of the


Figure 3: Subsurface structural features.
(from Schmidt, 1984)


eastern panhandle locally dip generally west-
south-westward into a structural basin named the
Apalachicola Embayment, situated approximately
under the Calhoun-Liberty County area. This
basin-like depression accumulated thousands of
feet of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments. The
Oligocene and older units typically show a
trough-like depression in their structure tops,
corresponding to the axis of this basin.
Just north-northwest of the embayment, in
southern Alabama, is a structurally positive
feature called the Chattahoochee Anticline. Like
the Ocala Platform to the east, this dome-like
feature brings Eocene and Oligocene carbonates
close to the surface in Jackson and portions of
Washington and Holmes Counties. It also tends
to cause all the Eocene and younger sediments
to shoal as they lap over the southern flank of
this feature. West of the Chattahoochee
Anticline, the sediments assume a west-
southwestward dip into the Gulf of Mexico
Sedimentary Basin.
The sediments composing the shallow
formations in the Florida panhandle were
deposited largely in shallow marine or marginal
marine paleoenvironments. Although many,


such as the Chipola Formation, are limestones,
they generally contain significant percentages of
quartz sand and clays, derived from the
continental mainland to the north. Most fossil
collecting sites are located in areas where local
rivers or streams have cut down into fossiliferous
strata. The most abundantly fossiliferous units
are situated in the central panhandle. These
include the Miocene and Pliocene sandy, clayey
shell beds and limestones of the Chipola
Formation, Alum Bluff Group, and Jackson Bluff
Formation. Several of the major panhandle
streams may be seen cutting through shallow
portions of these formations in the cross section
in Figure 2.

A Grand Tour of Panhandle Paleontology
In order to better examine the geology in this
interesting region, let's proceed on a car trip,
heading westward through the panhandle and
discussing some of the fossiling opportunities
along the way. Figure 4 summarizes one
possible route. The trip will commence at the
Aucilla River, on U.S. Highway 98, in southern
Jefferson County. Although fossils have been
found in northern portions of Jefferson and Leon
Counties, they are rare, and from an amateurs
perspective, a southern route offers more
opportunities.
The primary source of fossils in the eastern
panhandle are the placer deposits of Pleistocene
bone fragments trapped in pockets in the
limestone streambeds. These are typically only
accessible through diving. The Aucilla River,
which forms the Jefferson-Taylor County
boundary, is a dark-water stream flowing in a
channel incised in 33 million year old Suwannee
Limestone. Holes in the bottom and bars along
its course have yielded numerous Pleistocene
vertebrate fossils over the years. It alternately
flows underground and reemerges several times
along a line of sinks several miles north of
Highway 98. Locals have worked the stream for
years, so many of the easy finds are gone.
However, careful searching with snorkeling or
SCUBA gear should yield more. Much of the
land along the river is private, and access points
are limited. A canoe is a necessity for transiting
this and most other northern Florida rivers. The
best put-in points are at the bridges over the
Aucilla, particularly at U.S Highway 27 near
Lamont, and at the S.R. 257/14 bridge, 10 miles
north of U.S. 98 on SR 14.
A short distance further west, the spring-fed











CHATTAHOOCHEE


PENSACOLA


PANAMA CITY


MARKS


Figure 4. General panhandle fossil collecting route map.


Wacissa River also flows over a sand and
Suwannee Limestone bottom, ultimately joining
the Aucilla just north of U.S. 98. Entry is at a
small park in Wacissa, near the spring-fed
headwaters (Take S.R. 59 north from U.S. 98 to
Wacissa, then south to the small park and boat
ramp). According to Brown (1988), the best
collecting on the Wacissa is about three miles
downstream, past the old logging dam. Here,
Pleistocene vertebrates may be found in pockets
in the river bottom.
West from the Aucilla River bridge, U.S. 98
traverses the broad, flat Gulf Coastal Lowlands,
locally characterized by shallow limestone
bedrock brought close to the surface over the
western flank of the Ocala Platform. Boulders of
this limestone are observable in places along the
side of the highway. Oligocene mollusk and
echinoid fossils are present in the limestone, but
are hard to locate and remove, being locked up
in the rock matrix.
Near the Jefferson-Wakulla County line, we
cross the contact between the Suwannee
Limestone and the overlying Miocene St. Marks
Formation, stepping forward some 8 million
years in geologic time. Like the Suwannee
Limestone, the St. Marks is brought to the
surface in a broad, flat, limestone plain. You
would never notice the change from the highway.
The seemingly endless pine flatwoods and
swampy bays continue into Wakulla County, all


part of the extensive karst area called the
Woodville Karst Plain. The St. Marks Formation
contains fossil mollusk molds, rare corals, and
foraminifera, but few extractable fossils.
Therefore, as is true to the east, Pleistocene
stream deposits are the main fossils in this
region.
Five miles into Wakulla County, we reach the
St. Marks River. Like the Aucilla, the St. Marks
flows in a limerock channel containing holes and
pockets that trap Pleistocene vertebrate fossils.
These are the characteristically black bone
fragments of animals such as turtles,
glyptodonts, and horses. Just before the U.S. 98
bridge over the St. Marks, a turnoff on the north
side of the road leads into a small Forest Service
campground and boat ramp. This is a good
place to put in a canoe and head upstream. The
St. Marks has also been well worked over by
divers, and one Tallahassee dive shop regularly
takes their SCUBA classes there. It is best to
travel a couple of miles upstream to look for
fossils. During low water conditions, the water is
very clear, and it's possible to snorkel for fossils.
Watch out for motor boats however. Also, avoid
the Indian artifacts, and do have your vertebrate
permit with you...the river is patrolled by both
Marine Patrol and Fish and Game officers. Even
if you don't find anything fantastic, it is a very
beautiful river, flanked by dense forest, teeming
with turtles, birds, otters, and yes, alligators.







From the St. Marks River, we head west again
on U.S. 98, passing the two small restaurants,
Forest Service vehicle yard, and the few houses
comprising the once-bustling town of Newport.
At the western edge of Newport, turn right (north)
on S.R. 267, and head northwest to the small
hamlet of Wakulla. Mansfield (1937) reported
finding numerous Miocene mollusk species in
the St. Marks Formation in the vicinity of Wakulla.
Limestone is not visible at the surface here
today, and Mansfield may have sampled "float"
boulders or rock brought up by excavation work.
Any mollusks will most likely be molds in the
rock and probably not worth the effort to look for
unless you plan to make latex casts of them.
If your schedule permits on our geologic tour,
two interesting side-trips are possible from
Wakulla. At Natural Bridge, the St. Marks River
siphons underground and emerges again 6-
tenths of a mile to the south. The emergence
and the area immediately downstream have been
an excellent place to dive for Pleistocene
vertebrates, but the surrounding land is private
property. If you would like to see some
fossiliferous St. Marks Formation close-up, and
also see some more local history, head south
from Wakulla on S.R. 365 to Ft. San Marcos de
Apalachee, in the town of St. Marks. This
historic fort, or what's left of it, is situated at the
confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers.
The remaining walls of the structure are
constructed of blocks of St. Marks limestone.
Traveling northeast from Wakulla on S.R. 267,
we pass Wakulla Springs on the left. This is an
interesting stop if time permits. Now a state
park, the springs offer a 1930's vintage lodge
and restaurant, swimming area, and glass-
bottom boat tours over the huge Wakulla Spring,
headwaters for the Wakulla River. Numerous
Pleistocene vertebrates have been found in the
spring pool, including the famous mastodon
"Herman", on display at the Museum of Florida
History in Tallahassee. The park is protected,
and you can't collect fossils here now.
Highway 267 continues northwestward, past
Camp Indian Springs, a large spring-fed
sinkhole. This portion of the Woodville Karst
Plain is peppered with sinkholes and water-filled
caverns, some penetrating through the St. Marks
into the deeper Suwannee Limestone. Further
up the road, we begin to pass through low sand
hills and the terrain becomes more rolling.
These gentle sand hills are ancient dunes and
bars, formed by the high-standing Pleistocene


seas which covered this area.
As we pass the flashing light at U.S. 319 and
continue northwestward on 267, we leave the
karst plain and enter a topographically higher
zone of sandy flatlands called the Apalachicola
Coastal Lowlands. The surface change is not
dramatic, but in the subsurface, the first vintages
of the fossiliferous units of the central panhandle
appear. Below the sandy surface sediments lie
the Miocene Hawthorn Group and Pliocene
Jackson Bluff Formation. The Hawthorn Group
sediments, which underlie much of the Northern
Highlands area, extends westward to the
Apalachicola River and southward into this part
of Wakulla County. The Jackson Bluff
Formation, a generally sandy, shelly unit, dips
and thickens to the west-southwest from west-
central Wakulla County; it occurs in stream cuts
through portions of the central panhandle, and
as we will see, offers some good invertebrate
fossil collecting.
S.R. 267 joins S.R. 20 in western Leon County,
near the southern shore of Lake Talquin. Two
Pliocene fossil hunting opportunities lie near this
juncture. Four miles east of the intersection,
Harvey Creek passes under S.R. 20 as it
meanders southeastward out of the National
Forest. In places, the creek cuts down into the
Jackson Bluff Formation, exposing some
mollusk-rich sediments. About a mile and a half
west of the S.R. 267/S.R. 20 intersection is the
only entrance to Jackson Bluff, the type location
for the formation of the same name. Jackson
Bluff is situated on the east bank of the
Ochlockonee River, just below the hydroelectric
dam which forms Lake Talquin. The bluff is on
the electric plant property, currently owned by
the City of Tallahassee. You must turn into the
main plant gate off S.R. 20 just before the bridge
over the river. Entry is kind of a hit or miss
proposition...if the gate is closed you're out of
luck. If it's open, you can follow the road around
to the plant building, and ask permission to
continue on to the bluff from someone in the
electric plant office. The paved road ends at the
dam, and continues on to the bluff as a dirt road.
An old borrow pit, which you must look closely
for, extends to the edge of the bluff and exposes
Pliocene shelly, clayey sands.
From the Ochlockonee River, our geological
journey takes us westward on S.R. 20, along the
southern edge of a region offering some of the
best Miocene and Pliocene invertebrate fossil
collecting in Florida. The gently-rolling hills north







of the highway are dissected by numerous
deeply-incised creek and stream valleys, which
in some areas expose fossiliferous Miocene and
Pliocene units. Gardner (1926-1950), in her
classic work on Alum Bluff Group mollusks, lists
over 50 collecting localities between Leon and
Okaloosa Counties (Figure 5). Most of these are
stream and creek bank sites, and not all are still
accessible to individuals. As with the rest of
Florida, the land is largely private property, and
a boat or canoe is required to access many of
the sites. There are a few, however, accessible
by foot from a roadway; we will discuss these as
we go.
As we cross Liberty County, the land surface
itself belies the increasingly complex geology of
the subsurface. Surface sediments are
predominantly Pleistocene and Recent sands
and clayey sands. These are in turn underlain
by Pliocene Jackson Bluff Formation and by
older, deeper Miocene Hawthorn Group and
Chipola Formation sediments. Miocene fossils
have been found in Telogia Creek, at the
northern edge of the county, but for the most
part the center of the county offers little to the
collector. The western edge of the county is
quite a different story. Here the eastward-
migrating Apalachicola River has carved a series
of steep bluffs, some attaining relief of 150 feet.
These bluffs also mark the western edge of the
Tallahassee Hills.
Florida's most spectacular geologic exposure
occurs along a portion of these bluffs situated
about two miles north of Bristol, at Alum Bluff
(Schmidt, 1985). Here, approximately 120
vertical feet of strata are exposed, representing
some 20 million years of geologic time. It gives
the onlooker a visual sampling of many of the
normally subsurface stratigraphic units
underlying the panhandle. The basal unit in the
exposed bluff is mollusk-rich Miocene Chipola
Formation, which at low to medium water levels
forms a small bench below the bluff. Fossil
mollusks, along with occasional corals, and even
rarer vertebrate fossils may be found while by
walking this bench. The Chipola is overlain in
turn by younger Miocene Alum Bluff
Group/Hawthorn Group sands and clayey sands.
Miocene palm leaf fossils of the species
Sabellites apalachicolensis are found in this unit.
Overlying the Miocene units are Pliocene
Jackson Bluff Formation and Citronelle
Formation sediments. Alum Bluff is owned by
the Nature Conservancy. The land access, from


State Road 12 out of Bristol, is gated and locked.
Entry is by permission only. In the past, the
Conservancy caretaker has allowed individuals in
to hunt fossils. However, they now take a more
wary approach about letting strangers on the
property. It's possible to launch a boat at Bristol
and approach the bluff from the river. While it is
technically State property up to the mean high
water line, keep in mind that the bluff itself is
private property. Also, watch out for barges
rounding the bend in the river..they have been
known to hit the east bank of the river.
Heading west on S.R. 20 from Bristol, we
cross the high bridge over the Apalachicola
River. Much of the west end of the bridge
passes over swampy floodplain. The west bank
of the river is noticeably low and devoid of bluffs,
and represents the ancient, flat-lying floodplain
deposits left behind as the river cut eastward.
An excellent fossil collecting locality lies 5
miles north of the town of Clarksville in Calhoun
County. Turn north off S.R. 20 onto S.R. 73 at
Clarksville and proceed north to the bridge over
Ten Mile Creek. Cross the bridge and turn off
the road to the right. Ten Mile Creek contains
exposures of molluskan-fossiliferous Jackson
Bluff and Chipola Formation sediments, best
observed by walking the streambed. The land
around the creek is private property. Recent
destruction of parts of the stream bank by fossil
hunters has angered the land owner, and of this
writing, a portion of the property has been
fenced off. Because of this, present and future
accessibility is uncertain. It's always wise to
seek out the land owners and ask permission to
enter. Wherever you hunt fossils, please respect
the integrity of the land and use discretion in
your activities there.
Ten Mile Creek joins the Chipola River about
2 miles east of S.R. 73. The area around the
intersection of these streams is the type area for
the Chipola Formation, and this unit is exposed
along the Chipola River at low water stage.
Some fine specimens of Miocene mollusks and
corals are found on the west bank of the Chipola
River, just north of Ten Mile Creek.
Tributary creeks on the east side of the
Chipola River offer other opportunities as well.
Farley Creek, for example, is a well-known
Miocene mollusk collecting area. This region
has been collected extensively by Emily and
Harold Vokes of Tulane University, and the
Chipola sediments have yielded hundreds of
mollusk species. Again, the land is private, so








U. & GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Figure 5: Collecting stations of Gardner (1926-1950).








use discretion.
If you wish to launch a canoe on the Chipola
River, there is a ramp downstream at the S.R. 20
bridge. Further north in Jackson County,
Pleistocene vertebrate fossils may be found in
the limestone bottom of the Chipola River. This
site involves a trip of some 25 miles north from
S.R. 20, and so is discussed below in the return
trip section.
The panhandle area west of the Chipola River
contains many classic invertebrate sites originally
studied by a secession of authors, including
Mansfield, (1930, 1932, and 1935) and Gardner
(1926-1950). These fossiliferous stream and
springhead sites include the Gilbert Farm, south
of Chipley in Washington County, Red Bay,
Cosson Farm, and the Shoal River in Walton
County, and the Yellow River in Okaloosa
County. Some of these sites were the type
localities for older formations that are now
generally lumped into the Alum Bluff Group.
These formations were originally erected based
on the unique molluskan faunal assemblage
present at each locality. I don't emphasize these
sites because they are on private property, and
the current status of accessibility is uncertain.
However, if you are in the area anyway, it might
be worth visiting and asking permission to collect
from the current owners. Figure 6 provides
directions and notes these and other classic
panhandle sites.
Brown (1988) discusses some other, more
publicly-accessible sites in this area. Both
Chipola Formation shells and vertebrates may be
found in Econfina Creek, which flows under S.R.
20 in Bay County, about 20 miles west of
Clarksville. He recommends putting a canoe in
at S.R. 20 and floating south to where S.R. 388
crosses the river, about 4 miles south. The
stream is best explored with mask and fins.
Several of the classic collecting sites occur in
Walton County (see Figure 6), and Brown (1988)
describes one site north of DeFuniak, which I
mention below. By the time you reach Okaloosa
County, fossil collecting sites are dwindling
rapidly westward. The Oak Grove locality,
situated on the Yellow River north of Crestview
(see Figure 6), is the western-most of the
fossiliferous, Alum Bluff Group exposures. A
quick glance at the cross section in Figure 2 tells
why. The fossiliferous Alum Bluff Group
sediments are dipping rapidly southwestward at
this point, leaving only a thick series of sands
and clayey sands at the surface over the


western-most panhandle. Some of these surface
sand units are comprised of the reddish-colored
Citronelle Formation, which caps much of the
Western Highlands. Rare petrified wood is
occasionally found in the Citronelle, but not with
enough frequency to be of interest to the
amateur collector. As such, our westward
journey is complete, and it's time to consider the
return trip. One option is to return the way you
came, perhaps revisiting some of the same sites.
Or you cut north to Interstate 10 on S.R 83 from
S.R. 20, in Walton County. S.R. 83 meets 1-10 at
DeFuniak Springs.
Brown (1988) describes a good Miocene
vertebrate fossil site in this area at Camp Creek,
north of DeFuniak Springs. Take S.R. 83 north
for 8 miles to County Road 183A on the right.
Take 183A 4.5 miles to the bridge over Camp
Creek. Park and wade the streambed for fossils.
You can then retrace the route back to DeFuniak
Springs, and proceed back east on 1-10.
This route winds through the red clayey sand
hills of the Western Highlands. When you reach
central Washington County, you are in the
Marianna Lowlands. Due to the relatively shallow
carbonate rock, karst features become more
common. Falling Waters State Recreation Area,
a few miles south of the Chipley exit, features an
interesting tubular limestone sinkhole, into which
a small water fall cascades. In this area,
Oligocene and Miocene carbonates are near the
surface, as they lap up onto the southern flank of
the Chattahoochee Anticline. The limestone
terrain becomes even more obvious further east,
as you approach Marianna. The dry caves at
Florida Caverns are also worth a visit. These
caves are developed in the Eocene Ocala
Limestone, and are perched high and dry above
the water table. The Marianna area offers the
collector a few opportunities. The exit off 1-10
heads straight north into the town. A couple of
private limerock quarries are situated northwest
of Marianna (see Figure 6). Although the current
status of each is unknown, it might be worth
checking them out. These quarries produced
from the Ocala Limestone, which contain
specimens of the large foraminifera
Lepidocyclina and Asterocyclina, as well as the
rare nautiloid Aturia alabamensis. Remember to
obtain permission before entering any of the
quarries.
I Brown (1988) also suggests looking for
Pleistocene vertebrate fossils in upper reaches of
the Chipola River near Marianna. River access is


















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STOP 53 / STOP 5;

.... R.. ......... ........ FORDVILLE
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Figure 6: Classic panhandle localities (from Puri and Vernon, 1964).








available at a boat ramp south of U.S. 90. Take
U.S. 90 about 2.5 miles east from Marianna, and
turn south on S.R. 71. Travel another 2.5 miles
to Oakdale, and turn west on C.R. 280A.
Proceed about 1.5 miles to a boatramp at the
river. Search the bottom north and south of the
ramp.
At this point, you may return to 1-10 or take
U.S.90 east to Tallahassee. Both routes traverse
the rolling Tallahassee Hills. If you pass through
Chattahoochee on U.S. 90, you have an
opportunity to see the Chattahoochee Formation
exposed in a roadcut along the entrance road to
Jim Woodruff Dam, on the north side of town.
Northern Gadsden County, in the vicinity of
Quincy and Midway, also contains a number of
Fuller's Earth clay mines, which have yielded
both vertebrate and invertebrate fossils.
Unfortunately, most of the mines are inaccessible
to the general public. If your journey home takes
you through Tallahassee, stop and see the
Mastodon exhibit at the Museum of Florida
History, 500 S. Bronough Street, in Tallahassee.
You can also stop in at the Florida Geological
Survey, at the corner of Woodward and
Tennessee Streets, on the F.S.U. campus. We
have a Miocene dugong on display, along with
other Florida minerals and fossils, and you can
pick up some of our publications on the geology
of Florida in the library.

References

Brown, R. 1988, Florida's Fossils, Guide to Location,
Identification and Enjoyment: Sarasota, The
Pineapple Press, 208 pages.
Campbell, K., 1993a, Geologic map of Calhoun
County, Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File
Map Series 20.

1993b, Geologic map of Bay County, Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series 19.

1993c, Geologic map of Holmes County,
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series
24.
S1993d, Geologic map of Washington
County, Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File
Map Series 18.
Gardner, J., 1926-1950, The molluscan fauna of the Alum
Bluff Group of Florida, Parts A-I: U.S. Geological Survey
Professional Paper 142, 709 p., Parts A-D, 1926; Part E,
1928; Part F, 1937; Part G, 1944; Part H, 1947; Part I,
1950.
Mansfield, W., 1930, Miocene gastropods and
scaphopods of the Choctawhatchee Formation of


Florida: Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 3, 189 p.
S1932, Miocene pelecypods of the
Choctawhatchee Formation of Florida: Florida
Geological Survey Bulletin 8, 240 p.
1935, New Miocene Gastropods and
Scaphopods from Alaqua Creek Valley, Florida: Florida
Geologic Survey Bulletin 12, 50 p.

1937, Mollusks of the Tampa and
Suwannee Limestones of Florida, Florida
Geological Survey Bulletin 15, 334 p.
1993, Geologic map of Gulf County, Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series 23.
Puri, H., and Vernon, R., 1964, Summary of the
Geology of Florida and a guidebook to the classic
exposures: Florida Geological Survey Special
Publication No. 5 (revised), 312 p.
Rupert, F., 1993a, Geologic map of Franklin County,
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series
21.

1993b, Geologic map of Jefferson
County, Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File
Map Series 31.

1993c, Geologic map of Liberty County,
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series
26.

1993d, Geologic map of Wakulla County,
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series
30.
Schmidt, W., 1984, Neogene stratigraphy and
geologic history of the Apalachicola Embayment, Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 58, 146 pages.
S1985, Alum Bluff, Liberty County, Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Open File Report 9, 11 p.
Scott, T., 1993a, Geologic map of Escambia County,
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series
14.
S1993b, Geologic map of Gadsden
County, Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File
Map Series 22.

1993c, Geologic map of Jackson County,
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series
25.

1993d, Geologic map of Leon County, Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series 28.

1993e, Geologic map of Okaloosa
County, Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File
Map Series 16.

1993f, Geologic map of Santa Rosa
County, Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File
Map Series 15.

1993g, Geologic map of Walton County,
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Open File Map Series
17.


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