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CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS MAP IMAGE ZOOMABLE
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
MAP SERIES NO. 125
A GUIDE MAP TO
SITES IN FLORIDA
FRANK R. RUPERT
FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Florida is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and a sunny climate second to
none. Its many attributes are due in large part to a unique geological history. Geologic proc-
esses have shaped Florida's miles of sandy beaches, created the numerous freshwater lakes,
springs, and rivers, formed rich industrial mineral deposits, and even positioned Florida
strategically on the earth to receive the healthful climate we enjoy today.
Much of Florida's interesting geologic history lies hidden in the thousands of feet of rock
comprising the subsurface foundation of our state. In some areas of Florida, however, the
forces of nature or excavations by man have exposed shallow-lying rocks, some of which date
back nearly 50 million years. Such exposures provide opportunities to view, and in some
locations to sample, the interesting variety of rocks and fossils comprising our state.
This map is presented as a general guide for visitors and residents who are interested in
the geology of Florida. A variety of geological sites as well as areas where fossils may be ob-
served or collected are pinpointed.
Included in the geologic site category are rock outcrop locations, geologic features such as
sinkholes and caves, and both state parks and museums containing geologically-related fea-
tures, displays, or collections. Also included on the map are a series of specific fossil loca-
tions and more general paleontologic areas where, with a little dedicated searching, some
remnants of Florida's rich and diverse prehistoric life may be found.
The reverse side of the map contains background information on the geology of Florida.
Included are a stratigraphic chart, a general geologic map, and photographs of some typical
Florida fossils. Also included are suggestions for further reading on the geology and paleon-
tology of Florida.
HOW TO USE THIS MAP
Many of Florida's major highways are included on the map to help in locating the various
sites. However, most locations are best found when the guide map is used in conjunction
with a detailed Florida highway map. Such maps are available at most Florida welcome
stations, gas stations, and convenience stores statewide.
Geologically interesting sites are indicated by numbered diamond (#) symbols. Each site
is numerically keyed to the map explanation section. The location and a brief description of
each site is provided. Most are accessible to the public, but some may have collecting restric-
tions, and a few require permission to enter. Several of the locations are enlarged on the
accompanying inset maps.
The paleontological sites are depicted by numbered dots (0), which are also keyed to the
explanation. Many of the fossil locations shown on the map are, by necessity, broad geo-
graphic areas rather than specific sites. Florida is currently experiencing unprecedented
growth and development, with land ownership and accessibility changing frequently. It would
be impractical to attempt to monitor current land status or the attitudes of present property
owners towards fossil hunters. In addition, construction excavations, mining, and dredging
work uncover new fossil sites daily, while on-going development closes others. Accordingly,
the best approach for the amateur collector is to scout an area of interest for current pits,
quarries, mines, new road cuts, channel dredging, or other excavation work which might
expose fossiliferous strata. Check along river and canal banks for fossil-bearing beds or
recent spoil piles. Fossils may also accumulate in depressions on the bottoms of many Flori-
da streams. Ask the local residents about any collecting sites they may know of. Most impor-
tantly, always obtain permission from the landowner or caretaker before entering private
property of any kind. Trespassing is taken seriously in Florida.
Mine and quarry areas are shown on the map by the crossed-pick symbols (it). The
current status of these areas is undetermined. Some may have active mining operations and
others may be abandoned. Since quarries are generally massive excavations, thick sequences
of mineral, and sometimes fossil-bearing strata are uncovered. This offers the collector an
opportunity to find a wide variety of fossils in place or in the mine spoil piles. On occasion,
well-formed calcite crystals may also be found in vugs and cavities in newly exposed lime-
Many lime rock and other mineral companies simply do not allow collecting in their
mines. Entering without permission is trespassing. In doing so, the intruder risks arrest and
prosecution. Those companies that do allow collecting frequently require the signing of
insurance release forms and the wearing of hard hats by all participants. A quick check with
the on-site mine office will usually clarify a particular company's policy.
When fossil or rock hunting in any quarry or open pit mine, caution and common sense
should prevail. Never hunt alone, stay clear of mine machinery, and avoid sheer side walls
which may be unstable.
The remaining map symbols represent other geologically significant features in the state.
Florida's oil fields are depicted by the oil derrick symbols (A). These are referenced to the
explanation by the lower case letters beside each. The numbered triangles (A) show the
locations of the state's highest elevation and two paleontologically significant oil wells.
COLLECTING AND THE LAW
Removing any objects, including rocks and fossils from national, state, and many county
and city parks is prohibited. Park regulations are strictly enforced. If in doubt about the rules
in a particular area, ask a local ranger or other law-enforcement officer.
Florida is one of the few states in the nation to have adopted a law protecting a specific
class of fossils. The Florida legislature enacted the vertebrate fossil statute, Chapter 84-316
F.S., mandating the protection of the state's vertebrate fossil heritage and vertebrate paleon-
tology sites. This law requires a permit from the Florida Museum of Natural History in
Gainesville to collect vertebrate fossils on any state-owned or state-leased lands, or on any
land designated by the state as a vertebrate paleontology site. It applies to both submerged
and dry lands. Designed primarily to prevent the removal of scientifically valuable fossils by
unauthorized collectors, the law is backed by fines and possible imprisonment. However, a
permit to collect at specific sites is easily applied for by conscientious amateurs. For informa-
tion on applying for a permit, write the:
Program of Vertebrate Paleontology
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Fossils such as shark teeth, plant fossils, and invertebrates (mollusks, echinoids, etc.) are
exempt from this statute and may be collected without a permit.
Unusual or complete vertebrate skeleton finds should be reported to the Curator of
Vertebrate Paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History ((904)-392-1721). The
potential scientific value of such a find far outweighs any value to an amateur collector. In
addition, the museum maintains the professional staff and tools necessary to extract the
skeleton from the rock matrix without damaging it.
With all due warnings aside, we hope you will have fun and enjoy your collecting and
sightseeing adventures in our state. We have fossils enough for everyone, and with a little
enthusiasm and good luck, you can discover your own souvenirs from Florida's fascinating
L 7 ------
J'__ ~ FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVE
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1 0 B ySt 2:Falling W aters Stute Park location .. ..p. Gate 5". A FApE T T EL A C H UG 17 2N
N'L G70 CMIDI0in 19 2U h. HIHA
Site 5: Alum Bluff viewed from the river. Site 5: Alum Bluff location map. H ^ B ^ E WUASPIS A ^ '" \t rL ^ 'j' ^I S \ -
SKEY TO NUMBERED SITES Ee "_0'O Beach ...
17 MtLI FLORIDACALAriGnorge T
WATERSVIL Sr J UNDAIONABEAC
110 F R A N K L IN 2 7 o 2 9
Site M 2K F l Wite 4t Foi Parn State fosil Se pits oaE t e Sr 9
T 17. Devil's Milhopper State Geological Site, off S.R. 38. Miami and vicinity, Dade County. Numerous a e ll Bea ha ouedabud 441
S. Bay Bluffs Park, 4.2 miles south of 1-10 (exit 6) 232. five miles NW of Gainesville, Alachua County quarry pits west of Miam. expose the generally vertebrate and invertebrate fossils ..ngls 51I De L J and 4
on U.S. 90, in eastern Pensacola, Escambia County. (see inset map). A large. 120 foot deep sinkhole unfossiliferous, oolitic beds of the Miami Limestone. ^ ~~ ^ .L *s ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Teeparok is stuedted on a bluf which exposes 40to exposessMiocene tobRecent agebse imerusa Visitdors The Silver Bluff shorreline,twhich represents a Pleis 57.ItCentralFl~orida Phosphat District, centenrsed ystal\S? \ 4'1^\^ \_ J ^ V O Un i *'r'A \ .\ ^ ^ l l
similar to the Citronelle Formation Free. stairway. Interpretive information at the site. visible along South Bayshore Drive between Mercy map). Several companies operate phosphate mines 0 MILE 1 os /f"^ 0G Y River \ \95 */ V \^^ ^ ^ I ^
SEAdmission fee (904)on336-2008. Hospital and Coral Gables. A good exposure of in the four county area. Spoil piles from the drag- GAINESVILLE
Chipe offaS.R.7s7. an Wahn n Cun .s era 18. Florida Museum of Natural History, Museum Mighway brid e alste CocralGabe rCanal gr Cora] mnliocene vrterate fossins.bPermistsionis re 0 1K MUSEUM OF /\\ \ | ~^ -' --A C ._ ^ \\~ ^ ^ ^ ^ B
small stream falls into a deep, 20 foot-wide tubular Road, University of Florida campus, Gainesville Gables (see inset map), quired to enter and collect on company properties. 26 NATURAL J A \ii R S l \ -i -" i/'I I- ^ Vi ^ ^ ^ ^
sink, which exposes Chattahoochee Formation and (see inset map). The State Museum conducts much ^ T'" HISTORY ^ \ \\\ ^s 1I' \ \ > Site 22: Castillo de Sa
Suwannee Limestone. A nature trail loops past of the current paleontological and anthropological 39. Everglades National Park, S.R. 9336, south of 58. Melbourne, U.S. 1, Brevard County. Pleistocene .'ggS -^ ~ 7; f\1 I f \ s ^35) C f/ \\\ j W tine, a 17th century spa
other .sinks and caves in the vicinity. Entrance fee. work in Florida. On display are many interesting Homestead, Dade and Monroe Counties. Floored vertebrate fossils have been found in canal banks ^" MUSEUM nDo A -1 / I ~^. k~k >-;"1!^'t -l 2 blocks of Anastasia For
__ Ill, DEVIL' "6 GAI $ES CL A erL--
(904)f638-4030 Florida fossils and a reconstruction of a Florida by near surface Pleistocene Miami Limestone, the and dredge piles in the area. Ap a
3. St. Joseph Peninsula (T.H. Stone Memorial State bMe llope r F tae Geolo lartes owo te wnderly i to sd 59. Vero Beach, U.S. 1, Indian River County. A rich Cut N a ... Apoll B hpka hv p a
Park). 12 miles SW of Port St. Joe on S.R. 30E, off 19. Paynes Prairie State Preserve, U.S. 441, Mica- Information is available at the visitor center near the assemblage of Pleistocene fossil mammals and early n 52 books S N DO
U.S. 98, Gulf County. This unique north-south nopy, Alachua County. Paynes Prairie was once the Park entrance. Admission fee. (305) 247-6211. human remains were found in canal banks in the unfossiciferou, ohtiO b t M Loh i- stae on a bluf whc eps 40 o e M e c a d s iTr u e c e t\
trendng sanr st feat uresl high dcon ss-be ed, whe b.n. forw A huay It e a which rav adnf i. 4t. arae. Lao an d the Uppere Dride Ket S. 1r I permission from local landowners required to M ILNE n A t l IB. A eE Cape Canaveral 2 X -^ /
low intervening swales. The Park occupies the small steamers which had run regular routes across Monroe County. The upper Keys, north of Big Pine -^ /- e_/ Li| Expressway^^^^ ^ """"^ 1 \\( |
northern tip of the spit, and except for the camping the lake. Since then, it has filled with water only Key, are comprised of Key Largo Limestone, a dead 60. Peace River, north and south of Arcadia, U.S. 17, t .... pt in th Ma Li ie th of B,
areas, has been left undeveloped- Entrance fee intermittently, usually after periods of heavy rain. A Pleistocene coral reef. Well preserved coral heads DeSoto County. Vertebrate fossils and Pleistocene ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ B //I_ \ r\l)
itsc Admission fee r (904) 436-37 Hoarsio al and Wiraluarrie Gabs boom bexp ... cn t in t he om.r iler the ag- """B"-' GA INESVILLE f I "-o
1 Falorina Waverns State Park, fh..... i 20.MMinmtee..p. ....tttensix miles west of Jhwin m oepkdaea al .fo eate a aitlto 61. The Newburn Shell Pit, (formerly the MacAs- 5 0 t F I I -
extensive underground limestone cavern system. Chiefland on S.R. 320, Levy County. This park is 102.5, U.S. 1). Admission fee to park and boat rides. phalt Pit), is a commercial PliosPleistocene shell pit 4 l I M O v, I I 'I
Guided tohic ovexp Catth ooee-ure ie F on lgt ed ...i...u..te d onse tma)The S twatne Ri........ fed u ret a (305).51-120 w'ic is Ien forcSitci22:o Sastillo defeeSa
M IL EiIe a 1 7 thXI Ec e n t u ry s pa1
path, and visitors can view caves and other solution large freshwater spring, and outcrops of Ocala charged Take 1-75 exit 39 (S R. 780) west 1.6 miles, Counties. F d e f h b f i bak \ M l58ltl foni
features developed in limestone of the Ocala Group Group limestone. Admission fee. (904) 493-4288. 41. Lower Keys, Big Pine Key to Key West, Monroe then right on Richardson Way, go 0.2 miles and RI^^^^ ^f^^^^^^^^^ ^l\ ^\\^ .-" l t \Melouhnrne ^^^^
SuwMarannee Limestone. Fe chat rge d (904) loops Countheyret aenoogclad nhoolgc3 TEv oergla e ys NtoaPark, comR.33,sed t of M8.melbur ne r U.S. ont BR evardso Road t. Pr esocened 0 , 3_ mi5"blcsofAasaiaer
5. Alum Bluff, 2 miles north of Bristol off S.R. 12, Features local vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, as Largo Limestone Miams i Limestone contact was 53 v
Liberty CountyThis 130 foot high bluff, situated on well as typical Florida rocks. Admission fee. (904) once exposed at Big Pine Key, but is now covered. 62. Warm Mineral Springs, one mile north of U.S. 1
the east bank of the Apalachicola River, has one of 396-7061. .. i m 41 and two miles east of the Myakka River, Sarasota A central Florida limestone quarry. The limestone Clearwater Bartow
the best natural geologic exposures in Florida. PALEONTOLOGIC SITES County, is a large water filled sinkhole over 200 feet and dolomite units mined in central and northern U < < (\ .1--N ~~ --- '\, \ ^ B
Fossiliferous beds of the Alum Blu.ff 1Group, Haw- 22t.t Augustine. U.S. 1, Flagler County.S. St. MAugus- de ep. Research divers have recovered Paleoindian Ylorda include Pe Avon Park Formation, theOcala r oksMull Oerry\\
thorn Group, and Jackson Bluff Formation, as well toe is the site of Castillo de San Marcosi a 17th 42. Marianna, Jackson County. Limerock quarries remains and extinct mammal bones dating back over G anreo s l dand eni Se s 17 a e e 4 \
a itronelle Foratihon and Pleistocene terra century Spanis fort construct of Anastasia ithe vicinity of Marnina have yield dareo f 1 rs fom weh ddrep aof h e r i The cement, and soil fertilizerfand conditioner. S S T me 555 \ e
cal sequence is b est observed from the river. For nearby Analstasia Isnland (S.R. A A east) mark the fera. eand collecting is not permitted. Site37:
norent on f and sptec, info rn, writ e e original Spanish quarry sites. Admission fee to fort. 43lyChey, a c Riserd of-Key L r e oe, 4 m e ad 63. Venice norh Sar sota Co U .S. Me Le ne 95E\ at Blowity
32321. 23. Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, 5 of Clarksville off S.R. 73, Calhoun County. Miocene vertebrate fossils, particularly small shark teeth, are .i56 ----- -- -A----- ----- --- ------- ---^I \ _T VroB
miles northeast of Keystone Heights on S.R. 21, age mollusks are exposed tong outcrops of the Chipola found on the Gulf beaches in the area. 2 h 6 f Pe o59e
G E L G ItIT S1. ADevi's illon f tae e ologial Sie,4of-3397.8.Margo and vWindley K aey lasCounty.Nm eroutti stofossl. Shllpis o te astrnshreof(heba 53 D V"
6. oreyla State Park, 13 miles north of Bristol of ..a. .t. f em ep ravineecuts through PAl eio- Formatiew a est of d n pin Re e t oofs6ho r de C oro a ar A t ch ha ve pr o du e "audand
io naS on Sstern placsoin o nbluaf, ca ongtharivun 24. Ravine Spig St Pak, sx m w t on t ora f State Par aile s 6. T is 10 he N nlaele Counnckhol Fom 1o gC- s t r oi b- -of tih Ma"imone.te te lbrea dsin rebrateo il
tbank, a u ndegond of the Weeping Ridge m iking Loated on Twigg Street, 1/2 mile south of S.R. 20, grounds. pris10.,U ) Longboat Keyfe t \r ad bP b 17 I e w ca Pn s l pi
trail. Entrance fee, (904) 643-2674. the gardens feature a trail along 50-foot deep ra- 44. Jackson Bluff, S.R. 20 and the Ochlockonee hh s o n fr c n o1 S A2 f '
fn Cheature deveope d gr sl ls o c felaeien ts oupy Tu des cutoteto mwnea A mission f ee. n4 4 8 4. LoerKe y, ecuisn ts 8 eeC a a C Eclet i e S ARA 1 1 _o_ Jcaco W y g 0 miap 1tn Mai)iesoei
and Marannaho iesoneeUS. Fee chargd 90)82 County. The l943846.hd oel eri Keys H awhre Gromprimsoed ofMais Rcurerihont o Ricarine shlcoletng Ra.Poeseil d 0.3 mlotie. ^* ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ S!9T T "| -- -- J -" |. \ \ >. V*-\\'L_
smLower Miocene-age Chattahoocheea i Formation exposed in the river at low water and molluscan Toll bridge to island Piteste ot en I 6, I .,iI 4
l i m s t n e i s x p s e i n a u t a l o g h e e n t a n e 5 a s i n t o O a s t a e P r k 2 m i l saou h.o s e lebe sefr aeJ a c s ooBu f f F onaioecr p u tph oprt eti nen arho s p h( S tea7 )tM n inmi n e s 6 F i\g a l' ^ '
Lrieto otye im s o o truif g b, De on te cas btya l onS a S tr. AF i sir on feke. i4 otn e ep on t h e Ke y mt a nk o o hvere 66. Alligator Alley (S.R. 84) and the proposed -75 aar thecenn str the 1880', aMne cn- o m n o U
the Apalachicola River. A similar cut is visible on The Rocks", an extensive exposure of Anastasia property is owned by the City of Tallahassee and Connector, Collier and Broward Counties. Road- tinues today. The phosphate ore occurs in the -- Arcadia
the access road to the old Victory Bridge south of Formation coquina along the shore. Admission fee. permission from the city is required to enter. (904) side ditches and canal spoil piles contain abundant Mocn fg tHawthorn Grnotup sdimaednts,tanld uses S\ iAR ASO'n TA I J l ED SOTiO I WV\ \ 'e l'
U .S.90. (904)445-3161. 925-6230 0ssil wlu corals, a d onc hioi E a ua in ou nd d rgents, 6 3d 6 2 ol J I\
8. Fullers earth mines, o uincy Gadsden County. 26. Salt Springs Recreation Area, Ocala National 45. Aucilla Rpal ver, south of U.S. 98, Jefferson and similar fossil beds. South of Alligator Alley, on S.R. MIE VeniC 5
Fuller's earth clay (Palygorskite) belonging to the Forest, S.R. 19, Marion County. At this public Taylor Counti I ndian artifacts and Pleistocene 29, pits and ditches yield Pliocene and Pleistocene i i A 4 __ ake
earthed in these mines, but are generally rare. yielded Ocala Group (Eocene) echinoids and mol- rock typically contains Pliocene oysters, pectens, t t
0 n u d9.uEvre27. Silver Springs, two miles east of Ocala on S.R. lusks. Obtain permission before entering quarries, barnaclesho and echinoids TctPA m am abou PLANT CITYn ton P t WINTER g64g,
tio en sFor 3eost,8 gil es sot oTalachclase oNUS 40mallesriorng releasenro~re than 50t0he mio gal 47. Steinhatchee River, adjacent to U.S. 27, Dixie FLORIDA'S OIL FIELDS A HAf-^4 ____ ts \- M c.1 -'\V '-__ 'C i 801 W---S PAW E
319th Leon Countydc M io c en e through Recent sedie lons of w after a day into the Silver River. Glass and Taylor Counties. Outcrops of Ocala Group .fod10,00 y fare theine dph of the spin Do c o si \ tl fr La Bcolledi in ir
ments are exposed in tsee al f iled sinsh btom boats proi glimpses of thespri n ventsain eimestois alg the l er yiek Eocene m ollusks arnefo d 68. Northwest Fop rida Fies o p lugged anda w aba sa ,s MUET RY B R F R Ss o, C sa2a 1t 3
interpretive exhibit are planned by the Forest Serv- aquatic life. S ilver Springs is a privately-owned the stream bottom doneand r lled s o pi e i tted a ea MYE/ k PA.M B C
(9k4)2323. 6-2ke 121 GoldtHeadJB hnState0Park,5..... .... of Clarksval de offBe.R Calh, t oun Ce county. Mi Jackso- it re fosils, p ti clr ly sm a s hav rk te eth fu \ t V r By l t 59 Vr B c U 1, I i Iv n A r 9
N10. Waeuli Springs Edward Ball State Park, S.R. 43. ChipolaRive r B a nd Ten-Mie S.R. A1, meS J s northC63.outy enie, USof e7dt 74Sropa OY ,TTE3 O M AN D\ LEE 69 Mocen I \
61 and S.R. 267, WakultT ia C county. Wakulla Spring 28. Fred Dana Marsh Museum, Tomoka State Park, da.f shark teeth, and on occasion, other vertebrate eation is from the Jurassic Smackover Formation and Bay l HENDRY
flows out o a l ea t inh t Suwanns Limesd te S.R. A1A, 3tmiles rth of K onH id Bah, oR lu. fageossks as reup a ne Ad ses a e ile long 2s7 of No-l6et Sandstone at depths ranging from 14,200 i 301t Ns r 5T R 65v L \ 27
quartz1sand dunes and be a ct hriger s pth ulated by Situated on in the state 1800's strantdingdis hon duem b Pan a along the himiuhoT l t om 1 1chee al River, nea r eaudG l and L-t ^ Site 17. J an 18.
Numerous Pleistocene vertebrate remains have bee features a geological cross-section of Florida and a dersgofe eForiS.R. A1A a Sanibel Isand
isexorth seernaip lacsf i the sptan ufcetfao ngthe rier24.Rainegat ades MltoPnamCutyrxosedaoungtyTheis ppertio snofrthe hioflaigRinerLmtdacs saalbea h L Lepci a i : '! "" : j(i;
b found in the Spring cave and pool. Collecting is not display on the succession of dunes and lagoons a. Bluff Springs Field L a K 75 L 7 I
permitted Glass bottom boats tour the crystal f eecea r Entrance fee to park.(904) 677-9463. 49. Newraern -Haile area, n 26 an S.R. 25 b. Jowa rt Field -u sc -t fosi b_ foun _nd. BOWLN --- N -S l .. OS 17
h a r ge. Amison fe so a nd boc 29. Mus eum of Arts and Sciences, 1040 Museum towns have yielded Pliocene and Pleistocene verte- d. Bes lan.ckjack Creek Field l BRO AR
rides. (904) 640-7263. rv d. Gaato fe inate rp County. i at he 9sanrole cr fvsile fm i crevice nra sinkhole fi e in he e. sI water Creek Field* o iTHE oENTRA L FL O I k cRT \n D 0 k a
remaer M cfe-g Chn hnce Formatio exposed gian groun slt n cl rou iverst lowe waermiso foand molsand Tol bridg eti lan Fed. Nti A $-tU ~ u r ~ t Ublf ~ 12 4 i f l' l \ < ^ A
4 Museum of Florida History, 500 S. Bronough St., other local fossils. Admission fee. (904) 255-0285a mine owners required to collect g. Sweetwater Creek Field** x PHOSPHATE MINE SITE tn. o 8
Tallahassee, FL (osee inset m ap). Features relics and .Sing s State Park, 2 riNaples 3 3ils w-t7ofvehe moe o te Jn Bl Connector -ef f e par t- r
Gdis aytos depi ctihng r aorid ast milnclu i n fndi 30. Gillespieand Museum of M u n t1rals, fetson t5 5t S. Ocala A don fee tarank o 3aride s Ahlli 1 S 8 and ithe p S u-7 b The cenatraln C n districtW s h e al te 6o l St ploi a OPil F i propose l
ai t athe Apalachicol a kulver.Asmla r catdon viseleton the Rtca p s u, wan ne ext s ivea ado features a (30)orth of O y theular y alon has see and w cecits op Collierlfo ds ro war d Cotuig on tiesR- tde tdas Floeeda phosphate o re ct, in the Polk Cornty o o ,s
Pleistocene elephant-like animal) which was found large collection of mineral specimens. Free admis- C.R. 25A, numerous quarries expose the fosslfer- land Trend-of South Florida. Ten fields are cus for its numerous vertebrate t osss. Both a e and terrestrial fossils are abundant in COLLIER t
in Wakulla Springs. Free admission sion. (904) 734-4121. ous limestone of the Ocala Group. Several are rently producing, one is temporarily shut-in (S.I.) the phos ate mine spl piles Common fnds include fsh vertebrae, duo ribs turtle
(904)a488-1484. 1 RcSpiet Kel, Parkh ig c) pt cimreentl ac we r yt most are abandoned a i so Pnd hr e ontearp edsonRod r onedf 0PiA) shell plates, and horse, camel, and mastodon teeth. Most of the mines are on private on a d P e -
3632 -ui1. JacksonvilapuMs Fesing, wlled sprig p l a c oundy epriesx 6.imes wter filled Obt an Bn andoresur- to dcion Ro m andit urni, U l green t hr.e ioeand >n a
12. Florida Geological Survey, corner of Woodward miles north of Apopka on C.R. 435, Orange County permission to enter Cretaceous Sunniland Formation, at depths between 10la m iete o e te la neeFarnteo F o n u T m 67o I (
and Tennessee Streets, Tallahassee (see inset map). Rock Springs f row out of the base of a 20 foot high 11,300 and 12,700 feet. CO c Lr L- a s 36Ti mc Ct t a T A
Asitye stanty. ns 1ary0 geological esearch a d dt a cliff of Hawthorn Group dolomite. Free admission. 51. Inglce and oicinigty, U 19, Lei P C n Ocala c BK BMu4t F i8s (1 3) 428 3-431. r-- MA
collestin atu lg escthed S u t hingetrails ad s ateid the Ocala Gs quarrwod at milel ea arundan oe.hinoids e Sr raa centrF i es t one 0 quarry.T hox lime st fon 33873 (8i3e 375t4321 oneH sht-n and one pg and a n
w el l log data base, core and well sample repository, 32. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 East Inglis. Dolomite of the Avon Park Formation is i.WestFelda p. Bear Island Estecht Inc P Box 208 Barow FL 33830 13) 375-4321
mirFossil coletons be ds ofih lu Bluf Group Hawa 22.wler AugsieU(S.R 582, Tla mpa, C ilsouny.St ughs deep nth o eC mpn i t ag Res -elarc dier ha e ppcoere Hammockia Floridainclue the Av0on Park Formtin theae Omla381(1)2582 ^ ^ ^ ^ H ,-".\ 1 D ~ ~ ^"^ "
to u p ,oida rJck oanBdn in Fra tisopns aVdla Cune y. ibits incls Iida Marcos a h sr t s o S 90mCtrus aouty). Spoie2M r.ana Jackelda r. Bxteer Islammn G ordnreroup P a Bod 9t7e oartnMe o, FLt3381P (813) 85- 812 M ON Rn r 3
Mi ocene dugong (sea cow) skeleton are on display collections. Admission fee (813) 9855831 piles from construction of the barge canal, now I.Townsend Canal s. aSeminole r** Mobil CeIes Co k P ALx 31 i o (8 3 1 425-3011 D
in th l obb.ublications on FloriSduaGeoog are M e oe I olargel oerrown, hav yiele Oca Grou and m.LCaoksre w traod Rcrcol~on d Poin Seminol hfrtilz, toe P..Bx 471 Ba~rtow F 380 83 533.2717 Site 69: South Florida drilling oil well. y ;-_"- *..
deposits -9380 southexe i. 48. thi bluberc Veo r de l e actn i a fh ee I h f J k 0,0 0 n yearsfro the dep thsnd fhae priduc ed coildiioer S 55
Polk County. This small museum features displays = S.I. ** = P/A l water spa,
1ca lsueanne diwr St a te Pa rk U S .R vill enastasi a Island m ining a nd collio n S.R. AIA, St.itohns County. Abun- 8 percent of- Fl"orid s total oilp.duTERon. Pro a p a
wann SRier, Heamilt County. Wkulan 2 Frem 2 s ate uaur, tante sarok t reth, of i expose .oss I eert OTHER FEATURES A ti d .... .... -Homestead / )
coflows nce of a thre vetinthlcohe Su annd Lmsuwanne S.Re. (813) 42-83 mlsnrho mod eaVluifossis wash upcaloga sevropalnd l O long te t Suwople andston at depths r a-l nging fro 1420 V R LDSNTO A L _
Rivers, this park features exposures of Oligocene Limestone. Obtain S iua itesA is permission to enter 70. Highest Point in Florida, 345 above mean sea
age anunee Limestone a gte rive ban u r a Covlogica crt ossfs ctioSo FloridaMseumndBitpt anu ad3. Cl w er ivrs Be.. A c l And H m y Te-Ml GE LOn SYMBOL ISand PA--e 3
32321 onfe. Phn290)322763.. Mik ansGod 10 HSteetWd Bradnch n Manate e Park 5deCarksviler off each7, Calhou ndHnyoo atn County. Moeevrba te o wnshipa 6,Rne2Wretot-----------f ~ I m 0 (C LUO l'O i D LO----------- ^,";*.~","icual sml shark teeth ar 56 <>
ileCounty. This museum features excellent shell and Islands. Chert nodules and agatized coral are 30.u o t I 'G ece i t ar
14. Suwannee River, Hamilton County. Outcrops of fossil collections. Admission fee. (813) 746-7827. sometimes pumped onshore during dredging opera- STATE STONE Agaized CoraL The 1979 Florida legislature, in Statute 15.0336, officially designated agatized coral as the State Stone
blffoermitd lo s okig themApaacstu hi rstlcl i e ar.EtrTh feto9p04) 474)677-461.49.r e wek's y-onf luen .A o a ter, S.R. 26 and S.R. 23, b.R.78 and y Fi8, e nd ryH CECounFty.A P OSP ATeDI TRIT-. .. ...9 1, i
Hawthorn Group sediments and Suwannee Lime- t ion in this area. 71. Florida's Oldest Fossil, an Early Ordovician age It is described in the official statute as "a chalcedony pseudomorph after coral, appearing as limestone geodes lined with botryoidal agate or I- '
stone are exposed along the river from the Highway 35. The Conservancy Nature Center, 1450 Merrihue Trilobite, Colpocoryphe exu. taken in a core qua crystals and d sy quartz fingers, indigenous to Florida." Agatized coral formed from ancient corals which died and became buried
6 bride southwestwardto Ellaville Best observed at Drive, Naples, Collier County. Displays feature a 54. Fossil Park, 9th Avenue north and 71st Street, sample from 4,628 feet deep in the Hunt Oil under layers of sediment. Silica-rich eO und water, percolating through the buried fossil corals, dissolved the calcite comprising the coral
l ow wa ter from a boat or canoe M i ocene-Pliocene fossil mollusk collection and St. Petersburg, Pinellas County. Pleistocene shell Company, No. 2, Gibson Well, Township IS, Range skeleton and replaced it with silica(S The silica, or agate, formed various colors and crystal shapes, depending on the other ele-
trail.E tanefe. (90) 4 )0-7 326 74. tBlgad ensD ayton re achal aglrCoung5 oty. dF e p a ...4t. b atekfonsiluff 4......i ..d sinh oe fllo k n teee.CoLongbrekoat* Key, 17L R O A
vertebrate fossil remains. Admission fee. (813)262- beds are exposed in a pond and in the walls of a 10E section 6, Madison County men present in the ground water. It uently formed as an agate i g hollow coral godes (see poured specimen on reverse side of Famno
15. Ichetucknee Springs S tate Park, S.R. 238, four 0304. drainage anal. H location is a city park and vertebrate Fossil portion of a ma o Flo i coral g Tampa Bay variety, is from the Miocene age (20 million years old) Hawthorn Group Key Largo
miles northwest of Ft. White, Columbia County collecting p a lp a sediments. Once abun nt at Ballast Point Tampa, it is sometimes dredged up the Tampa Bay and Cleawater areas. Specimens also
Tubing and canoeing the clear, shallow Ichetucknee 36. Marco Island, State Road 92, Collier County. A Cretaceous (70 to 135 million years old) aquatic erode out of Hawthorn Group sediments in the banks of the Alapaha, Withacoochee, and Suwannee Rivers. An Oligocene age (30 million 40 t
River provides views of numerous exposures of fos- spectacular elliptical dune over 25 feet high encircles 55. Ballast Point, Bayshore Blvd., and Hillsborough turtle skeleton, recovered from a core sample taken years old)varietyis found in quarries mining the Suwannee Limestone northoofTampa Florida
atoif ts o oan rup Dam on the consk e ari(elty d onays, e la, t ouaer County,hfeaturesannothe oblf onaa, tillh es y a his won ce U1 and A ser of 1 0 fiel re s at edhosphate dnt rite5 ia the ok C y p i t
e Pleis toc ene vertetiee anima wscourt e c ollec owhtio n of mn a tsns F hde ciassc c.. 2sit for Miose e the fo r- a r ernati onf So. Flowerida. T en e36s, ga e SIATE GEM! Moonstone. Although not found in Florida, the mineral moonstone was designated as Florida's State Gem in honor of the Bay C nd Lly KEyR
fossils but collecting is now prohibited within the dune, which has the highest elevations south of Lake geodes, the state stone of Florida. Today, private 34E section 5, Okeechobee County. Apolly 11 astronauts. The official designation was made by the legislature on May 20,1970, ten months after Apollo ll departed from the
Park Admission fee (904) 497 Ami ssi2511 n Okeechobeen property limits access and the area has been picked moon. Moonstone is described in Florda Statute 15.034 as "a transparent or translucent feldspar of peary or opaline luster." It occurs as
the. acces ratt iover bty collectors MINES AND QUARRIES a a glaanond .shl variety of .. orthoclnse(sSiO or plagioclase(NaAehSi30s) feldspar. The best quality moonstone is found in Sri Lanka, Madagas-. .
16.OLeno State Park, U.S. 441. 12 miles north of 37. Blowing Rocks Preserve, three miles north of o car, and relyin the western states, pa)icularily New Mexico.
.High Springs, in Columbia County. Located on the Jupiter i nle t Colony, S.R. A1A, Martin County. 56. Tampa Bay and vicinity Hillsborough and Pel- The crossed pick symbols depict areas of past or NOl IAi TAT FOSS Th ne H Urchin mm s nilla Florida does not have an ocial State Fossil The
F ad s Tea rtsca Ta ll .s e I m hf S s oh i ot hgh 11,3enongrnito0tho0sim narfos i uthdfAlligantorAlleyetonrat_ on DEPTMEN
Asth state' his prim ary haso nag ural exosresearch ad duinF of H 9h arn Gr ou nlte. Fyr eAtmition s 5publi lranCou nties. ng ian a ie c o u nty. Onaue AgriPe, P.a. Bc 1110, Mulerryand ditc hesyield (Pl3) 41e-1n P. s
collethorn aGro pismnyt e dS rey min pt otha fQ ic.s imins ae stawaersewidelwsou G v rt u iebr te o nesis quave rienfud months e ra p itsvear m l hsk. LMg ak o uniadC n UStrEsPO.B x1M9 auhl,41 38 1)35-3
wes ,elo hrdr n uobaye e yes s a and are it thesout west ern pt e r eposiof y 32.M used um of Science r n d Ionate. ,The 1w aterib o lom iteo the Aheaon uPariks" Formafion modem tW FpilEsc seas (see p o s on rartew A 0 ( 37S-4321. o .-
iou Forda oc ad int Georga.l Silici fiensa dahCounty.aExhibitsrunintoL ake Fl or geidaosladmisineral.ca ayo,jU .S.t27ast dfU S.R 1 ,9 Lafaytrus County) Sp il7 S noco-Fealda.S .4,baxtweenSr.lsl and M op, ..B x875 arw 33,(1)5312.',
w h ic h s t r n d s a a bn dor t e da istwa r d wur y d i -s o a i a l r m B c a o t o S A g s n o e s n w f s i ed s t C c r d e sofl ptle s M o n r o e n S t a t io n fo s slfm i es i s u n e e m i e O t anldedi pi t l v e u i d n t e o tmTe i etaomh s a l w s e s w i c o e edir d a 3 iLnAa sKg .EL A Ns lDe e s rT'\- l n S r -~
e r h din n t hesey Pm l caiones, u oe gneFl rial G eloyr are.l r ey o er r w ,h v yielded O cala Gro p (E c n )rci o up and mmo ks r w t.R c oolo ntS m n le Atii e n P.AUBURNBDrwAL,3E0,( 1 ) 3 -17 .S t 6 : S ut Hri adili g oi el A- "R L- "'. " i
sion fee. (904) 454-1853. ot ne. Fr ee. n ewly filled areas, and any excavations in general for permission to enter. At M s s is commonly found in limestones of the wer Ocala Group and Avon Park Formations.
13.LonSuwankseeoloi calerSa ePar, U.Sp 90a ndchicoaon-40 dragionepoun hty.Slermining and tfo ssoi ateou d i 2.B oksil, .. 8 erad C ut.Aie-" ,37.,","
St . ..o r ies t H amil t o nCo u ntSthufT l a t edas s t hethn. ...b ymal e p in . OenlTease d ayre tha n 5 0r i lonugh S t ral- .7 .s to ine q a r i .tche o fiv r, o kvad ja cp oen tfoU S.s2 ix ie r -O H R F A U E I .- HAV E Ne s e a
31,Lonf Coue n ty.eMoft e neithla ro ugh Ree nte a lns ownn ef w trad yit h ivrRvr.e.Glass)and-823lourEoe n te s.Ouala rou p sand O claGron S uwanneLO R IDAEVE GLADE FNELD S-
bottom boats provide glimpses of thesp Thig public docum
ageSuware nexoedLinestoneralongathe r-iledbanks. 34.mSestoFnridaloneumand BihoprPanetarumEolvelelcatedonkashlltopsouthNfrLakwood, 'Flrida.Field.,s: V.,,,,. -R
thevOralatGioupalkmestoneeasewelluaesabundantoceneL imesto and e rtebrtai ermissilsmanetudonete70F i ghesativeoineht-inFlrd, 35and on e p mged and seaban- ...... UM
Vehiceaess ion fesre.dhoe 9b)3u-t4.h.Si4kadngt SretW.aBadntnMaaten3.CI...nerBech-Cldei ndHoey... alonCont, ...hMU6,LaneE0WRsctonFLRIA' GOLGIFSMBLS.
ine p eiee hbiCroln e yth o e tS r-a ua tyic Thif ue. umil er p ig sapiatre ex el y-onts ellad tIestramds botet no dules Ind agat.ed coral ar) 3
i c e SF r nee. R v r a m l o o u t O t c o s ot o u r s ti l a t t rl c t i o n s a n d a d m i s s i o n f ee. ( 8 1 3 ) 7 4 6 -7 8 2 s m e ilsp u p enns o rddr n g d r d i n o e a -S T a rT Oe= A a t s io rLth e 1 79a tr d a L e i l a u rin S t t u e 1 5 0 3 o fi i a l d s i n t e a aa nddo r l a s thSt aent net a" M' ""YE Rr - -
106Wub aSringesouh Estward toElavleBetosrdatDiNpeClllieSContyeDiplaskfatue a54.Fosil PBaconSrk I, 9 th.AeneJorhan d7s t tet Cou rm462 etdepi h unty.Oilun.nderilayeso sdmnt iic-ih rud ae, eclaigthog teb39df lHOsMdsoleEhLAlitNo prsD tecra : .. . 'x
61 w and eS r. from a kulb o unt y.r c anoe MSprinne-Ploed D naeMar sh M silum olus k acolle teionarkdSt.s arPtethrb r ,Pindeol ocasiCou n t herPl eis to e ebratel8l.Comperc ntyf N o rida's n elT wn h p S R ntotleoaalre l ce t i hoiii(Ol T e siiao aa ef rm d in v ri u cl rs a d r stl sh p sd pe d ng o t e ot e
15.unthetuitueeeSpringseStatetParark.R.h238,usour 0304. drainagescanalthdsptocataongisgafcity1par00and1m630
andesformsthehawaerst ofFt. hieCo ulumb RiavCunt.coleach.ingrksatnotpermLnittd.7. lriasrles erebaelosipotono athhoeFord'saathd orl icudn teTaptoy iey1i6roheMo2nea1 2 mliofeasol)tathr.Gop6e5Lr
silierou Ocaa Goup imesone lon thecoure. eatrfesd ayatgeol ogical eross- eind of thorida land.a BsofS..ay, ampHlsoog ony hswsoc tadet f920fe nteA eaaPtoem.
Num riero was aPlesto cn sitbatefo rP eminstoc havertb aeP vebodeoloehnrs aogap rio ft ecasi olcin6ief r7ic n4gtie o a or oai n o.1SNs n T w si 6 ag r I E :M o st n.At oghntf udinFoia hemn rlmont nIsldagaend l rd ta eG mi on ro h ay l e e
fou n d i ns bth c le ctpin gc ise n o wpo o .rohibi e d wt hing s n th ed u n wishphayson th e hs etul vciceo uhssio ne o e ,th t te s o e f F o r d T o a p r vto3f e c i n 5 Oedh buC o nyne sl 1 a t o n usaTno fi i lddi a io ladgyoo n s. aS a n M a 2 97 ,t n o t s l a A o l 1 e a r e ro h
Par. Amisio Entrance47-511 O eehobee r. poprt9imtsaces ndth7re7hsben4ice6mon.Mostnei.ds BbliuFlffaSttueSprings" ra Fiterlraducntfedpa o pI'yoroalnelXtr. Ifocr 7a 1.
permitted.lec .l..sMNbotAom boatsS tourg they a crystalo clears 49. iNewberry-Haillee(NareaOBS.flds26rande betRqu2lt5,moo.toneyi foundin Sri ankaHenag17
HgSpringspo, ind ccolumodaia ounsty. val ableatedo hJptrIlewooyeSRs1,MatnCu t ern6. Alp achuaCondv nty,. ilboog adPne-Te rsedpc smos eit ra o at rUOI pitsTTEFSI: h oen eatUnears nflao .Flrd de oththaeseca taeFxsl h
Sath paFerk-od e.,Admispakhsio n fe o at rka ndexposures9fCoquina of teAr atasiand ormaience s, expoMseumtons hCountieldedOng o ceneand n w Postutinexia-prsntmnigaciit.nnlue aeclyanrp o-teri- eld.alS Blacn miaedthkatjoancake rrgla hnCdranilaemakteunfFielttedssl ,4
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snks an~an ~adond liestne uarreAdis-sp ofrandxinctally oridBo a gRantgoundnorthtodSt.aAugus-uuncov er s tonew oslbd. Checdrmis esio pfomlan npi M~eleCrnts atu no mne iiendtemiedTOtinsie CENp) TRAivdLured nthF bttmOedmntDoAte haPHOSPHwieAcvreTEorda3DmllonyTRICT.T fssliedtstor345P
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dipas de itn Flrd pa t in ld g Idianfe 934)45 -1 53Gi lle spe u eF o.....s.Seto U iv r -5 .Oclaf anded ici niy, taion si g I or.. .. .. ...p r isi ntte try. W est andnyf un nIh et fth o erO a aG ru ndA o ar o aNaples. .. .KE [ 1" Y
69. South Florida Oil Fields:p
artiactsand- he-------masodonskelton-a---camps,-Dland--------ount,-Feture-a-nrthof -Oalapartculaly-aong--S.-01/41-an-A-sriesof 1 oilfiels ar sitatedin te "Snni
5 10 20
10 20 32
n Marcos in St. Augus-
nish fort constructed of
Anastasia Formation exposed
ng Rocks Preserve, near Jupiter.
M l Miami Beach
oit 38 9im ietn epsurs
0 1 KM N MIAMI^^
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ite38: Miami Limestone exposures.
r OF NATURAL RESOURCES
A GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
per oopy ct of 0.48 fr Ith
MAP SERIES NO. 125
FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
AN OVERVIEW OF THE GEOLOGY OF FLORIDA
Florida's unique rocks and fossils are a result of a long and complex series of geologic
events. By studying the rocks exposed at the surface and the thousands of cuttings and cores
recovered during the drilling of wells, geologists have learned much about the rocks underly-
ing Florida. The types of rocks present, their mineral components, and the fossils they con-
tain give definite clues as to how, where, and sometimes when the rocks formed. Interesting-
ly, many of the subsurface rock formations comprising Florida are limestone and dolomite,
which formed under ancient seas. Geologists believe that sea level was considerably higher
in the past, and Florida was covered by shallow seas for much of the last 200 million years.
Not surprisingly, many of Florida's rocks contain abundant marine fossils such as mollusks,
echinoids, corals, and shark teeth.
THE GEOLOGIC TIME SCALE
In an effort to organize past geologic episodes, geologists have established a relative time
reference known as the geologic time scale. Relative age dates on the scale are expressed in
terms of millions of years before the present. Geologists have also assigned a hierarchy of
names to the geologic time intervals. An Erathem is the broadest time span, encompassing
many millions of years. A Series or Epoch is a smaller geologic time unit, frequently repre-
senting 3 to 20 million years. Many of the boundaries between time periods were erected on
the basis of distinct changes in the fossil assemblages contained in the rocks.
The chart at the right shows the time periods during which the rocks near or at the sur-
face in Florida today were formed. The oldest rock unit is the Middle Eocene Avon Park
Formation, which is between 41 and 50 million years old. At the top of the chart are Flori-
da's youngest rocks, comprised of sediments deposited during the last 10,000 years. These
Holocene age sediments include the Lake Flirt Marl and the undifferentiated sands and soils
which form a thin veneer over the older rocks in Florida today.
A geologic map shows the geographic extent of rocks formed during the various time ser-
ies. The map shown in Figure 1 illustrates the areas of Florida where the different age rocks
are at or very near the land surface.
Geologists also apply specific names to the rocks themselves. In the broadest sense, rocks
are classified according to their origin. Igneous rocks form from the cooling of molten mate-
rial exuded from deep within the earth. Sedimentary rocks are comprised of particles of
other rocks, animal shell fragments, or chemically-precipitated minerals. Metamorphic
rocks are physically-altered forms of the other two rock varieties. All rocks at the surface in
Florida today are sedimentary rocks.
A geological formation is a series of rock strata possessing distinct characteristics (such as
origin, color, fossils, mineral components, etc.) which are consistent and recognizable over a
wide geographic area. In Florida, formations are typically stacked "layer-cake" style in the
subsurface. Two or more similar formations may comprise a "Group."
Florida's geologic formations are named after geographic locations. The Ocala Group,
for example, is named for the City of Ocala where the limestone formations comprising the
group were first described.
GEOLOGIC HISTORY OF FLORIDA
The oldest known rocks underlying Florida are Paleozoic Erathem (600 to 225 million
years old) igneous and sedimentary rocks lying at depths in excess of 4,000 feet. Our only
glimpse of these ancient rocks is in small samples brought up from deep oil test wells. One
such well in north Florida yielded Florida's oldest fossil, which was fortuitously recovered in
an oil well core sample (Figure 2). These deep rocks form a foundation for the vast overlying
thicknesses of Mesozoic Erathem (225 to 70 million years old) and Cenozoic Erathem (70
million years ago and younger) sedimentary rocks. The bulk of these younger rocks are
limestones and dolomite, with interbedded sands and shales.
From at least the Late Cretaceous (180 million years ago) through the Early Miocene
Epoch (about 20 million years ago) Florida was a warm, shallow water marine carbonate
bank. Sediments deposited during this submerged period were largely comprised of calcium
carbonate (CaCO3). The calcareous shells and other skeletal pieces of the organisms inhab-
iting these ancient seas rained to the seafloor as they died. As successive layers accumulated,
the skeletal fragments became compacted and cemented together to form the extensive
limestone and dolomite formations underlying Florida today.
The oldest rock exposed at the surface in Florida is the Avon Park Formation. This unit
formed in a shallow sea about 45 million years ago during the middle of the Eocene Epoch.
Younger formations were successively deposited over the Avon Park Formation, as the
ancient seas continued to flood the southeastern United States.
From the Late Eocene through the Oligocene, and into the Early Miocene, a time span of
20 million years, a series of distinct limestone and dolomite units were deposited in the area
of present-day Florida. These marine rocks include the Ocala Group, the Suwannee and
Marianna Limestones, the St. Marks Formation, and the Chattahoochee Formation. A
complex combination of erosional and structure events worked to expose these units at the
surface in different parts of the state. Areas where portions of these carbonate rocks are now
at or near the surface are located primarily in the east-central peninsula and in the north-
central panhandle (see Figure 1). They typically contain fossils which are similar to the
animals binhabiting modern tropical reefs and carbonate banks. Among the more common
forms are mollusks, corals, echinoids, bryozoans, and abundant microfossils. Rare Eocene
whale vertebrate, Oligocene fish bones, and Miocene dugong (sea cow) skeletons have also
The Miocene Epoch (25 to 5 million years ago) marked a change in the depositional
regime of the Floridian carbonate platform. Sea level fluctuated considerably during the
Miocene, possibly reaching levels 300 feet above today's level. River-borne continental sands
and gravels spread southward into the Miocene seas covering Florida from the eroding
Appalachian mountain chain to the north. The Miocene seas reworked and redeposited
these siliciclastic sediments, blanketing the carbonate rocks of earlier epochs. Most of the
formations in the Hawthorn and Alum Bluff Groups were deposited during this time. Pa-
leoenvironments ranged from shallow brackish lagoons and tidal flats to offshore, deep
water continental shelf. The deposits of the commercial fuller's earth and phosphates mined
in Florida today developed in these Miocene seas. Shell beds and thin limestone formed in
the shallow, near-shore marine areas during sea level low stands. Miocene marine fossils,
including mollusks, shark and ray teeth, and dugong (sea cow) bones commonly occur in the
Hawthorn and Alum Bluff Group sediments. Dry land emerged at times during the Miocene,
and land animals ranged as far south as Polk County. These animals included small three-
toed horses, bears, badgers, dog-like carnivores, camels, rhinoceros, tapirs, turtles, and alli-
gators. Fossil remains of many of these animals are frequently unearthed in the phosphate
mines near Bartow.
Sea level continued its broad fluctuations into the Pliocene Epoch (5 to about 1.8 million
years ago). Alum Bluff Group deposition in the panhandle proceeded until the Late Plio-
cene, followed by the sands, clays, and mollusk-rich shell beds and limestones of the Jackson
Bluff and Intracoastal Formations. Concurrently, the fossiliferous sands and shelly lime-
stones of the Tamiami Formation accumulated in a shallow sea in south Florida. During the
latest Pliocene, the clayey, gravelly, and generally unfossiliferous sands of the iron-rich
Citronelle Formation were deposited in the western and central panhandle, probably as a
river delta deposit. Similar sediments of the Miccosukee Formation spread over the eastern
panhandle. The deltaic to shallow marine Cypresshead Formation was also deposited during
this period over Hawthorn Group sediments in peninsular Florida. Today, scattered erosion-
al remnants of Cypresshead Formation occur as far south as Highlands County. To the east,
the shelly sands of the Nashua Formation were laid down in a shallow Pliocene sea skirting
the northeast Florida coast.
The fluctuating Pliocene seas sometimes receded enough to expose dry land. During
these emergent periods, Pliocene land mammals ranged at least as far south as the modern
phosphate mine areas of Polk and Manatee Counties. Fossil bones of Pliocene sloths,
horses, dugongs, mammoth, hyena, and rhinos have been found in the mines in the famous
Bone Valley phosphate area.
1 -.I 55 1
The Pleistocene Epoch (1.8 million to 10,000 years ago), also known as the "Ice Age," was
punctuated by four great glaciations. Huge ice sheets spread southward out of Canada
across the northern United States. The closest pushed to within 500 miles of Florida. As the
glaciers formed, they consumed great quantities of seawater, and sea level during the Pleis-
tocene dropped 300 feet or more below present level. The land area of Florida increased
dramatically during the low sea level stands. During a typical glacial period the Pleistocene
Gulf Coast was probably situated some 100 miles west of its current position.
Land animals poured into Florida to escape the advancing ice sheets to the north. A
myriad of mammals, many now extinct, roamed the Pleistocene plains of Florida. In terms of
animal abundance the peninsula probably resembled the modern plains of Africa. Fossil
remains found today in Pleistocene deposits include mastodon, mammoth, black bear, giant
sloths, capybaras, beavers, lemmings, dire wolves, horses, tapirs, camels, peccaries, glypto-
donts, deer, and saber tooth tigers. Many of these fossils are concentrated in ancient sink-
holes, caves and stream beds. Others are unearthed in shell marls along the east coast and in
The Pleistocene glacial periods were punctuated by warmer interglacials, during which
the ice sheets melted. As the glaciers shrank, sea level rose, flooding the Florida peninsula.
During the peaks of these warm periods, sea level reached as high as 150 feet above modem
levels. Wave and current activity reworked the sediments of earlier formations and formed a
series of distinct marine terraces statewide. Many of the white sand dunes and ancient bars
visible inland today are products of Pleistocene seas.
The interglacial Pleistocene seas also deposited a new series of formations in southern
Florida. In the Early Pleistocene, the extremely mollusk-rich beds of the Caloosahatchee
Formation formed in a shallow sea south of Orlando. This was followed by deposition of the
alternating marine and freshwater marls and shell beds of the Ft. Thompson Formation.
During the Late Pleistocene, the coquina limestone of the Anastasia Formation formed
along most of the east coast. This rock is comprised largely of calcite-cemented mollusk shell
fragments and sand. Just north of Miami, the Anastasia begins to grade laterally southward
into the Miami Limestone. The Miami Limestone is an oolitic limestone which underlies
much of the southeast tip of the peninsula, Florida Bay, and the lower Florida Keys. It inter-
fingers to the south with the Key Largo Limestone, a coralline limestone forming the upper
Florida Keys from Soldier to Big Pine Key. Both the Miami Limestone and Key Largo
Limestone are believed to have formed in shallow Pleistocene carbonate bank, and fringe
reef complex similar to the modem Bahama Bank.
The end of the Pleistocene was marked by a final glacial period, during which sea level
again fell. A gradual warming trend then commence. \id sea level began a slow rise with
the onset of the Holocene Epoch.
The Holocene or Recent Epoch (10,000 ye- a! a -E, began with a slow warming
of the earth's climate. Sea level climbed slot-' -. iel as the last of the glaciers
retreated toward the poles. Many species of : e saber tooth cat and the
mastodon disappeared as extinction took its o0 t t ;- E -h s, at numbers of Pleistocene
animals. Paleoindians began to populate Florida. Although Indian artifacts and extinct The most comprehensive guide to fossil hunting in Florida now available is a new book by
mammal bones are frequently found together, there is no hard evidence that early man may Robin Brown entitled "Florida's Fossils: Guide to location, identification, and enjoyment."
have helped cause the mass extinctions. As sea level approached its present-day level, the This book includes numerous illustrations, details on collecting methods, and fossil hunting
barrier islands, bars, and spits characterizing Florida's coastline today begaa to evolve. The locations. It should be available in Florida bookstores, and can also be ordered from the
freshwater mollusk-laden Lake Flirt Marl formed in lakes and river bottoms of south and publisher. For ordering information, write the:
central Florida. And the on-going geologic processes continue even today. Limestone
formation is undoubtedly taking place in Florida Bay and along the reef tracts ot the Florida
Keys. Waves shape the coasts, and bury seashells in the ever-shifting sands, providing the
fossils of tomorrow.
FURTHER READING ON FLORIDA'S ROCKS AND FOSSILS
The Florida Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of Natural Resources, is the
state's primary geologic research and data collection agency. The Survey produces reports,
maps, and publications on all aspects of Florida Geology. Many are available at low cost for
public distribution. For a free list of Survey publications, write:
Florida Geological Survey
903 W. Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Most publications may be ordered by mail for $1.00 each (postage and handling fee), or
picked up free at the Survey library in Tallahassee.
The classic guide to Florida geology has for years been the Florida Geological Survey
Special Publication No. 5, "Geology of Florida and a guidebook to the classic exposures," by
H. Puri and R. Vernon, published in 1964. It is now out of print, but may be available in the
geology or Florida Documents Section of public and university libraries around the state.
The Survey's Special Publication No. 8, "Guide to Rocks and Minerals of Florida," is a
general guide to the common rocks found in our state. It is available by mail for $1.00 from
the Florida Geological Survey.
Florida has historically been a fossil-hunter's paradise, and publications describing the
myriad of specimens found here date back nearly 100 years. The older publications produced
by both the Florida Geological Survey and the United States Geological Survey are out of
print. However, Federal Document Repository Libraries nationwide will probably have the
significant U. S. Geological Survey publications on Florida fossils. These include U.S.G.S.
Professional Papers 142A-F, 170D, 193B, and 321, and U.S.G.S. Monograph numbers 39 and
The Florida Geological Survey has produced over fifty publications which discuss the
fossil faunas of our state. All but a few are also out of print. Those still available are indicat-
ed in the bibliography following this section.
P. 0. Drawer 16008
Sarasota, FL 34239
The following bibliography contains a categorized list of other publications on Florida
geology and paleontology. Included are currently in-print publications of the Florida Geolog-
ical Survey, as well as some general reference books on paleontology.
FOSSIL REFERENCE BOOKS
Case, G., 1973, Fossil Sharks: a pictorial review: New York, Pioneer Litho Co., Inc. 65 p.
Moore, R., Lalicker, C., and Fischer, A., 1952, Invertebrate Fossils: New York, McGraw
Hill, Inc., 766 p.
Thomas, M., 1968, Fossil vertebrates Beach and Bank Collecting for amateurs: Florida
Paleontological Society, Inc., Florida State Museum, Gainesville, FL 32611.
Thompson, I., 1986, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fossils: Alfred A.
Knopf, Inc., 846 p.
Webb, S., ed., 1974, Pleistocene Mammals of Florida: Gainesville, The University Presses of
Florida, 270 p.
AVAILABLE FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PUBLICATIONS
DuBar, J., 1958, Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the Late Neogene strata of the Caloosa-
hatchee River area of southern Florida: Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 40, 267 p.
1962, Neogene biostratigraphy of the Charlotte Harbor area in southwestern
Florida: Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 43, 83 p.
Fischer, A., 1951, Part II: The echinoid fauna of the Inglis member, Moodys Branch Forma-
tion (Ocala Group): Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 34, 112 p.
Hamon, J., 1964, The osteology and paleontology of the passerine birds of Reddick, Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 44, 209 p.
Richards, H., and Palmer, K., 1953, Eocene mollusks from Citrus and Levy Counties, Flori-
da: Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 35, 96 p.
Weisbord, N., 1972, Corals from the Chipola and Jackson Bluff Formations of Florida:
Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 53, 100 p.
Lane, B. E., 1986, Karst in Florida: Florida Geological Survey Special Publication no. 29,
1987, Guide to Rocks and Minerals of Florida: Florida Geological Survey
Special Publication no. 8 (revised), 61 p.
Puri, H., 1954, Contribution to the study of the Miocene of the Florida panhandle: Florida
Geological Survey Bulletin 36, 345 p.
,1957, Stratigraphy and zonation of the Ocala Group: Florida Geological Survey
Bulletin 38, 248 p.
State Park Geology Guides:
Campbell, K., 1984, A geologic guide to the state parks of the Florida panhandle coast St.
George Island, St. Joseph Peninsula, St. Andrews and Grayton Beach Parks and Recre-
ation areas: Florida Geological Survey Leaflet 13, 23 p.
c v, and Hoenstine, R., 1982, The geology of Torreya State Park: Florida Geolog-
ical Survey Leaflet 11, 8 p.
Hoenstine, R., and Weissinger, S., 1982, Geologic guide to the Suwannee River, Ichetucknee
Springs, O'Leno and Manatee Springs State Parks: Florida Geological Survey Leaflet 12,
Lane, B. E., 1986, Geology of the state parks in the Florida Keys: Florida Geological Survey
Leaflet 14, 28 p.
GENERALIZED STRATIGRAPHIC CHART OF THE EXPOSED ROCKS IN FLORIDA
Colpocoryphe exsul X6
Figure 2: Florida's oldest fossil, an
Ordovician age (450 million years old)
trilobite recovered from an oil test well
core taken 4,628 feet deep in Madison
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