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The geomorphology and geology of Calhoun County, Florida ( FGS: Open file report 32 )

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Title:
The geomorphology and geology of Calhoun County, Florida ( FGS: Open file report 32 )
Series Title:
( FGS: Open file report 32 )
Creator:
Rupert, Frank
Florida Geological Survey
Place of Publication:
Tallahassee
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Florida Geological Survey
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English
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[7] leaves : ill., map ; 28 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Geomorphology -- Florida -- Calhoun County ( lcsh )
Geology -- Florida -- Calhoun County ( lcsh )
Calhoun County ( local )
City of Chattahoochee ( local )
City of Apalachicola ( local )
Town of Suwannee ( local )
City of Marianna ( local )
Liberty County ( local )
Limestones ( jstor )
Aquifers ( jstor )
Counties ( jstor )
Sand ( jstor )
Sediments ( jstor )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Cover title.
Funding:
Digitized as a collaborative project with the Florida Geological Survey, Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Frank R. Rupert.

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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:
027837557 ( aleph )
25641820 ( oclc )
AJG7170 ( notis )

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STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Tom Gardner, Executive Director




DIVISION OF RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Jeremy A. Craft, Director




FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Walter Schmidt, State Geologist





OPEN FILE REPORT 32 THE GEOMORPHOLOGY AND GEOLOGY OF CALHOUN COUNTY, FLORIDA BY

Frank R. Rupert


FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Tallahassee, Florida
1990











Qf






SCIENCE
LIBRARY








The geomorphology and geology of Calhoun County, Florida


Frank R. Rupert, P.G. No. 149


GEOMORPHOLOGY

Calhoun County is situated in the Northern Zone geomorphic province of White (1970). In this portion of the east-central Florida panhandle, the Northern Zone is divided into four geomorphic subzones based largely on topographic elevations. These include the Gulf Coastal Lowlands, Fountain Slope, New Hope Ridge, and Grand Ridge.

The Gulf Coastal Lowlands (Figure 1) comprise much of the lower half of Calhoun County. This subzone is characterized by a generally flat and often swampy, seaward sloping, sandy plain. Most of the lowlands area is ancient marine terrace, shaped by high-standing Pleistocene seas. Elevations in the Gulf Coastal Lowlands of Calhoun County range from between 25 and 65 feet above mean sea level (MSL) at the southern edge of the county to approximately 100 feet above MSL where the lowlands meet the higher ridges to the north in mid-Calhoun County.


Three topographically-higher subzones are present in northern Calhoun County: the Fountain Slope, the New Hope Ridge, and the Grand Ridge. Fountain Slope was the name given by White et al. (1964) to a ramp-like, northward-rising topographic slope separating the Gulf Coastal Lowlands and the New Hope Ridge (Figure 1). The elevations of this feature range from approximately 100 feet above MSL at its southern edge, adjacent to the coastal lowlands, to about 180 feet above MSL to the north where it meets the New Hope Ridge.

The New Hope Ridge (White et al., 1964) occupies northwestern Calhoun County, west of the Chipola River. It is separated from the elevationally-similar Grand Ridge (White et al., 1964) in eastern Calhoun County by the Chipola River valley. Both ridges are believed to be stream-incised remnants of a once continuous highland spanning north Florida from the Alabama line eastward to Putnam County. The New Hope and Grand Ridges are topographically high, with elevations generally varying between 150 and 250 feet


COUNTY


EXPLANATION

STATEICOUNTY ROAD
* WELL
CROSS SECTION LOCATION E NEW HOPE RIDGE
GRAND RIDGE
FOUNTAIN SLOPE
GULF COASTAL
LOWLANDS

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FIGURE 1. Calhoun County location map. UNIVEK)ITY Of FLOrIBA Li"ARIES





























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-120 -400 0 1 2 3 4 5 -140 0 2 4 6 6
KILOM4TI
-so,
VERTICAL OXMlOUATIO * APtOOMATILY Ila TIMIS TRUI SCALE





FIGURE 2. Geologic cross section A-A'.







B






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-40

-40 -200 SUWdAIVN "so LIMESl
-100
-100

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KILOMETERS
VERTICAL AXMGIATtON - APP�OXIMATaLy IIE TIMES TRUE SCALE


FIGURE 3. Geologic cross section B-B'.


JACKbON


)NE


'NA LIMESTONE







above MSL. Both are comprised of resistant clayey-sands overlying limestone. Several collapse depressions and sinkhole lakes present on the New Hope Ridge belie the karstic nature of the underlying limestone.

The Apalachicola and Chipola Rivers are the major streams flowing in Calhoun County. The Apalachicola River forms the eastern Calhoun County boundary with adjacent Liberty County. In northeast Calhoun County, the broad Apalachicola Valley averages about 50 feet MSL in elevation. It forms a divide between the bluffs of the Tallahassee Hills to the east in Liberty County and the topographically lower, gently-rolling hills of the Grand Ridge. The river, meanders southwestward through a three-mile wide valley, which descends to an elevation of about 25 feet above MSL at the southern edge of Calhoun County.

The Chipola River flows southward through east-central Calhoun County, and forms Dead Lake near the southern county boundary. In places the river is well incised, and in northern Calhoun County, exposes Miocene limestones and Pliocene shell beds along its course. Several smaller surface streams contribute to the Chipola River. Tenmile Creek, Fourmile Creek, and Juniper Creek form a southward succession of well-incised, northwestsoutheast trending tributaries entering the Chipola from the west. These creeks may define a parallel series of relict beach ridge systems. In southern Calhoun County, Cypress Creek drains several low, swampy areas and ultimately empties into Dead Lake.

GEOLOGY

Calhoun County is underlain by hundreds of feet of marine limestones, dolomites, sands, and days. The oldest rocks recovered by well drilling in the county were Mesozoic Erathem, Cretaceous System (140 to 65 million years old) marine sedimentary rocks, at depths of approximately 2,800 to 5,000 feet below land surface (bs) (Florida Geological Survey unpublished well logs). Petroleum test wells in nearby Gulf County, however, reveal the presence of older Paleozoic Erathem (500 to 250 million years old) basement rocks lying at depths in excess of 12,000 feet bls; similar rocks probably occur beneath Calhoun County as well. The youngest sediments present in the county are Pleistocene and Holocene (1.8 million years old to recent) alluvium and marine terrace sands and


clays.
The Mesozoic Erathem rocks and early Cenozoic Erathem (Paleocene and Eocene Series, 65 to 38 million years old) rocks underlying Calhoun County are largely marine carbonates lying at depths penetrated only by deep oil test wells. Most water wells in Calhoun County draw from Oligocene and Miocene (38 to 5 million years old) strata at depths of 500 feet or less bs. These rocks function as the important freshwater aquifers for the region. For the purposes of this report, the discussion of the stratigraphy of Calhoun County will be limited to these Oligocene and younger sediments. Figure 1 shows the geologic cross-section locations, and Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the shallow stratigraphy of Calhoun County. Most of the geologic data cited in this study is taken from Schmidt (1984), Puri and Vernon (1964), and from Florida Geological Survey well log files.

Oligocene Series
Marianna Umestone

The Marianna Limestone (Matson and Clapp, 1909) is the oldest unit penetrated by the cores used in this report. It consists of a gray to cream, chalky, fossiliferous marine limestone frequently containing large, coin-shaped Lepidocyclina foraminfera fossils. The Marianna Limestone is considered to be Lower Oligocene (38 to 33 million years old). This unit was penetrated in only one core used in this study (W-6901, Liberty County see Figure 3), and the extent of its occurrence under Calhoun County is uncertain due to a general lack of well coverage. It probably underlies eastern and northern Calhoun County at depths of 400 to 500 feet his. The Marianna Limestone is overlain by sediments of the Upper Oligocene Suwannee Limestone.

Suwannee Limestone

The Suwannee Limestone (Cooke and Mans'field, 1936) is an Upper Oligocene (33 to 25 million years old) light gray to yellowish-gray, well-indurated, often dolomitized, marine limestone. It typically contains abundant fossils including foraminifera,
* mollusks, and echinoids. Depth to the Suwannee Limestone ranges between 350 and 460 feet bls in Calhoun County. Thickness of the unit is variable, and usually exceeds 100 feet. It generally dips and thickens to the southeast into the trough of the Apalachicola Embayment. The Suwannee Limestone is a component of the Florida aquifer system,







and this unit supplies deep municipal water wells in the county. It unconformibly overlies the Oligocene Marianna Limestone or Eocene Ocala Group carbonates. In much of central and northern Calhoun County, it is overlain by Miocene sediments of the Chattahoochee Formation. The overlying Chattahoochee Formation gra4es laterally into the Bruce Creek Limestone near the southern edge of the county.

Miocene and Pliocene Series
Chattahoochee Formation

The Lower Miocene (25 to 20 million years old) Chattahoochee Formation (Dall and StanleyBrown, 1894) overlies the Suwannee Limestone in Calhoun County. The Chattahoochee Formation is generally a very pale orange to white or fight gray, often quartz sandy, phosphoritic, dolomitic marine limestone. In some cases, post-depositional ground water alteration of the carbonates in portions of the central and western panhandle has made differentiation of the Chattahoochee Formation from the underlying Suwannee Limestone and overlying Bruce Creek Limestone difficult or impossible. Where defineable in Calhoun County however, the top of the Chattahoochee Formation varies from about 100 feet to 420 feet bls. Thickness ranges from approximately 185 feet in the central portion of the county to less than 50 feet in western and southern Calhoun County. As with the underlying Suwannee Limestone, the Chattahoochee dips to the east-southeast, grading into or interfingering with the Bruce Creek Limestone along the southern edge of Calhoun County. The Chattahoochee Formation is a unit of the Floridan aquifer system, and rural Calhoun County wells draw from this formation. Along the southern edge of the county, the Bruce Creek Limestone grades into the Chattahoochee Formation (Figure 2). In northern Calhoun County, the Bruce Creek Limestone is absent, and the Chattahoochee Formation is overlain by sediments of the Middle Miocene Chipola Formation.

Bruce Creek Limestone

The Middle Miocene (17 to 10 million years old) Bruce Creek Limestone (Huddlestun, 1984) is a white to yellowish-gray, fossiliferous, calcarenitic, marine limestone underlying the southern half of Calhoun County It is often highly microfossiliferous, molluscan moldic, and in some areas, dolomitic. From mid-Calhoun County, this unit thickens


and dips rapidly towards the south, into the trough of the Apalachicola Embayment (Figure 2). The Bruce Creek Limestone varies in depth from approximately 100 feet bls at its northern limit in central Calhoun County to over 400 feet bls in the southern portion of the county. Its thickness increases rapidly from zero in the central part of the county southward to nearly 200 feet near the Calhoun-Gulf county line. The Bruce Creek Limestone comprises the uppermost unit of the Floridan aquifer system in Calhoun County. Where present, it is overlain by the Middle Miocene Intracoastal Formation.

Intracoastal Formation

The Intracoastal Formation (Huddlestun, 1984; Schmidt and Clark, 1980) is comprised of a yellowish-gray, abundantly microfossiliferous, sandy, poorly-indurated, marine limestone. It spans an age range of Middle Miocene to Upper Pliocene (17 to 2 million years old). Like the underlying Bruce Creek Limestone, the updip limit of the Intracoastal Formation occurs along a west-to-east line across central Calhoun County. The formation is absent north of Blountstown. It thickens and dips to the south-southeast, approaching 60 feet in thickness at the southern edge of the county. Depth to the top of the unit in Calhoun County is highly variable, generally averaging about 100 to 150 feet bls. Throughout its extent in Calhoun County, the Intracoastal Formation is overlain by the Chipola Formation.

Chipola Formation

The Chipola Formation (Burns, 1889) is a Middle Miocene carbonate unit underlying most of Calhoun County. It is typically comprised of a yellowish-gray to light gray, moderately-to-well induarated, quartz sandy, marine limestone or marl. The Chipola Formation approaches the surface in central and northern Calhoun County, where it is, in places, covered only by a thin veneer of Jackson Bluff Formation or undifferentiated surficial sediments. It is locally exposed along the banks of Tenmile Creek and along portions of the Chipola River, the type area for the formation. Here it commonly contains abundant fossil mollusks. In western and southern Calhoun County, the top of the Chipola Formation dips to nearly 100 feet bis. The Chipola Formation is overlain by sediments of the Upper Pliocene Jackson Bluff Formation:








Jackson Bluff Formation

The Upper Pliocene (3 to 1.8 million years old) Jackson Bluff Formation (Puri and Vernon, 1964) is predominantly comprised of light gray to olive gray, poorly-consolidated, clayey quartz sands and sandy shell beds. It overlies the Chipola Formation in Calhoun County. In the high bluffs across the Apalachicola River from northeastern Calhoun County in Liberty County, the Jackson Bluff Formation rests on Miocene Hawthorn Group deposits (Figure 3). The Jackson Bluff Formation is a thin unit, averaging less than 50 feet thick in eastern Calhoun County. It dips and thickens to the south, reaching a maximum thickness of about 50 feet in the southern part of the county. Depth to the top of the Jackson Bluff is variable throughout the county. It crops out locally along the Apalachicola and Chipola Rivers, and is closest to the surface in northeastern Calhoun County, where it is overlain by 20 to 25 feet of Citronelle Formation sediments. In the western portion of the county, it approaches a depth of 80 feet bls, and is covered primarily by undifferentiated sands and clays. Along the southern edge of Calhoun County, the Jackson Bluff is overlain by approximately 50 feet of undifferentiated sands.

Citronelle Formation

The reddish, clayey, coarse quartz sands and gravels of the Upper Pliocene Citronelle Formation (Matson, 1916) blanket large areas of the northern half of Calhoun County. Believed to be of fluvial origin, the characteristic Citronelle Formation sediments are comprised of cross-bedded sands, gravels, and clays. Portions of the Calhoun County surficial deposits may represent reworked and redeposited Citronelle sediments, transported from the eroding highlands to the north. Thickness generally varies between 20 and 80 feet, and the Citronnelle deposits comprise the surficial sediments in their area of occurence. Within Calhoun County, the Citronelle Formation sediments grade laterally into a series of undifferentiated quartz sands and clayey sands.

Pilo-Pleistocene and Holocene Series
Undifferentiated Sand and Clays

Much of the southern half of Calhoun County is covered by surficial quartz sands, clays, and clayey sands. Due to the massive and discontinuous


nature of many of these units, they are lumped together as undifferentiated deposits. These deposits represent a mixture of marine and fluvial clastics associated with Pleistocene (1.8 million to 10,000 years old) sea level highstands and the prograding Apalachicola' delta. The modern soil profiles probably evolved during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene (10,000 years ago to present). Holocene alluvium, in the form of river-borne clays and sand, are deposited along the banks and bars of the Apalachicola River in eastern Calhoun County.

GROUND WATER

Ground water is water that fills the pore spaces in subsurface rocks and sediments. This water is derived principally from precipitation within Calhoun and adjacent counties. The bulk of Calhoun County's consumptive water is withdrawn from ground water aquifers. Three main aquifers are present under Calhoun County. In order of increasing depth, these are the surficial aquifer system, the intermediate aquifer and confining system, and the Floridan aquifer system. Data on aquifer extent and thicknesses are taken from Scott et al., 1990 (in preparation).

Surficlal aquifer system

The surficial aquifer system is the uppermost freshwater aquifer in Calhoun County. This nonartesian aquifer is largely contained within the undifferentiated sands and the Citronelle Formation sediments. It is present in the northeastern part of Calhoun County, where it reaches thicknesses of 55 feet, and trends southward through the middle of the county, adjacent to the Chipola River: Inparts of central Calhoun County it is nearly 70 feet thick. It is absent or sporadic in occurence in eastern and western portions of the county. The surficial aquifer system is unconfined, and its upper surface is the water table. In general, the water table elevation fluctuates with precipitation rate and conforms to the topography of the land surface. Recharge to the aquifer is largely through rainfall percolating through the loose surficial sediments, and to a lesser extent, by upward seepage from the underlying intermediate aquifer system. The surficial aquifer is not used extensively as a water source in the county.

Intermediate aquifer and confining system

The intermediate.aquifer system underlies the








surficial aquifer system in Calhoun County, and is largely contained within the Intracoastal, Chipola and Jackson Bluff Formations. Permeable beds within the intermediate aquifer system vary considerably in thickness over the areal extent of the aquifer. In general, the aquifer ranges from 50 to 200 feet in thickness under Calhoun County, corresponding to the variable thicknesses of the geologic formations containing it. The top of the intermediate is also highly variable, dipping from a low of about 20 feet bs in north-central Calhoun County to over 70 feet bIs in the western part of the County. Some rural wells draw from this unit, but the intermediate aquifer system is not widely used as a potable water source in this area. Low-permeability beds in the basal intermediate aquifer system may locally function as confining units to the underlying Floridan aquifer system.

Floridan aquifer system

The Floridan aquifer system is comprised of hundreds of feet of Eocene through Miocene age marine limestones, including the Ocala Group, the Suwannee Limestone, and where present, the Chattahoochee Formation and Bruce Creek Limestone. It is the principle source of municipal drinking water in Calhoun County. The Floridan aquifer system occurs as an artesian aquifer under the entire county. Surface springs tapping this aquifer are absent in Calhoun County. Most recharge to the Floridan aquifer system occurs in small, scattered areas in the northern part of the county, at the up-dip portions of the carbonate units comprising the aquifer. Here, overburden to the Floridan aquifer system is thinnest, and recharge occurs on a low to moderate level. Much of the regional recharge occurs further to the north in Jackson County where the Floridan aquifer system strata crops out at the surface.

MINERAL RESOURCES

The principal mineral resources occurring in Calhoun County are sand, clay, limestone, and phosphate. The following discussion summarizes the current mining potential of each commodity in the county.

Sand

A number of shallow private pits in Calhoun County are worked for local fill sand. Pleistocene marine terrace sands and alluvium and Pliocene


Citronelle Formation sediments contain quartz sand with varying amounts of clay matrix. These deposits blanket much of the county. Since there is insufficient local demand for sand products, the potential for commercial mining is low at present.

Clay

Localized deposits of clay and sandy clay are also associated with the undifferentiated Pleistocene and Holocene marine terrace deposits, Holocene alluvium, and Citronelle Formation sediments. Most of these clays are contained in and interbedded with other sediments, and as a result are relatively impure.

Flood-plain clay deposits along the Apalachicola River have been utilized for brick-making in Calhoun County. The Guilford Brothers Brick Company plant, located south of Blountstown, manufactured common brick in the 1920's which was used in the construction of the Blountstown Post Office (Bell, 1924). Bell (1924) cited other potential uses for this clay, including face brick, drain tile, flower pots, and hollow blocks. Reserve estimates of the clay deposits in Calhoun County have not been made, and future exploitation will be largely dependent upon local market demand.

Limestone

Impure Miocene limestones occur at depth under most of Calhoun County. Most of the shallower units contain extensive impurities, including quartz sand. Due to the presence of these impurities, the overburden thickness (at least 50 feet in northern Calhoun County), and the presence of easily-accessible limestone deposits at the surface in nearby Jackson County, it is unlikely that limestone will ever be an economical commodity in Calhoun County.

Phosphate

Many of the Miocene formations underlying Calhoun County contain variable percentages of phosphate sand and granules. Most quantities are well below the ecomonic minimum percentage however. In addition, most phosphate-bearing strata occur at depths in excess of 50 feet. These factors preclude a high mining potential for phosphate in Calhoun County.








REFERENCES


Bell, 0., 1924, A preliminary report on the clays of
Florida (exclusive of Fuller'sEarth): In:
Florida Geological Survey 15th Annual
Report, p.25-127.

Burns, Frank, 1889, Unpublished Field Notes, U.S.
Geological Survey (Referenced in Cooke
and Mossom, 1929, Geology of Florida: Florida Geological Survey 20th Annual
Report, 103 p.)

Cooke, C.W., and Mossom, S., 1929, Geology of
Florida: Florida Geological Survey 20th
AnnualReport, 1927-1928, p. 29-227.

, and Mansfield, W., 1936, Suwannee
Limestone of Florida: [abs.] Geological
Society of America Proceedings, 1935,
p.71-72.

Dall, W.H., and Stanley-Brown, J., 1894,
Cenozoic geology along the Apalacicola River: Bulletin of the Geological Society
of America, v. 5, p. 147-170.

Huddlestun, P.F., 1984, The Neogene stratigraphy
of the central Florida Panhandle: [Ph.D Dissertation], Florida State University,
Tallahassee, 210 p..

Matson, G., and Clapp, F., 1909, A preliminary report on the geology of Florida with special reference to the stratigraphy:
Florida Geological Survey 2nd Annual
Report, 1908-1909, p. 25-173.

Matson, G. C., 1916, The Pliocene Citronelle
Formation of the Gulf Coastal Plain: U.S.
Geological Survey Professional Paper 98,
p. 167-192.

Puri, H., and Vernon, R.O., 1964, Summary of the
geology of Florida and a guidebook to the
classic exposures: Florida Geological
Survey Special Publication no. 5 (revised),
312 p.

Schmidt, W., 1984, Neogene stratigraphy and geologic history of the Apalachicola Embayment, Florida: Florida Geological
Survey Bulletin 58, 146 p.


__ , and Clark, M.W., 1980, Geology
of Bay County, Florida: Florida
Geological Survey Bulletin 57, 76 p.

Scott, T.M., Lloyd, J., and Maddox, G., 1990 (in
preparation), Florida's ground water
monitoring network, Volume 1: Introduction and hydrogeologic framework:
Florida Geological Survey Survey Special
Publication no. 32.

White, W., Puri, H., and Vernon, R., 1964,
Unpublished manuscript cited in: 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.

White, W., 1970, The geomorphology of the Florida
peninsula: Florida Geological Survey
Bulletin 51, 164 p.




Full Text

PAGE 1

STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES Tom Gardner, Executive Director DIVISION OF RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Jeremy A. Craft, Director FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Walter Schmidt, State Geologist OPEN FILE REPORT 32 THE GEOMORPHOLOGY AND GEOLOGY OF CALHOUN COUNTY, FLORIDA BY Frank R. Rupert FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Tallahassee, Florida 1990

PAGE 2

SCIENCE LIBRARY

PAGE 3

The geomorphology and geology of Calhoun County, Florida Frank R. Rupert, P.G. No. 149 GEOMORPHOLOGY Three topographically-higher subzones are present in northern Calhoun County: the Fountain Calhoun County is situated in the Northern Slope, the New Hope Ridge, and the Grand Ridge. Zone geomorphic province of White (1970). In this Fountain Slope was the name given by White et al. portion of the east-central Florida panhandle, the (1964) to a ramp-like, northward-rising topographic Northern Zone is divided into four geomorphic slope separating the Gulf Coastal Lowlands and the subzones based largely on topographic elevations. New Hope Ridge (Figure 1). The elevations of this These include the Gulf Coastal Lowlands, Fountain feature range from approximately 100 feet above Slope, New Hope Ridge, and Grand Ridge. MSL at its southern edge, adjacent to the coastal lowlands, to about 180 feet above MSL to the north The Gulf Coastal Lowlands (Figure 1) comprise where it meets the New Hope Ridge. much of the lower half of Calhoun County. This subzone is characterized by a generally flat and The New Hope Ridge (White et al., 1964) often swampy, seaward sloping, sandy plain. Most occupies northwestern Calhoun County, west of the of the lowlands area is ancient marine terrace, Chipola River. It is separated from the elevationalshaped by high-standing Pleistocene seas. Elevaly-similar Grand Ridge (White et al., 1964) in tions in the Gulf Coastal Lowlands of Calhoun eastern Calhoun County by the Chipola River County range from between 25 and 65 feet above valley. Both ridges are believed to be stream-inmean sea level (MSL) at the southern edge of the cised remnants of a once continuous highland county to approximately 100 feet above MSL where spanning north Florida from the Alabama line the lowlands meet the higher ridges to the north in eastward to Putnam County. The New Hope and mid-Calhoun County. Grand Ridges are topographically high, with elevations generally varying between 150 and 250 feet COUNTY o ., EXPLANATION • WELL B 6-" e CROSS SECTION LOCATION Sf o NEW HOPE RIDGE .[] GRAND RIDGE | o K [FOUNTAIN SLOPE I -GULF COASTAL Sr LOWLANDS DEAD 02345 A' 0 2 4 I GULF COUNTY FIGURE 1. Calhoun County location map. UNIVERSITY Of FLORIDA LIl.ARIES

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A A -1-j I GO MILES 100 5 VIRTIOI IIIIAUNAlION • APPRVIYMATIL III TIMIS00T IU SALE FIGURE 2. Geologic cross section A-A'. .so , OB ' 40 .-00T -10 0 BLF -01 -00 CA H E -100 --3 00 0 I 0 4IL -040 0 2 4 6 M -140 -) ';' IMJESTONI KILOMETERS -S00 VI ETICAL EXAGGIATION * APPOIIOMATLY tII TIMNS TRUE SCALE FIGURE 2. Geologic cross section A-A'. B B' U-* -U 1ANNEE -s tIon LIMESTONE -100 .-800 KILOMETERS *ATICAL SXAOMtWATION* APHCXIM«ATELY 111 TIMIS TRUE SCALE FIGURE 3. Geologic cross section B-B'.

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above MSL. Both are comprised of resistant claclays. yey-sands overlying limestone. Several collapse The Mesozoic Erathem rocks and early Cenozodepressions and sinkhole lakes present on the New ic Erathem (Paleocene and Eocene Series, 65 to 38 Hope Ridge belie the karstic nature of the underlymillion years old) rocks underlying Calhoun County ing limestone, are largely marine carbonates lying at depths penetrated only by deep oil test wells. Most water The Apalachicola and Chipola Rivers are the wells in Calhoun County draw from Oligocene and major streams flowing in Calhoun County. The Miocene (38 to 5 million years old) strata at depths Apalachicola River forms the eastern Calhoun of 500 feet or less bls. These rocks function as the County boundary with adjacent Liberty County. In important freshwater aquifers for the region. For northeast Calhoun County, the broad Apalachicola the purposes of this report, the discussion of the Valley averages about 50 feet MSL in elevation. It stratigraphy of Calhoun County will be limited to forms a divide between the bluffs of the Tallahasthese Oligocene and younger sediments. Figure 1 see Hills to the east in Liberty County and the shows the geologic cross-section locations, and topographically lower, gently-rolling hills of the Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the shallow stratigraphy Grand Ridge. The river, meanders southwestward of Calhoun County. Most of the geologic data through a three-mile wide valley, which descends to cited in this study is taken from Schmidt (1984), an elevation of about 25 feet above MSL at the Puri and Vernon (1964), and from Florida Geologsouthern edge of Calhoun County. ical Survey well log files. The Chipola River flows southward through Oligocene Series east-central Calhoun County, and forms Dead Lake Marianna Limestone near the southern county boundary. In places the river is well incised, and in northern Calhoun The Marianna Limestone (Matson and Clapp, County, exposes Miocene limestones and Pliocene 1909) is the oldest unit penetrated by the cores shell beds along its course. Several smaller surface used in this report. It consists of a gray to cream, streams contribute to the Chipola River. Tenmile chalky, fossiliferous marine limestone frequently Creek, Fourmile Creek, and Juniper Creek form a containing large, coin-shaped Lepidocyclina forasouthward succession of well-incised, northwestminfera fossils. The Marianna Limestone is consoutheast trending tributaries entering the Chipola sidered to be Lower Oligocene (38 to 33 million from the west. These creeks may define a parallel years old). This unit was penetrated in only one series of relict beach ridge systems. In southern core used in this study (W-6901, Liberty County Calhoun County, Cypress Creek drains several low, see Figure 3), and the extent of its occurrence swampy areas and ultimately empties into Dead under Calhoun County is uncertain due to a generLake. al lack of well coverage. It probably underlies eastern and northern Calhoun County at depths of GEOLOGY 400 to 500 feet bls. The Marianna Limestone is overlain by sediments of the Upper Oligocene Calhoun County is underlain by hundreds of Suwannee Limestone. feet of marine limestones, dolomites, sands, and clays. The oldest rocks recovered by well drilling in Suwannee Limestone the county were Mesozoic Erathem, Cretaceous System (140 to 65 million years old) marine sediThe Suwannee Limestone (Cooke and Mansmentary rocks, at depths of approximately 2,800 to field, 1936) is an Upper Oligocene (33 to 25 million 5,000 feet below land surface (bls) (Florida Geoyears old) light gray to yellowish-gray, well-induratlogical Survey unpublished well logs). Petroleum ed, often dolomitized, marine limestone. It typicaltest wells in nearby Gulf County, however, reveal ly contains abundant fossils including foraminifera, the presence of older Paleozoic Erathem (500 to mollusks, and echinoids. Depth to the Suwannee 250 million years old) basement rocks lying at Limestone ranges between 350 and 460 feet bis in depths in excess of 12,000 feet bls; similar rocks Calhoun County. Thickness of the unit is variable, probably occur beneath Calhoun County as well. and usually exceeds 100 feet. It generally dips and The youngest sediments present in the county are thickens to the southeast into the trough of the Pleistocene and Holocene (1.8 million years old to Apalachicola Embayment. The Suwannee Limerecent) alluvium and marine terrace sands and stone is a component of the Florida aquifer system,

PAGE 6

and this unit supplies deep municipal water wells in and dips rapidly towards the south, into the trough the county. It unconformibly overlies the Oligoof the Apalachicola Embayment (Figure 2). The cene Marianna Limestone or Eocene Ocala Group Bruce Creek Limestone varies in depth from carbonates. In much of central and northern approximately 100 feet bls at its northern limit in Calhoun County, it is overlain by Miocene sedicentral Calhoun County to over 400 feet bls in the ments of the Chattahoochee Formation. The southern portion of the county. Its thickness inoverlying Chattahoochee Formation grades lateralcreases rapidly from zero in the central part of the ly into the Bruce Creek Limestone near the southcounty southward to nearly 200 feet near the ern edge of the county. Calhoun-Gulf county line. The Bruce Creek Limestone comprises the uppermost unit of the Miocene and Pliocene Series Floridan aquifer system in Calhoun County. Chattahoochee Formation Where present, it is overlain by the Middle Miocene Intracoastal Formation. The Lower Miocene (25 to 20 million years old) Chattahoochee Formation (Dall and StanleyIntracoastal Formation Brown, 1894) overlies the Suwannee Limestone in Calhoun County. The Chattahoochee Formation is The Intracoastal Formation (Huddlestun, 1984; generally a very pale orange to white or light gray, Schmidt and Clark, 1980) is comprised of a yellowoften quartz sandy, phosphoritic, dolomitic marine ish-gray, abundantly microfossiliferous, sandy, limestone. In some cases, post-depositional ground poorly-indurated, marine limestone. It spans an water alteration of the carbonates in portions of the age range of Middle Miocene to Upper Pliocene central and western panhandle has made differen(17 to 2 million years old). Like the underlying tiation of the Chattahoochee Formation from the Bruce Creek Limestone, the updip limit of the underlying Suwannee Limestone and overlying Intracoastal Formation occurs along a west-to-east Bruce Creek Limestone difficult or impossible. line across central Calhoun County. The formation Where defineable in Calhoun County however, the is absent north of Blountstown. It thickens and top of the Chattahoochee Formation varies from dips to the south-southeast, approaching 60 feet in about 100 feet to 420 feet bls. Thickness ranges thickness at the southern edge of the county. from approximately 185 feet in the central portion Depth to the top of the unit in Calhoun County is of the county to less than 50 feet in western and highly variable, generally averaging about 100 to southern Calhoun County. As with the underlying 150 feet bls. Throughout its extent in Calhoun Suwannee Limestone, the Chattahoochee dips to County, the Intracoastal Formation is overlain by the east-southeast, grading into or interfingering the Chipola Formation. with the Bruce Creek Limestone along the southern edge of Calhoun County. The Chattahoochee Chipola Formation Formation is a unit of the Floridan aquifer system, and rural Calhoun County wells draw from this The Chipola Formation (Burns, 1889) is a formation. Along the southern edge of the county, Middle Miocene carbonate unit underlying most of the Bruce Creek Limestone grades into the ChatCalhoun County. It is typically comprised of a tahoochee Formation (Figure 2). In northern yellowish-gray to light gray, moderately-to-well Calhoun County, the Bruce Creek Limestone is induarated, quartz sandy, marine limestone or absent, and the Chattahoochee Formation is overmarl. The Chipola Formation approaches the lain by sediments of the Middle Miocene Chipola surface in central and northern Calhoun County, Formation. where it is, in places, covered only by a thin veneer of Jackson Bluff Formation or undifferentiated Bruce Creek Limestone surficial sediments. It is locally exposed along the banks of Tenmile Creek and along portions of the The Middle Miocene (17 to 10 million years Chipola River, the type area for the formation. old) Bruce Creek Limestone (Huddlestun, 1984) is Here it commonly contains abundant fossil mola white to yellowish-gray, fossiliferous, calcarenitic, lusks. In western and southern Calhoun County, marine limestone underlying the southern half of the top of the Chipola Formation dips to nearly 100 Calhoun County. It is often highly microfossiliferfeet bis. The Chipola Formation is overlain by ous, molluscan moldic, and in some areas, dolomitsediments of the Upper Pliocene Jackson Bluff ic. From mid-Calhoun County, this unit thickens Formation:

PAGE 7

nature of many of these units, they are lumped Jackson Bluff Formation together as undifferentiated deposits. These deposits represent a mixture of marine and fluvial clastics The Upper Pliocene (3 to 1.8 million years old) associated with Pleistocene (1.8 million to 10,000 Jackson Bluff Formation (Puri and Vernon, 1964) years old) sea level highstands and the prograding is predominantly comprised of light gray to olive Apalachicola' delta. The modern soil profiles gray, poorly-consolidated, clayey quartz sands and probably evolved during the Late Pleistocene and sandy shell beds. It overlies the Chipola Formation Holocene (10,000 years ago to present). Holocene in Calhoun County. In the high bluffs across the alluvium, in the form of river-borne clays and sand, Apalachicola River from northeastern Calhoun are deposited along the banks and bars of the County in Liberty County, the Jackson Bluff Apalachicola River in eastern Calhoun County. Formation rests on Miocene Hawthorn Group deposits (Figure 3). The Jackson Bluff Formation GROUND WATER is a thin unit, averaging less than 50 feet thick in eastern Calhoun County. It dips and thickens to Ground water is water that fills the pore spaces the south, reaching a maximum thickness of about in subsurface rocks and sediments. This water is 50 feet in the southern part of the county. Depth to derived principally from precipitation within the top of the Jackson Bluff is variable throughout Calhoun and adjacent counties. The bulk of the county. It crops out locally along the ApalachiCalhoun County's consumptive water is withdrawn cola and Chipola Rivers, and is closest to the surfrom ground water aquifers. Three main aquifers face in northeastern Calhoun County, where it is are present under Calhoun County. In order of overlain by 20 to 25 feet of Citronelle Formation increasing depth, these are the surficial aquifer sediments. In the western portion of the county, it system, the intermediate aquifer and confining approaches a depth of 80 feet bls, and is covered system, and the Floridan aquifer system. Data on primarily by undifferentiated sands and clays, aquifer extent and thicknesses are taken from Scott Along the southern edge of Calhoun County, the et al., 1990 (in preparation). Jackson Bluff is overlain by approximately 50 feet of undifferentiated sands. Surficial aquifer system Citronelle Formation The surficial aquifer system is the uppermost freshwater aquifer in Calhoun County. This nonThe reddish, clayey, coarse quartz sands and artesian aquifer is largely contained within the gravels of the Upper Pliocene Citronelle Formation undifferentiated sands and the Citronelle Forma(Matson, 1916) blanket large areas of the northern tion sediments. It is present in the northeastern half of Calhoun County. Believed to be of fluvial part of Calhoun County, where it reaches thickorigin, the characteristic Citronelle Formation .nesses of 55 feet, and trends southward through the sediments are comprised of cross-bedded sands, middle of the county, adjacent to the Chipola gravels, and clays. Portions of the Calhoun County River. In.parts of central Calhoun County it is surficial deposits may represent reworked and nearly 70 feet thick. It is absent or sporadic in redeposited Citronelle sediments, transported from occurence in eastern and western portions of the the eroding highlands to the north. Thickness county. The surficial aquifer system is unconfined, generally varies between 20 and 80 feet, and the and its upper surface is the water table. In general, Citronnelle deposits comprise the surficial sedithe water table elevation fluctuates with precipitaments in their area of occurence. Within Calhoun tion rate and conforms to the topography of the County, the Citronelle Formation sediments grade land surface. Recharge to the aquifer is largely laterally into a series of undifferentiated quartz through rainfall percolating through the loose sands and clayey sands. surficial sediments, and to a lesser extent, by upward seepage from the underlying intermediate Plio-Pleistocene and Holocene Series aquifer system. The surficial aquifer is not used Undifferentiated Sand and Clays extensively as a water source in the county. Much of the southern half of Calhoun County is Intermediate aquifer and confining system covered by surficial quartz sands, clays, and clayey sands. Due to the massive and discontinuous The intermediate aquifer system underlies the

PAGE 8

surficial aquifer system in Calhoun County, and is Citronelle Formation sediments contain quartz largely contained within the Intracoastal, Chipola sand with varying amounts of clay matrix. These and Jackson Bluff Formations. Permeable beds deposits blanket much of the county. Since there is within the intermediate aquifer system vary considinsufficient local demand for sand products, the erably in thickness over the areal extent of the potential for commercial mining is low at present. aquifer. In general, the aquifer ranges from 50 to 200 feet in thickness under Calhoun County, correClay spending to the variable thicknesses of the geologic formations containing it. The top of the intermediLocalized deposits of clay and sandy clay are ate is also highly variable, dipping from a low of also associated with the undifferentiated Pleistoabout 20 feet bls in north-central Calhoun County cene and Holocene marine terrace deposits, to over 70 feet bls in the western part of the CounHolocene alluvium, and Citronelle Formation ty. Some rural wells draw from this unit, but the sediments. Most of these clays are contained in intermediate aquifer system is not widely used as a and interbedded with other sediments, and as a potable water source in this area. Low-permeabiliresult are relatively impure. ty beds in the basal intermediate aquifer system may locally function as confining units to the underFlood-plain clay deposits along the Apalachilying Floridan aquifer system. cola River have been utilized for brick-making in Calhoun County. The Guilford Brothers Brick Floridan aquifer system Company plant, located south of Blountstown, manufactured common brick in the 1920's which The Floridan aquifer system is comprised of was used in the construction of the Blountstown hundreds of feet of Eocene through Miocene age Post Office (Bell, 1924). Bell (1924) cited other marine limestones, including the Ocala Group, the potential uses for this clay, including face brick, Suwannee Limestone, and where present, the drain tile, flower pots, and hollow blocks. Reserve Chattahoochee Formation and Bruce Creek Limeestimates of the clay deposits in Calhoun County stone. It is the principle source of municipal drinkhave not been made, and future exploitation will be ing water in Calhoun County. The Floridan aquifer largely dependent upon local market demand. system occurs as an artesian aquifer under the entire county. Surface springs tapping this aquifer Limestone are absent in Calhoun County. Most recharge to the Floridan aquifer system occurs in small, scatImpure Miocene limestones occur at depth tered areas in the northern part of the county, at under most of Calhoun County. Most of the shalthe up-dip portions of the carbonate units comprislower units contain extensive impurities, including ing the aquifer. Here, overburden to the Floridan quartz sand. Due to the presence of these impuriaquifer system is thinnest, and recharge occurs on a ties, the overburden thickness (at least 50 feet in low to moderate level. Much of the regional renorthern Calhoun County), and the presence of charge occurs further to the north in Jackson easily-accessible limestone deposits at the surface County where the Floridan aquifer system strata in nearby Jackson County, it is unlikely that limecrops out at the surface. stone will ever be an economical commodity in Calhoun County. MINERAL RESOURCES Phosphate The principal mineral resources occurring in Calhoun County are sand, clay, limestone, and Many of the Miocene formations underlying phosphate. The following discussion summarizes Calhoun County contain variable percentages of the current mining potential of each commodity in phosphate sand and granules. Most quantities are the county. well below the ecomonic minimum percentage however. In addition, most phosphate-bearing Sand strata occur at depths in excess of 50 feet. These factors preclude a high mining potential for phosA number of shallow private pits in Calhoun phate in Calhoun County. County are worked for local fill sand. Pleistocene marine terrace sands and alluvium and Pliocene

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REFERENCES Bell, 0., 1924, A preliminary report on the clays of , and Clark, M.W., 1980, Geology Florida (exclusive of Fuller'sEarth): in: of Bay County, Florida: Florida Florida Geological Survey 15th Annual Geological Survey Bulletin 57,76 p. Report, p.25-127. Scott, T.M., Lloyd, J., and Maddox, G., 1990 (in Burns, Frank, 1889, Unpublished Field Notes, U.S. preparation), Florida's ground water Geological Survey (Referenced in Cooke monitoring network, Volume 1: Introducand Mossom, 1929, Geology of Florida: tion and hydrogeologic framework: Florida Geological Survey 20th Annual Florida Geological Survey Survey Special Report, 103 p.) Publication no. 32. Cooke, C.W., and Mossom, S., 1929, Geology of White, W., Puri, H., and Vernon, R., 1964, Florida: Florida Geological Survey 20th Unpublished manuscript cited in: Puri, H. AnnualReport, 1927-1928, p. 29-227. and Vernon, R., 1964, Summary of the geology of Florida and a guidebook to the , and Mansfield, W., 1936, Suwannee classic exposures: Florida Geological Limestone of Florida: [abs.] Geological Survey Special Publication no. 5 (revised), Society of America Proceedings, 1935, 312 p. p.71-72. White, W., 1970, The geomorphology of the Florida Dall, W.H., and Stanley-Brown, J., 1894, peninsula: Florida Geological Survey Cenozoic geology along the Apalacicola Bulletin 51, 164 p. River: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v. 5, p. 147-170. Huddlestun, P.F., 1984, The Neogene stratigraphy of the central Florida Panhandle: [Ph.D Dissertation], Florida State University, Tallahassee, 210 p.. Matson, G., and Clapp, F., 1909, A preliminary report on the geology of Florida with special reference to the stratigraphy: Florida Geological Survey 2nd Annual Report, 1908-1909, p. 25-173. Matson, G. C., 1916, The Pliocene Citronelle Formation of the Gulf Coastal Plain: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 98, p. 167-192. Puri, H., and Vernon, R.O., 1964, Summary of the geology of Florida and a guidebook to the classic exposures: Florida Geological Survey Special Publication no. 5 (revised), 312 p. Schmidt, W., 1984, Neogene stratigraphy and geologic history of the Apalachicola Embayment, Florida: Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 58, 146 p.

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-FLORIDA-GEOLOGICAL-SURVEY COPYRIGHT NOTICE © [year of publication as printed] Florida Geological Survey [source text] The Florida Geological Survey holds all rights to the source text of this electronic resource on behalf of the State of Florida. The Florida Geological Survey shall be considered the copyright holder for the text of this publication. Under the Statutes of the State of Florida (FS 257.05; 257.105, and 377.075), the Florida Geologic Survey (Tallahassee, FL), publisher of the Florida Geologic Survey, as a division of state government, makes its documents public (i.e., published) and extends to the state's official agencies and libraries, including the University of Florida's Smathers Libraries, rights of reproduction. The Florida Geological Survey has made its publications available to the University of Florida, on behalf of the State University System of Florida, for the purpose of digitization and Internet distribution. The Florida Geological Survey reserves all rights to its publications. All uses, excluding those made under "fair use" provisions of U.S. copyright legislation (U.S. Code, Title 17, Section 107), are restricted. Contact the Florida Geological Survey for additional information and permissions.


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