Geologic units in Bay county, Florida

Undifferentiated sediments (Pleistocene/Holocene) at surface, covers 79 % of this area

Undifferentiated Quaternary Sediments - Much of Florida's surface is covered by a varying thickness of undifferentiated sediments consisting of siliciclastics, organics and freshwater carbonates. Where these sediments exceed 20 feet (6.1 meters) thick, they were mapped as discrete units. In an effort to subdivide the undifferentiated sediments, those sediments occurring in flood plains were mapped as alluvial and flood plain deposits (Qal). Sediments showing surficial expression of beach ridges and dunes were mapped separately (Qbd) as were the sediments composing Trail Ridge (Qtr). Terrace sands were not mapped (refer to Healy [1975] for a discussion of the terraces in Florida). The subdivisions of the Undifferentiated Quaternary Sediments (Qu) are not lithostratigraphic units but are utilized in order to facilitate a better understanding of the State's geology. The siliciclastics are light gray, tan, brown to black, unconsolidated to poorly consolidated, clean to clayey, silty, unfossiliferous, variably organic-bearing sands to blue green to olive green, poorly to moderately consolidated, sandy, silty clays. Gravel is occasionally present in the panhandle. Organics occur as plant debris, roots, disseminated organic matrix and beds of peat. Freshwater carbonates, often referred to as marls in the literature, are scattered over much of the State. In southern Florida, freshwater carbonates are nearly ubiquitous in the Everglades. These sediments are buff colored to tan, unconsolidated to poorly consolidated, fossiliferous carbonate muds. Sand, silt and clay may be present in limited quantities. These carbonates often contain organics. The dominant fossils in the freshwater carbonates are mollusks.

Citronelle Formation (Pliocene) at surface, covers 15 % of this area

The Citronelle Formation is widespread in the Gulf Coastal Plain. The type section for the Citronelle Formation, named by Matson (1916), is near Citronelle, Alabama. The Citronelle Formation grades laterally, through a broad facies transition, into the Miccosukee Formation of the eastern Florida panhandle. Coe (1979) investigated the Citronelle Formation in portions of the western Florida panhandle. The Citronelle Formation is a siliciclastic, deltaic deposit that is lithologically similar to, and time equivalent with, the Cypresshead Formation and, at least in part, the Long Key Formation (Cunningham et al., 1998) of the peninsula. In the western panhandle, some of the sediments mapped as Citronelle Formation may be reworked Citronelle. The lithologies are the same and there are few fossils present to document a possible younger age. The Citronelle Formation consists of gray to orange, often mottled, unconsolidated to poorly consolidated, very fine to very coarse, poorly sorted, clean to clayey sands. It contains significant amounts of clay, silt and gravel which may occur as beds and lenses and may vary considerably over short distances. Limonite nodules and limonite-cemented beds are common. Marine fossils are rare but fossil pollen, plant remains and occasional vertebrates are found. Much of the Citronelle Formation is highly permeable. It forms the Sand and Gravel Aquifer of the surficial aquifer system.

Holocene sediments (Holocene) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

The Holocene sediments in Florida occur near the present coastline at elevations generally less than 5 feet (1.5 meters). The sediments include quartz sands, carbonate sands and muds, and organics.

Alluvium (Pleistocene/Holocene) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Undifferentiated Quaternary Sediments - Much of Florida's surface is covered by a varying thickness of undifferentiated sediments consisting of siliciclastics, organics and freshwater carbonates. Where these sediments exceed 20 feet (6.1 meters) thick, they were mapped as discrete units. In an effort to subdivide the undifferentiated sediments, those sediments occurring in flood plains were mapped as alluvial and flood plain deposits (Qal). Sediments showing surficial expression of beach ridges and dunes were mapped separately (Qbd) as were the sediments composing Trail Ridge (Qtr). Terrace sands were not mapped (refer to Healy [1975] for a discussion of the terraces in Florida). The subdivisions of the Undifferentiated Quaternary Sediments (Qu) are not lithostratigraphic units but are utilized in order to facilitate a better understanding of the State's geology. The siliciclastics are light gray, tan, brown to black, unconsolidated to poorly consolidated, clean to clayey, silty, unfossiliferous, variably organic-bearing sands to blue green to olive green, poorly to moderately consolidated, sandy, silty clays. Gravel is occasionally present in the panhandle. Organics occur as plant debris, roots, disseminated organic matrix and beds of peat. Freshwater carbonates, often referred to as marls in the literature, are scattered over much of the State. In southern Florida, freshwater carbonates are nearly ubiquitous in the Everglades. These sediments are buff colored to tan, unconsolidated to poorly consolidated, fossiliferous carbonate muds. Sand, silt and clay may be present in limited quantities. These carbonates often contain organics. The dominant fossils in the freshwater carbonates are mollusks.

Alum Bluff Group (Miocene) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

West of the Apalachicola River, the Hawthorn Group is replaced by the Alum Bluff Group. The Alum Bluff Group includes the Chipola Formation, Oak Grove Sand, Shoal River Formation, Choctawhatchee Formation and the Jackson Bluff Formation (Huddlestun, 1984; Braunstein et al., 1988). The formations included in this group are generally defined on the basis of their molluscan faunas and stratigraphic position (Schmidt and Clark, 1980). Puri (1953) described sediment facies as they relate to the formations of the Alum Bluff Group These sediments are lithologically distinct as a group, not as individual units. Brooks (1982) mapped much of the Alum Bluff Group as the Shoal River Formation. The Alum Bluff Group crops out or is beneath a thin overburden in the western panhandle from river valleys in Okaloosa County eastward to western Jackson County. The Alum Bluff Group consists of clays, sands and shell beds which may vary from fossiliferous, sandy clays to unfossiliferous sands and clays and occasional carbonate beds (Huddlestun, 1984). Mica is a common constituent and glauconite and phosphate occur sporadically. Induration varies from essentially nonindurated in sands to well indurated in carbonate lenses. Colors range from cream to olive gray with mottled reddish brown in weathered sections. Sand grain size varies from very fine to very coarse with sporadic occurrences of gravel. These sediments generally have low permeabilities and are part of the intermediate confining unit/aquifer system.