Geologic units in Hardee county, Florida

Reworked Cypresshead sediments (Pliocene/Pleistocene) at surface, covers 38 % of this area

Undifferentiated reworked Cypresshead Formation- This unit is the result of post depositional reworking of the Cypresshead siliciclastics. The sediments are fine to coarse quartz sands with scattered quartz gravel and varying percentages of clay matrix.

Hawthorn Group, Peace River Formation (Miocene/Pliocene) at surface, covers 33 % of this area

The Peace River Formation crops out or is beneath a thin overburden on the southern part of the Ocala Platform extending into the Okeechobee Basin. These sediments were mapped from Hillsborough County southward to Charlotte County. Within this area, the Peace River Formation is composed of interbedded sands, clays and carbonates. The sands are generally light gray to olive gray, poorly consolidated, clayey, variably dolomitic, very fine to medium grained and phosphatic. The clays are yellowish gray to olive gray, poorly to moderately consolidated, sandy, silty, phosphatic and dolomitic. The carbonates are usually dolostone in the outcrop area. The dolostones are light gray to yellowish gray, poorly to well indurated, variably sandy and clayey, and phosphatic. Opaline chert is often found in these sediments. The phosphate content of the Peace River Formation sands is frequently high enough to be economically mined. Fossil mollusks occur as reworked casts, molds, and limited original shell material. Silicified corals and wood, and vertebrate fossils are also present. The Peace River Formation is widespread in southern Florida. It is part of the intermediate confining unit/aquifer system.

Hawthorn Group, Peace River Formation, Bone Valley Member (Miocene/Pliocene) at surface, covers 23 % of this area

The Bone Valley Member (originally the Bone Valley Formation of Matson and Clapp, 1909), Peace River Formation occurs in a limited area on the southern part of the Ocala Platform in Hillsborough, Polk and Hardee Counties. Throughout its extent, the Bone Valley Member is a clastic unit consisting of sand-sized and larger phosphate grains in a matrix of quartz sand, silt and clay. The lithology is highly variable, ranging from sandy, silty, phosphatic clays and relatively pure clays to clayey, phosphatic sands to sandy, clayey phosphorites (Webb and Crissinger, 1983). In general, consolidation is poor and colors range from white, light brown and yellowish gray to olive gray and blue green. Mollusks are found as reworked, often phosphatized casts. Vertebrate fossils occur in many of the beds within the Bone Valley Member. Shark's teeth are often abundant. Silicified corals and wood are occasionally present as well. The Bone Valley Member is an extremely important, unique phosphate deposit and has provided much of the phosphate production in the United States during the twentieth century. Mining of phosphate in the outcrop area began in 1888 (Cathcart, 1985) and continues to the present.

Undifferentiated sediments (Pleistocene/Holocene) at surface, covers 6 % 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.