Geologic units in Holmes county, Florida

Alum Bluff Group (Miocene) at surface, covers 61 % 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.

Citronelle Formation (Pliocene) at surface, covers 27 % 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.

Ocala Limestone (Eocene) at surface, covers 7 % of this area

Dall and Harris (1892) referred to the limestones exposed near Ocala, Marion County, in central peninsular Florida as the Ocala Limestone. Puri (1953, 1957) elevated the Ocala Limestone to group status recognizing its component formations on the basis of foraminiferal faunas (biozones). Scott (1991) reduced the Ocala Group to formational status in accordance with the North American Stratigraphic Code (North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature, 1983). The Ocala Limestone consists of nearly pure limestones and occasional dolostones. It can be subdivided into lower and upper facies on the basis of lithology. The lower member is composed of a white to cream-colored, fine to medium grained, poorly to moderately indurated, very fossiliferous limestone (grainstone and packstone). The lower facies may not be present throughout the areal extent of the Ocala Limestone and may be partially to completely dolomitized in some regions (Miller, 1986). The upper facies is a white, poorly to well indurated, poorly sorted, very fossiliferous limestone (grainstone, packstone and wackestone). Silicified limestone (chert) is common in the upper facies. Fossils present in the Ocala Limestone include abundant large and smaller foraminifers, echinoids, bryozoans and mollusks. The large foraminifera Lepidocyclina sp. is abundant in the upper facies and extremely limited in the lower facies. The presence of these large foraminifers in the upper facies is quite distinctive. The Ocala Limestone is at or near the surface within the Ocala Karst District in the westcentral to northwestern peninsula and within the Dougherty Plain District in the north-central panhandle (Scott, in preparation). In these areas, the Ocala Limestone exhibits extensive karstification. These karst features often have tens of feet (meters) of relief, dramatically influencing the topography of the Ocala Karst District and the Dougherty Plain District (Scott, in preparation). Numerous disappearing streams and springs occur within these areas. The permeable, highly transmissive carbonates of the Ocala Limestone form an important part of the FAS. It is one of the most permeable rock units in the FAS (Miller, 1986).

Alluvium (Pleistocene/Holocene) at surface, covers 5 % 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.

Alluvial, coastal and low terrace deposits (Holocene) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Varicolored fine to coarse quartz sand containing clay lenses and gravel in places. Gravel composed of quartz and chert pebbles and assorted metmorphic and igneous rock fragments in streams near the Piedmont. In areas of the Valley and Ridge province gravel composed of angular to subrounded chert, quartz, and quartzite pebbles. Coastal deposits include fine to medium quartz sand with shell fragments and accessory heavy minerals along Gulf beaches and fine to medium quartz sand, silt, clay, peat, mud and ooze in the Mississippi Sound, Little Lagoon, bays, lakes, streams, and estuaries.

Claiborne/Jackson Group; Residuum (Eocene-Oligocene) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

White to moderate-reddish-orange locally mottled sandy clay and residual clay with scattered layers of gravelly medium to coarse sand, fossiliferous chert and limestone boulders and limonitic sand masses. Derived from solution and collapse of limestone in the Jackson Group and Oligocene Series and the slumping of Pliocene and Miocene sediments.