The Miami Limestone (formerly the Miami Oolite), named by Sanford (1909), occurs at or near the surface in southeastern peninsular Florida from Palm Beach County to Dade and Monroe Counties. It forms the Atlantic Coastal Ridge and extends beneath the Everglades where it is commonly covered by thin organic and freshwater sediments. The Miami Limestone occurs on the mainland and in the southern Florida Keys from Big Pine Key to the Marquesas Keys. From Big Pine Key to the mainland, the Miami Limestone is replaced by the Key Largo Limestone. To the north, in Palm Beach County, the Miami Limestone grades laterally northward into the Anastasia Formation. The Miami Limestone consists of two facies, an oolitic facies and a bryozoan facies (Hoffmeister et al. ). The oolitic facies consists of white to orangish gray, poorly to moderately indurated, sandy, oolitic limestone (grainstone) with scattered concentrations of fossils. The bryozoan facies consists of white to orangish gray, poorly to well indurated, sandy, fossiliferous limestone (grainstone and packstone). Beds of quartz sand are also present as unindurated sediments and indurated limey sandstones. Fossils present include mollusks, bryozoans, and corals. Molds and casts of fossils are common. The highly porous and permeable Miami Limestone forms much of the Biscayne Aquifer of the surficial aquifer system.
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.
Tertiary-Quaternary Fossiliferous Sediments of Southern Florida - Molluskbearing sediments of southern Florida contain some of the most abundant and diverse fossil faunas in the world. The origin of these accumulations of fossil mollusks is imprecisely known (Allmon, 1992). The shell beds have attracted much attention due to the abundance and preservation of the fossils but the biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy of the units has not been well defined (Scott, 1992). Scott and Wingard (1995) discussed the problems associated with biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy of the Plio-Pleistocene in southern Florida. These "formations" are biostratigraphic units. The "formations" previously recognized within the latest Tertiary-Quaternary section of southern Florida include the latest Pliocene - early Pleistocene Caloosahatchee Formation, the early Pleistocene Bermont formation (informal) and the late Pleistocene Fort Thompson Formation. This section consists of fossiliferous sands and carbonates. The identification of these units is problematic unless the significant molluscan species are recognized. Often exposures are not extensive enough to facilitate the collection of representative faunal samples to properly discern the biostratigraphic identification of the formation. In an attempt to alleviate the inherent problems in the biostratigraphic recognition of lithostratigraphic units, Scott (1992) suggested grouping the latest Pliocene through late Pleistocene Caloosahatchee, Bermont and Fort Thompson Formations in to a single lithostratigraphic entity, the Okeechobee formation (informal). In mapping the shelly sands and carbonates, a generalized grouping as Tertiary-Quaternary shell units (TQsu) was utilized. This is equivalent to the informal Okeechobee formation. The distribution of the Caloosahatchee and Fort Thompson Formation are shown on previous geologic maps by Cooke (1945), Vernon and Puri (1964) and Brooks (1982). The Nashua Formation occurs within the Pliocene - Pleistocene in northern Florida. However, it crops out or is near the surface is an area too small to be shown on a map of this scale. Lithologically these sediments are complex, varying from unconsolidated, variably calcareous and fossiliferous quartz sands to well indurated, sandy, fossiliferous limestones (both marine and freshwater). Clayey sands and sandy clays are present. These sediments form part of the surficial aquifer system
The Key Largo Limestone, named by Sanford (1909), is exposed at the surface in the Florida Keys from Soldier Key on the northeast to Newfound Harbor Keys near Big Pine Key on the southwest (Hoffmeister, 1974). This unit is a fossil coral reef much like the present day reefs offshore from the Keys. An exceptional exposure of the Key Largo Limestone occurs in the Windley Key Quarry State Geological Site in the upper Florida Keys. Exposures of the limestone containing large coral heads are in a series of old quarries. The Key Largo Limestone is a white to light gray, moderately to well indurated, fossiliferous, coralline limestone composed of coral heads encased in a calcarenitic matrix. Little to no siliciclastic sediment is found in these sediments. Fossils present include corals, mollusks and bryozoans. It is highly porous and permeable and is part of the Biscayne Aquifer of the surficial aquifer system