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.
The Tamiami Formation (Mansfield, 1939) is a poorly defined lithostratigraphic unit containing a wide range of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic lithologies and associated faunas (Missimer, 1992). It occurs at or near the land surface in Charlotte, Lee, Hendry, Collier and Monroe Counties in the southern peninsula. A number of named and unnamed members are recognized within the Tamiami Formation. These include: the Buckingham Limestone Member; an unnamed tan clay and sand; an oyster (Hyotissa) facies, a sand facies, the Ochopee Limestone Member, the Bonita Springs Marl Member; an unnamed limestone facies; the Golden Gate Reef Member; and the Pinecrest Sand Member (Missimer, 1992). The individual members of the Tamiami Formation were not separately mapped on the geological map. Lithologies of the Tamiami Formation in the mapped area include: 1) light gray to tan, unconsolidated, fine to coarse grained, fossiliferous sand; 2) light gray to green, poorly consolidated, fossiliferous sandy clay to clayey sand; 3) light gray, poorly consolidated, very fine to medium grained, calcareous, fossiliferous sand; 4) white to light gray, poorly consolidated, sandy, fossiliferous limestone; and 5) white to light gray, moderately to well indurated, sandy, fossiliferous limestone. Phosphate is present in virtually all lithologies as limited quantities of sand- to gravel-sized grains. Fossils present in the Tamiami occur as molds, casts and original material. The fossils present include barnacles, mollusks, corals, echinoids, foraminifers and calcareous nannoplankton. The Tamiami Formation has highly permeable to impermeable lithologies that form a complex aquifer. Locally, it is part of the surficial aquifer system. In other areas, it forms a part of the intermediate confining unit/aquifer system.
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 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