Geologic units in Polk county, Florida

Reworked Cypresshead sediments (Pliocene/Pleistocene) at surface, covers 34 % 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, Bone Valley Member (Miocene/Pliocene) at surface, covers 22 % 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 21 % 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.

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

The Cypresshead Formation named by Huddlestun (1988), is composed of siliciclastics and occurs only in the peninsula and eastern Georgia. It is at or near the surface from northern Nassau County southward to Highlands County forming the peninsular highlands. It appears that the Cypresshead Formation occurs in the subsurface southward from the outcrop region and similar sediments, the Long Key Formation, underlie the Florida Keys. The Cypresshead Formation is a shallow marine, near shore deposit equivalent to the Citronelle Formation deltaic sediments and the Miccosukee Formation prodeltaic sediments. The Cypresshead Formation consists of reddish brown to reddish orange, unconsolidated to poorly consolidated, fine to very coarse grained, clean to clayey sands. Cross bedded sands are common within the formation. Discoid quartzite pebbles and mica are often present. Clay beds are scattered and not areally extensive. In general, the Cypresshead Formation in exposure occurs above 100 feet (30 meters) above mean sea level (msl). Original fossil material is not present in the sediments although poorly preserved molds and casts of mollusks and burrow structures are occasionally present. The presence of these fossil "ghosts" and trace fossils documents marine influence on deposition of the Cypresshead sediments. The permeable sands of the Cypresshead Formation form part of the surficial aquifer system.

Dunes (Pliocene/Pleistocene) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Tertiary-Quaternary Dunes - The dune sediments are fine to medium quartz sand with varying amounts of disseminated organic matter. The sands form dunes at elevations greater than 100 feet (30 meters) msl.

Ocala Limestone (Eocene) at surface, covers 2 % 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).

Suwannee Limestone (Oligocene) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Peninsular Lower Oligocene carbonates crop out on the northwestern, northeastern and southwestern flanks of the Ocala Platform. The Suwannee Limestone is absent from the eastern side of the Ocala Platform due to erosion, nondeposition or both, an area referred to as Orange Island (Bryan, 1991). The Suwannee Limestone, originally named by Cooke and Mansfield (1936), consists of a white to cream, poorly to well indurated, fossiliferous, vuggy to moldic limestone (grainstone and packstone). The dolomitized parts of the Suwannee Limestone are gray, tan, light brown to moderate brown, moderately to well indurated, finely to coarsely crystalline, dolostone with limited occurrences of fossiliferous (molds and casts) beds. Silicified limestone is common in Suwannee Limestone. Fossils present in the Suwannee Limestone include mollusks, foraminifers, corals and echinoids.

Holocene sediments (Holocene) at surface, covers 0.4 % 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.

Hawthorn Group, Arcadia Formation, Tampa Member (Oligocene/Miocene) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

The Tampa Member consists predominantly of limestone with subordinate dolostone, sand and clay (Scott, 1988). The lithology of the Tampa Member is very similar to that of the subsurface limestone part of the Arcadia Formation except that the Tampa Member contains noticeably less phosphate (Scott, 1988). The limestone in the Tampa is white to yellowish gray, fossiliferous and variably sandy and clayey mudstone, wackestone and packstone with minor to no phosphate grains. Sand and clay beds are like those in the undifferentiated Arcadia Formation. Mollusks and corals are common in the Tampa Member as molds and casts, silicified pseudomorphs and original shell material. The Tampa Member and the lower part of the Arcadia Formation form the upper part of the Floridan aquifer system (FAS) in parts of southern Florida (Miller, 1986; Scott, 1991).