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Florida Geologic Formations

Florida has unique origins. What would become the basement rocks of Florida were once part of other continents. During the early part of the Cenozoic Era, Florida was submerged under a warm, shallow, ocean which explains why our entire state has hundreds to thousands of feet of limestone beneath it! Land emerged from the ocean as sea level fell during the Oligocene Epoch.  During the later part of the Cenozoic Era, quartz sand and clays were transported to Florida, via rivers and marine currents, from the Appalachian Mountain belt as it eroded over millions of years.    

Florida geologic strata are divided into formations.  Formations are the basic rock units used in stratigraphy, the branch of geology that deals with the layers of sedimentary rock that have accumulated over geologic time.   The following are select formations that can be found in the state. Visit our page about Florida's Rocks and Minerals for more information about individual components, or take a visual tour of Florida’s tectonic and depositional history through geologic time long before the Atlantic Ocean existed with our ESRI Story Map of Florida's Geologic History.

Formations of Florida

Formation Photo Composition Extent

Alum Bluff Group

Miocene & Pliocene

View More Photos Clays, sands, and shell beds; characterized by molluscan fauna Panhandle

Anastasia Formation

late Pleistocene

More information

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Coquinoid limestone (coquina) and unconsolidated shelly sand

Eastern Florida Coast

Arcadia Formation (Hawthorn Group)

late Oligocene to early Miocene

View More Photos Dolomite, limestone, and quartz sands; characterized by high percentage of phosphate Central Peninsular Florida

Avon Park Formation

middle Eocene

More information

View More Photos Limestone and dolostone with gypsum infill

Peninsular Florida

Bridgeboro Limestone

early Oligocene

More information

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Fossiliferous limestone containing rhodoliths (coralline red algae)

Panhandle along the western flank of the Gulf Trough

Caloosahatchee Formation

early Pleistocene

View More Photos Quartz sand and shelly limestone South Florida

Cedar Keys Formation

Paleocene to early Eocene

Recrystalized limestone and dolostone with gypsum, quartz and chert infill Peninsular Florida

Chattahoochee Formation

early Miocene

View More Photos Silty, sandy dolostone Panhandle

Chipola formation (Alum Bluff Group)

early Miocene

More information

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Clayey, sandy fossiliferous carbonates and shelly sand

Panhandle

Citronelle Formation

Pliocene to Pleistocene

More information

View More Photos Quartz sand, gravel and clay

Panhandle

Cypresshead Formation

Pliocene to Pleistocene

More information

View More Photos Quartz sands

Northeast Florida

Hawthorn Group

Oligocene to Pliocene

View More Photos Limestone and siliciclastics; characterized by presence of phosphates Peninsular Florida

Jackson Bluff Formation

late Pliocene

More information

View More Photos Fossiliferous clayey sands and sandy clays; molluscan fauna

Panhandle

Key Largo Limestone

late Pleistocene

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Coralline limestone South Florida

Marianna Limestone

early Oligocene

More information

View More Photos Fossiliferous, argillaceous limestone

Panhandle

Miami Limestone

late Pleistocene

More information

View More Photos Oolitic and brozoan limestone

South Florida

Miccosukee Formation

Pliocene to Pleistocene

View More Photos Interbedded and cross-bedded siliciclastics with a high clay content Panhandle

Ocala Limestone

late Eocene

More information

View More Photos Highly permeable fossiliferous limestone

Peninsular Florida & Eastern Panhandle

Oldsmar Formation

early Eocene

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Recrystalized limestone and dolostone with gypsum infill Peninsular Florida

St. Marks Formation

early Miocene

View More Photos Fossiliferous limestone Panhandle

Suwannee Limestone

early Oligocene

More information

View More Photos Micro-fossiliferous and crystalline limestone

North and Central Peninsular Florida

Tamiami Formation

Pliocene

View More Photos Slightly phosphatic sandy limestone South Florida

Torreya Formation (Hawthorn Group)

early Miocene

View More Photos Quartz sands and fine-grained limestone with phosphate

Panhandle

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Last Modified:
February 1, 2021 - 11:45am

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