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.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.