The analyses of geological features, history with the contextual study of natural disasters, significance of various rocks, and nonrenewable resources of Florida have led to a better understanding of the factors and forces of geology of Florida.
The history of Florida in the context of geology can be divided into three phases; Precambrian, Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. In Precambrian period, the new sea floor spread outward to both sides of the mid Atlantic ridge and formed new oceanic crust. The Paleozoic era, (from 65 million to 250-million years old) represent deposition of sediments, sea-level fluctuations, erosion of mountains and filling gulf trough by siliciclastic sediments forming high and low basins. The Mesozoic era (Quaternary period, i.e. 1.8 million years ago) is characterized by fluctuating sea levels, glaciations, and defining Florida's topography by the melting of glaciers (Puri, et al, 1964).
The sea levels were high in and fluctuated with respect to the sediment non-disposition. In the Quaternary Period, sea levels dropped around 400 feet below the present level due to glaciations but then increased as a result of global warming and continue to rise due to melting of glaciers (Lazarus, 2009).
The climate was drier in the quaternary period due to low sea level. The precipitation and projected temperature trends are quasi-neutral in Florida due to internal oscillations and global circulation. Scientists propose the global warming as a result of alleviating green houses gases at the end of ice age, and caused wetter climate. The existence of anhydrite layers in the thick carbonate amassing of south Florida indicates the hotness of climate in the past in Florida (Lazarus, 2009).
The incidence of sinkhole erosion is commonly observed in Florida especially when 2 million cubic ft hole opened under million-ton pile of gypsum stack, in 1994. Some minor earthquake shocks have been experienced like the one near St. Augustine in 1879. Since Florida doesn't have any volcanoes, the risk of earthquake is reduced. Hurricanes and tornadoes are more common (Lazarus, 2009).
Geological features of Florida
Geologically, Florida can be distinguished into the coastal lowlands, central and north highlands, Marianna lowlands separated by streams extending from Trail Ridge to Alabama by sea facing escarpment. The geological features include peninsular arch, Broward syncline, south Florida shelf, Suwannee straits, Ocala Uplift; Kissimmee faulted flexure (fault-lines and fold bounded), Sanford high and Osceola low basin. There are several hills but no huge real mountains in Florida. Britton hill (345 ft above sea level) is the highest place in Florida.
The rocks formed in Florida during the three phases of geological history of Florida are found many feet below the Florida's surface. Theses basement rocks were formed during late Triassic period and were filled by sedimentary disposition during the Mesozoic period by sediments brought in by the wave's activity (Puri, et al, 1964).
Significance of Igneous rocks
Igneous rocks in Florida are the rocks formed deep within the ...