Florida

 

Geological State Symbols Across America           Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures


Florida State Geological Symbols
Type
Symbol
Year Established
State Stone
Agatized Coral
1976
State Gem
Moonstone
1970

 

State Stone: Agatized Coral

Coral is a invertebrate animals that belong to the group Cnidaria, which includes jelly fish and sea anemones.

 

State Gem: Moonstone


 

References

https://statesymbolsusa.org/states/united-states/florida

https://www.icriforum.org/about-coral-reefs/what-are-corals


Geology of Florida's National Parks

Through Pictures

(at least the one's I have been to)

 

Canaveral National Seashore

Visited in 2003

 

Canaveral National Seashore

Back a long time ago during a Spring Break trip of 2003, my girlfriend (at the time) and I hit up the Canaveral National Seashore. And although the pictures taken at the time weren't geologically inclined, there is still geology that abounds. The seashore is made up of several geological features, mainly a barrier island beach and the sheltered lagoon, which provides an safe space for the wildlife in the region, properly termed an estuary. 

 

Canaveral National Seashore

The barrier island, as seen here with me attempting to enter the Atlantic Ocean, is a protective sand beach environment that breaks up the waves before they can hit the mainland. This beach, detached from the mainland, is created by the inward movement of the waves interacting with the outward movement of the waves, also known as the riptide. At this location where the waves interact, the ability of the water to carry sediment out to sea is reduced and the sand drops to the ocean floor. Over time this sand piles up, eventually becoming an island strip that acts as a barrier to the ocean waves and provides a safe and quiet lagoon between the island and the mainland. Canaveral National Seashore provides 24 miles of undeveloped beach, the longest continuous stretch in all of eastern Florida.

 

Canaveral National Seashore

Although not directly geological, as a paleontologist I am also a biologist at heart and so the ecology, the fauna, and the flora of different parks also interests me. Here we have several instances of the fauna of the park with the first being an armadillo. We actually encountered quite a few of these guys, much more than I had ever seen before or since.

 

Canaveral National Seashore

Checking out the beach at night allowed me to find some crabs scuttling along. 

 

Canaveral National Seashore

And some of my favorite wildlife, the manatees. The lagoon provides a perfect habitat for them, protecting them from the strong ocean waves and providing them with a reliable supply of food.


De Soto National Memorial

Visited in 2018

 

On a trip to visit my mother in Florida, I managed to convince the family to hit up the nearby national park.

DeSoto National Memorial

The obligatory entrance sign with my Gummy Bear.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

The park sits at the mouth of Tampa Bay along the south shore of the Manatee River. This is an estuary environment where the salt water from the Gulf of Mexico mixes with the fresh water from the Manatee River.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

The ecological environments within this small park range from beach front dune to mangrove swamp.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

But with many archeological parks, one of the primary geological aspects are the building stones used to make the dwellings. Here we have the remains of the "Tabby House". Tabby is a building stone made from the mixture of oyster shells, lime, sand, and water creating a hardened stone brick over about three days. The bricks were then coated in a plaster of lime, sand, and water.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

A view over DeSoto Point overlooking the Manatee River.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

Here is a shell midden, which is essentially a garbage pile of discarded remains of mollusks, shellfish, and bones. You can see within this midden the rather large gastropod (snail) shells.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

Another geological aspect commen in many parks are the building stones used in monuments. Here is a view of the Holy Eucharist Monument. The base of the monument is limestone cut in Mankato, Minnesota.  The limestone in use is the Ordovician age Kasota limestone, which is actually a dolomitic limestone, part of the Oneota dolomitic strata. The color of the stone is known as a "buff color" which is that slightly reddish-brown color due to the 1% iron oxide composition providing a rust staining to the stone. Although the Kasota does not have many fossils, it does have a significant number of traces fossils running through the rock, however I am not certain the type of trace fossils preserved.

 

The carving stone came from Madrid, unfortunately I cannot find any information about the type of stone used, nor did I take any better pictures or get a closer look at the stone to determine for myself.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

Taking a stroll though the dense beach forest.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

The Desoto Trail marker, using "granite" from an unknown location.

 

DeSoto National Memorial

A closer view of the "granite", but based on this picture it may more accurately be described as a diorite, however I don't recall what type of rock it was from my visit.

 

References

Charola, A. Elena, et al. "Composition and characteristics of Kasota limestone on the exterior of the National Museum of the American Indian building." Conservation of the Exterior of the National Museum of the American Indian Building. Vol. 6. 2017. 17-26.