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Abstract: Florida-Bahama Platform
Harold Owens (1)
The Florida-Bahama platform covers 200,000 square miles, encompassing the Bahama Islands and most of the Florida peninsula and shelf. The 35,000 square miles of emerged surface has little relief; however, relief found in deep water channels on the submerged part of the platform exceeds 6,000 feet. Geologically, the area is bounded by the Ocala uplift, the overthrust sheet of the Greater Antilles, the possibly faulted west edge of the Florida shelf, and the North Atlantic Ocean deep.
Mesozoic and Cenozoic carbonates and evaporates form a southward thickening wedge of sediments that attain a maximum known thickness of 19,000 feet in the Cay Sal Bank area. The youngest Paleozoic rocks encountered have been identified as Devonian; however, Ordovician clastics are usually found immediately underlying Cretaceous sediments in north Florida. Total thickness of the flat-lying unmetamorphosed Paleozoic section is estimated at slightly over 6,000 feet. PreCambrian age determinations have not been made on igneous rocks encountered in the province; however, in some places igneous rocks probably pre-date the early Paleozoic sediments.
Major structural features within the province are the south Florida basin and the Bahama basin; these are separated by a more stable area that may be the southeast extension of the Ocala uplift. Local structures in Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments should be of the basin type as there are no indications of major post-Paleozoic orogenic movements within the province.
The Sunniland Field in south Florida, the only producing oil field in the province, has produced about 6 million barrels of oil from a Lower Cretaceous bioclastic zone at 11,600 feet. Problems confronting the oil seeker include shallow high-velocity and cavernous formations that make seismic and core drill prospecting difficult.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND ASSOCIATED FOOTNOTES
(1) Humble Oil & Refining Company, Tallahassee, Florida.
Copyright © 1999 by The Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies