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Florida Geological Survey - Geological Investigations Section
Picture of water rushing down sinkhole that opened up in Lake Jackson, Tallahassee

Geological Investigations Section

The Geological Investigations Section supports the the mission of the Florida Geological Survey (FGS) to “collect, interpret and provide objective quality geologic information about Florida" by focusing on basic geological research, mapping, and assessments. The following highlight the many aspects of the section's responsibilities.

Collects and interprets statewide surface and subsurface geophysical and geological data

The Geological Investigations Section of the Florida Geological Survey collects and interprets surface and subsurface geologic data within upland, offshore, near shore, beach and estuarine environments to provide an understanding of Florida’s three-dimensional geologic framework. This knowledge is necessary to understand Florida’s ecosystems, watersheds, aquifer recharge and protection, and to provide or recommend effective environmental remediation, where necessary.

Statewide coastal research is a part of the Geological Investigations Section that is cooperatively funded by various federal agencies including the U. S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These studies commenced 1991 in recognition of the need for geologic information to further our understanding of coastal processes, resources and fragile coastal ecosystems.

Conducts statewide geologic, geomorphic and mineral resource mapping

The Geological Investigations Section works with the FGS Geological Sample Acquisition and Management Section acquiring geological data and samples through auger and core-drilling supporting existing FGS research. Staff describe these cores and cuttings as well as those archived in the FGS repository. The descriptions are entered into the FGS lithologic database, which presently contains more than 5,000 records. These descriptions are then used to create statewide maps.

The FGS statewide Geological Mapping Program (STATEMAP) program was established in 1994. Its mission is "to establish a geologic framework through detailed mapping of areas determined to be vital to the economic, societal, or scientific welfare of Florida. STATEMAP recently completed a project near St. Augustine.

picture of Rock Springs

The geomorphology of Florida is unique. As one of two states residing entirely within the Coastal Plain, Florida is part of an enormous carbonate bank, called the Florida Platform, covered by a thin layer of younger quartz sand and clay sediments. It is these carbonate rocks which are, in part, responsible for many of the karst features common to Florida, such as springs, swallets and sinkholes. Identifying these landforms and completion of the statewide geomorphic mapping project is important for Floridians to better understand the state’s geologic history and why the landscapes of Florida occur where they do.

Conducts geologic hazard research

The section documents potential hazards such as coastal erosion and sinkholes, and currently maintains a database of statewide Subsidence Incident Reports

Investigate and report on Florida’s stratigraphy, mineralogy, sedimentology, and paleontology

Research conducted by the Geologic Investigations Section sustains the core statutory mandate of FGS and includes: statewide geologic mapping; reinterpretation of Florida’s geomorphic features; and aquifer-system framework delineation. Additional functions of the section include compiling up-to-date mineral assessments as well as maintaining information on Florida’s lithostratigraphic nomenclature

Provides geological expertise

Cores, cuttings, lithologic descriptions and geophysical logs are a valuable asset to the earth science community. These fundamental geologic data support the needs of more than one third of the programs in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The Geological Investigations Section provides geological expertise to these programs. When issues arise that might impact or be impacted by the geology of Florida, the staff also acts as consultants or co-investigators to other local, state and federal agencies.

Provides outreach and education opportunities for citizens highlighting the importance of geoscience

The FGS actively participates in educational opportunites throughout the year: presenting geologic information to citizens and government officals; speaking to both local schools and institutes higher education; and developing posters and pamphets that are used throughout the state to educate the public.

Last updated: November 10, 2014

  3000 Commonwealth Blvd., Suite 1   Tallahassee, Florida 32303   850-617-0300 (phone)  850-617-0341 (fax)
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