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publications > poster > relations of a heterozoan carbonate-particle association to aquifer characteristics in a pliocene mixed siliciclastic-carbonate ramp (tamiami formation), southern florida


Cunningham, Kevin J. and Reese, Ronald S.;
U.S. Geological Survey,
9100 NW 36th Street, Suite 107, Miami, FL 33178,

image of cross-section
Download: This poster is available as a PDF (8.2 MB) or jpeg (Zipped, 3.6 MB). Note: The PDF may print at a better quality than appears on your screen. The jpeg is at 300 dpi and will print out at a smaller size than what appears on your monitor.


Continuous cores recently collected from the Pliocene Tamiami Formation, part of the highly productive surficial aquifer system in southern Florida, are composed of mixed siliciclastic-carbonate rocks that contain a heterozoan carbonate-particle association (terminology of James, 1997). The heterozoan carbonate particles of the Tamiami Formation accumulated in a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate ramp depositional system and may have been produced at non-tropical bottom-water paleotemperatures. An upwelling of nutrients and increased siliciclastic influx and runoff might have contributed to relatively high rates of heterozoan carbonate-particle production. Evidence for a non-tropical paleotemperature is indicated by: (1) an abundance of benthic carbonate particles produced by organisms that are light independent; (2) a lack of hermatypic corals, calcareous algae and non-skeletal grains such as ooids; (3) low to moderate amounts of carbonate mud; (4) absent to rare reefal structures; and (5) low amounts of marine cementation

The pore types of the Tamiami Formation, linked to a heterozoan carbonate-particle association, are mainly intergrain and separate-vug (skeletal-moldic) pore spaces. The intergrain pore space is contained in three classes of rock fabric that include grainstone, grain-dominated packstone and mud-dominated packstone. Aquifer tests and semi-quantitative core analyses performed on the rocks of the Tamiami Formation indicate that rock-fabric and associated pore space combine to form an interconnected pore system capable of producing high values of hydraulic conductivity. Values of hydraulic conductivity more than 100 feet/day are common; they are lowest in areas of the ramp overwhelmed by siliciclastic input.

The assemblage of heterozoan carbonate particles and associated pore system in the Tamiami Formation provides a potential analogue for other Tertiary aquifers deposited in a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate ramp depositional system.

James, N.P., 1997, The cool-water carbonate depositional realm, in James, N.P., and Clarke, J.A.D., eds., Cool-water carbonates: SEPM Special Publication No. 56, p. 1-20.

1PRESENTED AT GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA ANNUAL MEETING – TORONTO, ONTARIO, October 26-29, 1998 (Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, p. A333-334)

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