Geology & Geomorphology of Washington County, Florida (12-13 October 2018)

Posted on: September 16th, 2018 by segsmember



Washington County in the central Florida panhandle has some amazing geological variety! We’ll kick off with Friday evening presentations in Chipley on the geology and geomorphology of the area by Harley Means, Carl Froede, and Jon Bryan.

Saturday’s field trip will first explore the rarely visited and poorly known area locally called Rock Hill—a very high erosional outlier with “Stonehenge-like” residual boulders. Rock Hill is scarcely mentioned in the geological literature, and difficult to get into. We have access to it through the Florida Nature Conservancy.

The second stop is the must-see Falling Waters State Park, with its 70-foot high waterfall that drops through a solution pipe and into a swallet/cave system. A winding boardwalk provides excellent views around many cover collapse sinkholes. Falling Waters is also the site of one of the early oil test wells (1920) in Florida and some of drilling equipment remains on site. The well reached into the Late Cretaceous (but no oil). We will also discuss the stratigraphy and paleontology of the nearby Duncan Church Quarry, which is one of the few exposures of the Oligocene Bridgeboro Limestone, a fossiliferous and rhodolith-rich facies, equivalent in part to the Suwannee Limestone of the Florida peninsula.

Fieldtrip organizers: Jon Bryan, Carl Froede, Harley Means, and Jen Coor.

Trip Fee and Details: This trip is available to SEGS members, current with 2018 dues. Field trip fee is $35.00, and includes a hardcopy field guide, box lunch (Subway), and entrance to Rock Hill and Falling Waters State Park. Registration is due by 8 October 2018.

AccommodationsTo encourage South/Central Florida members to make the road-trip, and to save Saturday night hotel costs after the event, our Treasurer, Andy Lawn, offers free camping on his wooded property 10 miles east of Tallahassee (5421 W W Kelley Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32311). The property has a critter-abundant sinkhole pond with dock for stargazing and an out-building with A/C and screen porch if the weather is bad. He plans a campfire Saturday night, then Sunday kayaking/swimming at beautiful Wacissa River Springs 10 miles further east Sunday morning for a refreshing start to your drive home. You’re welcome to visit Friday afternoon to pitch your tent before we head to Chipley at 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight time.

Additionally, a block of 24 rooms has been reserved at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Chipley (1140 Motel Dr Chipley, FL 32428; 850-415-1111; for Friday evening, October 12th. Rate is $80.00/night, with free wifi, parking, pool/hot tub, and breakfast. We hope you will take advantage of these accommodations. If we need more than 24 room, the neighboring motels have agreed to accept the overflow, and all are welcome at the Comfort Inn for breakfast.

Age and Safety Restrictions: Children are welcome with completed waiver and accompanying adult. Safety glasses (sunglasses), shirts, and closed-toe shoes are required. Drinks, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended.


6:00 PM (Central Daylight Time), Friday, 12 October 2018

Meet at Javier’s Mexican Grill, 1414 Main St., Chipley, FL  32428, Phone: 850-638-2270. The restaurant has 2 large rooms and we have reserved one of them for dinner and presentations. Presentations on the geology and geomorphology of the area by Harley Means, Carl Froede, and Jon Bryan. Lodging at nearby Comfort Inn & Suites or at Andy Lawn’s property (see “Accommodations” above).

8:00 AM (CDT), Saturday, 13 October 2018

Assemble at parking lot of Comfort Inn and Suites. Convoy to designated area and use 4WD vehicles (only) to enter the Rock Hill property. Depending on the number of 4WD vehicles available, we will have to make a couple of runs to get everyone in (the entrance is only ~2.5 miles from town). After Rock Hill, we will return to Chipley to retrieve any vehicles, and convoy to Falling Waters State Park on SR-77A (Falling Waters Road, ~ 6 miles). Lunch at FWSP.



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