GEOLOGIC HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS AND LITTLE SALT SPRINGS
Warm Mineral Springs and Little Salt Springs are well known for their warm mineralized water and importance ecologically, archaeologically, and recreationally. The intimate relationship between land and sea have sculpted these features which represent unique geologic entities whose histories are recorded in their rocks and strata. This presentation attempts to “play-back” nature’s recording of the rock record of these springs to gain an appreciation for the significance of these precious sites. The sinkholes in which these springs formed, developed some 12,000 years ago, but the rocks that provided the template for them, date back some 50 million years. Countless changes in sea level, climate, depositional environments, and hydrologic regimes are represented in their history. This talk will include insights about limestone formation, sinkholes, and springs, as well as the geologic investigative tools that are employed to discover them. Projected sea level rises and their impact on these springs will also be discussed.
Dr. Randazzo is Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida where he has worked since 1967. He has written more than 50 technical papers in professional scientific publications, as well as numerous formal research abstracts and reports and special works to governmental agencies and private clients. Most noteworthy is his co-editorship of The Geology of Florida, a book published by the University Press of Florida (1997). He has received numerous research grants from federal and state agencies to investigate subjects related to hydrogeology, sedimentology and the geology of Florida. Dr. Randazzo has more than 40 years’ experience in professional evaluations of home sites, commercial properties, roadways, tunnels, bridges, and dams involving geological hazards. He was named a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in 1995 with the Hungarian Geological Survey. He was recognized as a College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year in 1999-2000. In 2001, Dr. Randazzo was appointed an Astor Visiting Lecturer at the University of Oxford, England, where he lectured on environmental issues associated with water resources and sinkhole formation. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Dr. Randazzo was appointed by both Governor Martinez and Governor Chiles to serve on the State Licensing Board of Professional Geologists. He is a Registered Professional Geologist in the State of Florida and the State of Georgia.