Unmetamorphosed Paleozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks have been drilled in numerous wells throughout northern Florida and southern Georgia, in what is today a gently folded and block-faulted relict continental fragment of northwest Africa and northeast South America. Stratigraphic and lithologic equivalents of these North American Paleozoic units are prolific hydrocarbon producers in North Africa.
The northern Florida Paleozoic sediments were deposited on Pan-African and Cadoman basement. Widespread continental glaciation from late Precambrian to Early Cambrian introduced a thick sequence of fine-grained marine sandstones (“glacial flour”), which overlie medium to coarse-grained glaciofluvial sandstones. Basinward of the sand shelf, the accretion of a volcanic island arc complex began during the Ordovician. A fluctuating transgression, accompanying a major glacial minimum, brought open-marine, graptolitic, black shales onto the sand shelf, producing an interbedded shoreface-shelf sand and black shale section during the Middle and Late Ordovician. At the Ordovician-Silurian boundary, renewed continental glaciation lowered sea level, producing a widespread unconformity. A Late Silurian major marine transgression returned black, graptolitic, highly organic shales onto the sand shelf. Devonian deltaic sands from Avalonia(?) to the north and the craton to the south closed the Paleozoic sedimentary record of northern Florida.