David W. Scholl, 1969. "Modern Coastal Mangrove Swamp Stratigraphy and the Ideal Cyclothem", Environments of Coal Deposition: Papers Presented at a Symposium by the Coal Geology Division of The Geological Society of America at the Annual Meeting Miami Beach, Florida, 1964, Edward C. Dapples, M. E. Hopkins
Download citation file:
The general stratigraphy of the “ideal” cyclothem of Late Paleozoic age can be recognized in a modern succession of sedimentary units underlying the coastal mangrove swamps of southwestern Florida. Because coal deposition is associated with the formation of cyclothems, this stratigraphic similarity has geologic importance with respect to coal formation.
The lower part of the succession in Florida consists of nonmarine sediments, the middle part of brackish-water or fresh-water mangrove peat, and the upper part of brackish-water and marine units. This sequence of sediments records a relative rise in sea level. In comparison, the lower part of the ideal cyclothem consists basically of nonmarine units, the central sedimentary member is coal, and the upper units are brackish-water and marine sediments.
The ideal cyclothem is thought to have formed in part in a deltaic environment and to record a periodic fluctuation in terrigenous sediment supply and a relative rise in sea level. In contrast, southwestern Florida has essentially no deltas, as most of its paralic sediments are derived from coastal sources. In view of this, the stratigraphic similarity noted above must reflect a partial duplication of sedimentary environments brought about by a relative rise in sea level across a low coastal platform supporting peat-depositing paralic and fresh-water swamps and forests. This conclusion tends to support the point of view that the coal member of some cyclothems formed in a swampy environment penecontemporaneously with a relative rise in sea level. The coal member, therefore, is in part a transgressive unit.