Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit

Trip Date: 
Mon, 01/12/2015
 
Trip Photo Gallery (click on an image to view): 
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
Florida Winter Trip - Ruck's Pit
 
Location: 
 

Day 3 found the 5 of us at the Fort Drum Crystal Mine (aka – Rucks Pit), a farm field turned into a large collecting are where spoil piles of material are dumped from the nearby mine.  Armed with a hose and digging tool of your choice, you pick a spot and start digging and washing.  You were hunting for calcite-filled late Pleistocene/Early Pliocene fossil clamshells, minerals and other fauna.

"The deposit is actually a near-shore marine deposit that represents a former shoreline”, said Harley Means, assistant state geologist, Florida Geological Survey, Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  The crystals form inside of the clam shells by a long process. "The calcite is dissolved from the fossil sea shells by acidic groundwater and then transported downward where it then reprecipitates inside the shells of the clams (called quahogs) and occasionally other mollusks," explained Means. Means further explained that the calcite crystals actually form just below the water table in water that is supersaturated with calcite (calcium carbonate).

Well, away we dug.  Mark was the first to find a spectacular specimen, but by day’s end we all had beautiful pieces.  This was despite the rain, which came on torrentially for over an hour – forcing us into our cars or under a wood awning, but the rain nicely washed off many specimens that we gladly walked around and picked up after the storm.  Chickens, turkeys and ducks wandered at will and were fun to watch.  Eddie was eager to show off the various things we might find and we ended the day shopping his warehouse for fossils and eggs (courtesy of all those chickens).  It was a fun 3 days and we had plenty of great fossils to show for it.

Organizers: 
Linda McCall
 
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