Florida platform (place)
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|A relatively flat limestone bank that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico covering more than 350 miles from the eastern edge of the Florida peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico and extends southward more than 450 miles encompassing most of the state of Florida. The emergent portion is the Florida peninsula which sits at the eastern edge of the platform with only a three to four mile sliver extending into the Atlantic Ocean. The southern rim of the platform is marked by the Florida Keys before dropping into the Florida Straits. To the west of Florida, the platform extends over one hundred miles into the Gulf at depths of less than three hundred feet. |
The platforms basement rocks are Precambrian to Cambrian in age and were once a part of the African plate before it was sutured to the North American Plate during the formation of Pangaea in the early Mesozoic. When Pangaea broke apart, the platform was left behind allowing for siliclastic and carbonate deposits to build up creating the gently sloping topography seen today. During the last glacial maximum, sea levels were four hundred feet lower exposing the Florida Platform in its entirety probably creating massive waterfalls off the the platform escarpment.