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In mountains, no one would notice the small Steinhatchee Falls. But in the flatlands of Florida, this is a noticeable natural landmark.
This waterfall is just some 0.5 – 0.8 m high.
Map of the site
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There are very few natural waterfalls in Florida, thus even the small Steinhatchee Falls is a notable geological landmark. It has formed on the picturesque Steinhatchee River which to a large extent still is surrounded by forest.
At low water Steinhatchee Falls are some 0.5-0.8 m high, but, when the water in the river is high, the rock ledge almost disappears.
Waterfall has formed on Ocala limestone – a late Eocene rock that formed some 56-34 million years ago.
In the crevices around the falls sometimes could be found Eocene marine fossils, for example, the enormous teeth of extinct sharks, such as Otodus auriculatus.
This waterfall was on the trail of Native Americans – it was a suitable place where the river could be crossed on foot.
It was used also by the descendants of Europeans, including Fernando de Soto in 1539 and the future president Andrew Jackson, who crossed the river in 1818 during the Seminole War.
The name of the river has Native American origin: Istenhatchee means “river of man” or “river man”.
Some 3-4 kilometers above is located another geological landmark: Steinhatchee Rise – the resurgence of Steinhatchee River from underground.
- Robin C. Brown. Florida’s fossils: guide to location, identification, and enjoyment, Pineapple Press, 2013. ISBN-10: 1561645710
Some of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.
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