The surface soils on the eastern side of Lake Okeechobee, including the Barley Barber Swamp, are of very recent geological origin. Beneath these soils, Caloosahatchee marl is found. This geological formation was formed during the Pleistocene epoch (1.5-3 million years ago) making it one of the youngest geological formations in the U.S.

What is Caloosahatchee marl?

Caloosahatchee marl is a product of shallow marine sedimentation and consists of clay, silt, sand and shell fragments deposited in layers, which are locally hardened into limestone.

Barley Barber Swamp GeologyBenefits to man

The wetlands of South Florida are important not only as habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals, but also for their benefit to man.

The rainwater that fills the bowl-shaped wetlands during the rainy season slowly percolates through the soil where it is filtered and purified. It then enters the underground aquifer, which serves as our drinking water supply.

Refer to the illustration to view water patterns.