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Goliad Formation
Stratigraphic range: Clarendonian-Blancan
Type Formation
Sub-units Lapara, Lagarto Creek & Labahia Members
Underlies Pleistocene terrace deposits
Overlies Fleming Formation
Thickness 60–425 m (197–1,394 ft)
Primary Sandstone, claystone
Other Marl, caliche, limestone, conglomerate
Coordinates 28°36′N 97°42′W / 28.6°N 97.7°W / 28.6; -97.7
Approximate paleocoordinates 29°00′N 95°18′W / 29.0°N 95.3°W / 29.0; -95.3
Region Bee, Goliad, Hidalgo & Live Oak counties, Texas
Country  United States
Extent Texas coastal plain
Type section
Named for Goliad County
Named by Plummer
Year defined 1932

The Goliad Formation (Tg) is a geologic formation in Texas. It preserves fossils dating back to the Serravallian to earliest Pliocene stages (Clarendonian, Hemphillian and earliest Blancan in the NALMA classification) of the Neogene period, including the gomphothere Blancotherium among many other fossil mammals, reptiles, birds and fish.

The formation hosts uranium deposits and forms the Evangeline aquifer underneath the city of Houston.


The Goliad Formation was described by Plummer in 1933, as consisting of three members; the Lapara Sand, overlain by the Lagarto Creek Beds, in turn overlain by the Labahia Beds with outcrop thicknesses ranging from 35 to 200 feet (11 to 61 m). The Goliad Formation comprises claystone, sand, sandstone, marl, caliche, limestone, and conglomerates and reaches in certain areas a thickness of 180 metres (590 ft). The formation overlies the Fleming Formation and dates from the Clarendonian to the earliest Blancan. In the southwest of its range, the formation overlies the Catahoula and Gueydan Formations. The Goliad Formation is recognized regionally across the Texas coastal plain as an interval of dominantly fluvial siliciclastic strata that overlies the Miocene Fleming Formation and underlies Pleistocene terrace deposits. The formation is now interpreted as a basinward-thickening progradational wedge of Middle and Late Miocene age. Stratigraphic thicknesses in outcrop range from 60 to 120 metres (200 to 390 ft), but offshore the interval thickens to as much as 365 to 425 metres (1,198 to 1,394 ft).

Together with the Catahoula, Fleming and Oakville Formation, the Goliad Formation is part of the Gulf Coast aquifer, an extensive artesian aquifer that produces water primarily for irrigation and municipalities. The Evangeline aquifer is hosted by the Goliad Formation underlying the city of Houston. The formation hosts uranium deposits in the South Texas Uranium Province and is mined for caliche in Hidalgo County, Texas.

Fossil content

Tertiary mammal fossils from South Texas were first reported by Dumble (1894) as coming from the Lapara division, later the Lapara Beds (Dumble, 1903).

The following fossils have been reported from the formation:

Group Taxa Notes Images
Mammals Aelurodon taxoides
Aelurodon taxoides.JPG
Blancotherium buckneri
Calippus martini
Calippus placidus
Calippus regulus
Ceratogaulus rhinocerus
Ceratogaulus rhinocerus.jpg
Cormohipparion ingenuum
Cormohipparion occidentale.jpg
Cranioceras teres
Cranioceras unicornis life restoration.jpg
Dinohippus subvenus
Dinohippus 32.JPG
Hipparion tehonense
Hipparion sp 87348.jpg
Hypohippus affine
Hypohippus skeleton.jpg
Hypohippus affinis
Ischyrocyon gidleyi
Leptocyon vafer
Leptocyon head restoration.jpg
Megatylopus primaevus
Neohipparion affine
Neohipparion affine (Robert Bruce Horsfall).jpg
Nothotylopus camptognathus
Pliohippus pernix
Pliohippus Pernix.jpg
Procamelus grandis
NMNH-USNM244271 2.jpg
Procamelus occidentalis
Prosthennops xiphidonticus
Protohippus supremus
The Horse - its treatment in health and disease, with a complete guide to breeding, training and management (1905) (14591795580).jpg
Protolabis coartatus
Pseudhipparion curtivallum
Pseudoceras skinneri
Ramoceros ramosus
Merycodus osborni.jpg
Synthetoceras tricornatus
Synthetoceras tricoronatus.jpg
Teleoceras major
Ustatochoerus medius novomexicanus
Protolabis cf. yavapaiensis
Ustatochoerus cf. medius
Aepycamelus sp.
Amphicyon sp.
Aphelops sp.
Bison sp.
Blastomeryx sp.
Calippus sp.
Glyptodon sp.
Hypohippus sp.
Hippotherium sp.
Hypolagus sp.
Megatylopus sp.
Merychippus sp.
Merychyus sp.
Merycodus sp.
Nannippus sp.
Neohipparion sp.
Pliauchenia sp.
Pliohippus sp.
Procamelus sp.
Prosthennops sp.
Protolabis sp.
Teleoceras sp.
cf. Domninoides sp.
cf. Eucyon sp.
cf. Gomphotherium sp.
Amphicyoninae indet.
Merycodontinae indet.
Protoceratinae indet.
Tayassuinae indet.
Antilocapridae indet.
Canidae indet.
Equini indet.
Palaeomerycidae indet.
Protoceratidae indet.
Rhinocerotidae indet.
Rodentia indet.
Ruminantia indet.
cf. Mustelidae indet.
Birds cf. Anserinae indet.
Aves indet.
Reptiles Alligator cf. mississippiensis
Alligator mississippiensis yawn.jpg
Apalone sp.
Hesperotestudo sp.
Testudo sp.
Trionyx sp.
cf. Gopherus sp.
cf. Mycteria sp.
cf. Terrapene sp.
cf. Trachemys sp.
Emydidae indet.
Fish Pylodictis olivaris
Pylodictis olivaris.jpg
Ictalurus cf. lambda
Ameiurus sp.
Lepisosteus sp.
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