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Encyclopedia > Geology of Pennsylvania

The Geology of Pennsylvania consists of six distinct physiographic provinces, three of which are subdivided into different sections. Each province has its own economic advantages and geologic hazards and play an important role in shaping every day life in the state. They are: (listed from the southeast corner to the northwest corner) the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province, the Piedmont Province, the New England Province, the Ridge and Valley Province, the Appalachian Plateau Province, and the Central Lowlands Province.[1] Official language(s) English, Pennsylvania Dutch Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], house, and νέμω [nemo], rules hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. ... A Geologic Hazard is one of several types of adverse geologic conditions capable of causing damage or loss of property and life. ... The Atlantic Coastal Plain is the rather flat stretch of land that borders the Atlantic Ocean (including the Gulf of Mexico). ... The James River winds its way among piedmont hills in central Virginia. ... The Ridge-and-valley Appalachians are a belt within the Appalachian Mountains extending from northern New Jersey westward into Pennsylvania and southward into Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. ... The Appalachian Plateau is the western part of the Appalachian mountain system, stretching from New York to Alabama. ...

The most famous rock from Pennsylvania is Anthracite coal. Before it was mined there was an estimated 22.8 billion tons of anthracite in Pennsylvania. As of 2001, 12 billion tons still remain in the ground. (Most of which is not economically feasible to mine)[2] Anthracite coal Anthracite (Greek Ανθρακίτης, literally a form of coal, from Anthrax [Άνθραξ], coal) is a hard, compact variety of mineral coal that has a high luster. ...

Pennsylvania is also home to the famous Drake Oil Well in Titusville. The Drake Well Museum is located along the banks of Oil Creek in Titusville, Pennsylvania. ... Titusville is the name of several places in the United States of America: Titusville, Florida Titusville, New Jersey Titusville, Pennsylvania This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

The Physiographic Provineces of Pennsylvania
The Physiographic Provineces of Pennsylvania
1858 map showing the highly economic anthracite fields of eastern Pennsylvania
1858 map showing the highly economic anthracite fields of eastern Pennsylvania


Atlantic Costal Plain

One of the smallest provinces in the state and is confined to Philadelphia, Delaware, and Bucks counties along the Delaware River. Local relief is less than 200 feet and much of the bedrock is burried under recent alluvial deposits. The costal plain in Pennsylvania was once home to thousands of acres of fresh water tidal marsh. This was important in the early devlopment of Philadelphia and Chester. Many of the small tributaries to the Delaware have cut small but impressive gorges into the bedrock including the Ridley Creek, the Chester Creek, and the Wissahickon Creek. Flash floods are becoming a local problem in the province. Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Cradle of Liberty, the City That Loves You Back, the Quaker City, The Birthplace of America Motto: Philadelphia maneto - Let brotherly love continue Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701  - Mayor... Delaware County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Delaware River is a river on the Atlantic coast of the United States. ... Bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the Earths surface. ... Alluvium is soil land deposited by a river or other running water. ... Freshwater marsh in Florida In geography, a marsh is a type of wetland, featuring grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, cat tails, and other herbaceous plants (possibly with low-growing woody plants) in a context of shallow water. ... Chester is a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, population 36,854 at the 2000 census. ... Ridley Creek is a tributary of the Delaware River in southeast Pennsylvania in the United States. ... Chester Creek is a tributary of the Delaware River in Delaware County, Pennsylvania in the United States. ... Wissahickon Creek is a stream in southeastern Pennsylvania. ... Flash flooding is rapid flooding of low-lying areas, rivers and creeks that is caused by the intense rainfall associated with a thunderstorm, or multiple training thunderstorms. ...


The piedmont in Pennsylvania is divided into three distinct sections: the Piedmont Uplands, the Piedmont Lowlands, and the Gettysburg-Newark Lowlands. Much of the Piedmont is becoming urbanized and developed. Some of the best farmland in the state is in this region, specifically Lancaster and Chester counties. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, known as the Garden Spot of America since the 18th century, is located in the southeastern part of the state of Pennsylvania, in the United States. ... Chester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. ...

Piedmont Uplands

This section is characterized by the metamorphic rocks that provide much of the bedrock for this area. Gneiss, Schist, Quartzite, and Serpentinite are some of the rocks that make up this region. Most of the hills are broad and rolling with shallow vallies. Metamorphic rock is the result of the transformation of a pre-existing rock type, the protolith, in a process called metamorphism, which means change in form, derived from the Greek words meta, change, and morphe, form. The protolith is subjected to extreme heat (>150 degrees Celsius) and pressure causing profound... Gneiss Gneiss (IPA: ) is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from preexisting formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks. ... Schist The schists form a group of medium-grade metamorphic rocks, chiefly notable for the preponderance of lamellar minerals such as micas, chlorite, talc, hornblende, graphite, and others. ... Quartzite Quartzite is a hard, metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. ... A sample of serpentinite rock, partially made up of chrysotile ASS LIKE THAT=== Formation === Serpentinization is a geological low-temperature and metamorphic process involving heat and water in which low-silica mafic and ultramafic rocks are oxidized and hydrolyzed with water into serpentinite. ...

Piedmont Lowlands

The lowlands are underlain primairly by more easily eroded rocks such as limestone, dolostone, and phyllite. Relief is low and generally never rises above 700 feet. Karst terrain is problematic in this section. Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University, USA. For erosion as understood by materials science, see Erosion (materials science) For erosion as an English analogy, see Erosion (figurative) For erosion as an operation of Mathematical morphology, see Erosion (morphology) Erosion is the displacement of solids (soil... Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... Dolostone is a sedimentary carbonate rock that contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite. ... Phyllite Phyllite is a type of foliated metamorphic rock primarily composed of quartz, sericite mica, and chlorite; the rock represents a gradiation in the degree of metamorphism between slate and mica schist. ... Karst topography occurs when a landscape is marked by underground drainage patterns. ...

Gettysburg-Newark Lowlands

This section is a bit misleading since there are hills as high as 1,200 feet in this section. It is separated from the rest of the Piedmont sections due to the distinctive rock types found here. Also called the Triassic Basin, most of the bedock are red sandstone, siltstone, and shale. A few formations are brown and black. The sediment accumulated during the rifting of Pangea in the Triassic age. Also, a basaltic igneous rock called diabase formed dykes and sills later in the Jurassic as the Atlantic Ocean began to form.[3] Much of the rocks from this area ave been eroded away, but the more erosion resistant diabase has left hills and small elevated regions throughout the section. The erosion patterns of these rocks played a pivotal role in the Battle of Gettysburg.[4] Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... Siltstone Siltstone is a geological term for a sedimentary rock whose composition is intermediate in grain size between the coarser sandstone and the finer mudstone. ... Shale Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... Pangea may refer to: a common alternative spelling of the name Pangaea given to the supercontinent that is believed to have existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras Pangea, a geology equipment supplier/developer of mineralogical testing equipment Pangea (cable system), a submarine telecommunications cable system connecting the Netherlands and... The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 to 200 Ma (million years ago). ... Basalt Basalt is an extrusive igneous rock, sometimes porphyritic, and is often both fine-grained and dense. ... Volcanic rock on North America Plutonic rock on North America Igneous rocks are formed when rock (magma) cools and solidifies, with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Dolerite. ... In geology, a sill is a tabular, often horizontal mass of igneous rock that has been intruded laterally between older layers of sedimentary rock, beds of volcanic lava or tuff, or even along the direction of foliation in metamorphic rock. ... // The image above is believed to be a replaceable fair use image. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America Commanders George Gordon Meade Robert Edward Lee Strength 93,921 71,699 Casualties 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured/missing) 23,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured/missing) The Battle of...

New England

Only a small and fragmented province in Pennsylvania called the Reading Prong. This is the southern end of the Hudson Highlands of New York and New Jersey (known as the Ramapo Mountains in New Jersey) and the Taconic Mountains of New York. The granitic rocks and quartzite of this area are highly metamorphosed and are Pre-Cambrian to Cambrian in age. Hills and ridges are locally steep and rounded at the top and form the hills around Reading, and to the south of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area. (See also South Mountain) Wind Gate, the northern entrance to the Hudson Highlands, as seen from Newburgh. ... NY redirects here. ... For the Bon Jovi album, see New Jersey (album) Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  Ranked 47th  - Total 8,729 sq mi (22,608 km²)  - Width 70 miles (110 km)  - Length 150 miles (240 km)  - % water 14. ... Ramapo Torne in Harriman State Park, part of the Ramapo Mountains The Ramapo Mountains are a forested chain of the Appalachian mountains in northeastern New Jersey and southeastern New York in the United States. ... The Taconic Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains, running along the eastern border of New York State, United States. ... NY redirects here. ... Granite is a common and widely-occurring group of intrusive felsic igneous rocks that form at great depths and pressures under continents. ... The Precambrian or Cryptozoic is the period of the geologic timescale from the formation of Earth around 4500 million years before the present (BP) to the evolution of abundant macroscopic hard-shelled fossils, which marked the beginning of the Cambrian, some 542 million years BP. Remarkably little is known about... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Berks County Founded 1748  - Mayor Thomas McMahon Area    - City  10. ... The Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ metropolitan area is the 63rd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States. ... South Mountain is traditionally the southern boundary of the region known as the Lehigh Valley. ...

Ridge and Valley

1976 LANDSAT image of the Ridge & Valley
1976 LANDSAT image of the Ridge & Valley

A region in Pennsylvania made famous by NASA's LANDSAT images. This province is the second largest in the state and is home to the famous anthracite fields. The rocks here are severly folded and contain numerous anticlines and synclines that plunge and fold back over each other. There are numerous thrust faults that help create a chaotic mess. Most of the deformation is result of continent to continent collision during the Alleghenian orogeny. There are seven distinct regions of the provence and are listed below. Much of the drainage patterns in the province is trellis. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States Government, responsible for that nations public space program. ... The Landsat program is the longest running enterprise for acqusition of imagery of Earth from space. ... Anticline with syncline visible at far right- USGS In structural geology, an anticline is a Fold (geology) that is convex to the youngest beds—youngest sediments are on back of hand, older under the palm. ... Road Cut near Ft. ... A thrust fault is a particular type of fault, or break in the fabric of the Earths crust with resulting movement of each side against the other, in which one side is pushed up relative to the other and somewhat over it. ... Bridge across the Álfagjá rift valley in southwest Iceland, the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. ... The Appalachian Orogeny, a result of three separate continental collisions. ... A drainage system is the pattern formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular watershed. ...

South Mountain

South Mountain is the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This region is charcterized by broad flat ridges with deep narrow valleys. The rocks here are highly metamorphosed igneous and sedimentry rocks with some occasional dolomite. These rocks are Pre-cambrian in age. South Mountain is a long mountain ridge in Maryland and Pennsylvania which comprises a northern extension of the Blue Ridge Mountains. ... Blue Ridge Mountains, Shining Rock Wilderness Area Appalachian Mountain system The Blue Ridge is a mountain chain in the eastern United States, part of the Appalachian Mountains, forming their eastern front from Georgia to Pennsylvania. ...

Great Valley

The Great Appalachian Valley is a long broad valley that extends from Canada to Alabama. In Pennsylvania, the valley is known by three names: (listed from north to south) the Lehigh Valley, the Lebanon Valley, and the Cumberland Valley. Rocks that characterize this region include: limestone, dolostone, slate, shale, sandstone, siltstone, and some scattered basalt. Almost all of the rocks in the Great Valley in Pennsylvania are Ordovician in age and were deposited during a quiet period before the Taconic orogeny. The limestones and dolostones of this area are extensively quarried in Pennsylvania. These carbonate rocks are used for variety of purposes inculding, crushed stone, cement manufacturing, fertilizers, and coal-mine dust (reduces acid mine drainage)[5] Karst features are problematic in the Great Valley. The Great Valley, also called the Great Appalachian Valley or Great Valley Region, is one of the major landform features of eastern North America. ... Official language(s) English Capital Montgomery Largest city Birmingham Area  Ranked 30th  - Total 52,419 sq mi (135,765 km²)  - Width 190 miles (306 km)  - Length 330 miles (531 km)  - % water 3. ... Counties comprising the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania The Lehigh Valley (also known simply as The Valley) is a region in eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. ... Cumberland Valley Township is a township located in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. ... Slate Thick slate fragment Slate roof Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous, metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low grade regional metamorphism. ... The Ordovician period is the second of the six (seven in North America) periods of the Paleozoic era. ... Illustration of the Taconic orogeny The Taconic orogeny was a great mountain building period that perhaps had the greatest overall effect on the geologic structure of basement rocks within the New York Bight region. ... Carbonate rocks are a class of sedimentary rocks composed primarily of carbonate minerals. ... Sampling fast set Portland cement Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general usage, as it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar and plaster. ... Acid mine drainage (AMD), or acid rock drainage (ARD), refers to the outflow of acidic water from (usually) abandoned metal mines or coal mines. ...

Blue Mountain

Lehigh Gap from east peak
Lehigh Gap from east peak

This region is not to be confused with the Blue Ridge Mountains but instead, represents the sharp escarpment seperating the Appalachian Mountains from the Great Valley. Many of Pennsylvania's water gaps cut through Blue Mountain including Delaware Water Gap, Lehigh Gap, Schuylkill Gap, and Susquehanna Gap. Also along the ridge, many "wind gaps" also exist. (see seprate article) The rocks of the Blue Mountain section include mostly Silurian aged sandstone, conglomerate, siltstone, shale, and some limestone. Blue mountain is also known by the names: Kittatinny Mountain (especially in New Jersey) and Hawk Mountain. One of the most promient rock types of this section is the Shawangunk Formation which is named after the Shawangunk Ridge of New York. In geology, an escarpment is a transition zone between different physiogeographic provinces that involves an elevation differential, often involving high cliffs. ... Water gap is a term geologists use to describe a notch which flowing water has carved into a mountain. ... The Delaware Water Gap is a mountain pass on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the Delaware River traverses a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. ... The Lehigh Gap, also known as Weiders Crossing, is a American geological gap in the Kittatinny Ridge. ... A wind gap is a mountain pass (or lower point in elevation between ridges) which was apparently formed through the erosive action of wind. ... The Silurian is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Ordovician period, about 443. ... A conglomerate with iron oxide cementing material A conglomerate (IPA: ) is a rock consisting of individual stones that have become cemented together. ... Delaware River Valley and Kittatinny Mountain Region The Kittatinny Mountains are a long ridge across northwestern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. ... The view from Hawk Mountain. ... Shawangunk Ridge from south of New Paltz, N.Y. The Shawangunk Ridge (also known as the Shawangunk Mountains, or The Gunks) is a ridge of mountains in Ulster County, Sullivan County and Orange County in the state of New York, extending from the northernmost point of New Jersey to the...

Anthracite Upland

The "whale back" structural feature
The "whale back" structural feature

Arguably the most complex and most studied section in the state. This area is home to one of Pennsylvania's most profitable zones ever. The terrarian is similar to the rest of the Ridge and Valley section except for its large deposits of antracite coal. Mountains are steep sided and valleys are canoe shaped, largely due to its complex structure. Other than coal, cyclical sequences of shale, sandstone, and conglomerate also make up this region. The rocks are from the Carboniferous period, divided into the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods with almost all of the coal being mined from Pennsylvanian-aged formations. Along with the Mazon Creek fossil field in Illinois, a tremendous amount of plant fossils have been studied from this area.[6] Landsides and acid mine drainage are two principle hazards of the area. In the past, underground mine fires have also been a threat. The Centralia Mine Fire is located within this section. The Carboniferous is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Devonian period, about 359. ... This article is about the geologic period; for the North American culture, see Mississippian culture. ... The Pennsylvanian is an epoch of the Carboniferous period lasting from roughly 325 Ma to 299 Ma (million years ago). ... The Mazon Creek fossils are conservation lagerstätten found near Chicago, Illinois. ... Three small ammonite fossils, each approximately 1. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (149,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... Centralia is a borough in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. ...

Anthracite Valley

Detached from the rest of Pennsylvania's anthracite fields, this canoe shaped valley is also known as the Lackawanna Valley and his home to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The whole strcture of the section is a double plunging syncline with sharp mountain ridges on either side of the valley. The ridges meet just north of Carbondale. The East Branch of the Susquehanna River along with the Lackawanna River flow through this valley. Large-scale coal minning along with its accompanying industry, railroads, have long been abandonned. Scranton is the name of several places in the United States of America: Scranton, Arkansas Scranton, Pennsylvania Scranton, South Carolina Scranton, North Dakota See Also: William Scranton, former Pennsylvania governor and presidential candidate This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the... Wilkes-Barre (pronounced wilkes-berry or wilkes-bear, and most often by non-natives as wilkes-bar) is a city located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. ... Road Cut near Ft. ... Carbondale is a city located in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. ... The Susquehanna River, originally Sasquesahanough as per the 1612 John Smith map, is a river in the northeastern United States. ... The Lackawanna River is a tributary of the Susquehanna River, approximately 35 mi (56 km) long, in northeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. ... This is the top-level page of WikiProject trains Rail tracks Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ...

Unlike the southern and middle anthracite fields, the anthracite valley has been recently glaciated repeatedly. This has left many talus slopes at the base of Moosic Mountain and more sharp ridges. Scree or detritic cone is a term given to broken rock that appears at the bottom of crags, mountain cliffs or valley shoulders. ...

Susquahanna Lowland

This region has also seen its landscape altered by glaciation and the fluvial processes of the Susquehanna River. Most of the ridges in this region are parallel to the streams that drain the area. The Susquehanna also cuts through many of the mountain ridges leading some to believe that the Susquehanna is an ancient river system that existed even before the recent continental glaciation. (Some speculate as far back as the Cretaceous Period)[7] None of the mountains in this section rise above 1,700 feet and the river valley is as low as 250 feet. The word fluvial is used in geography and earth science to refer to all topics related to flowing water. ... The Cretaceous Period is one of the major divisions of the geologic timescale, reaching from the end of the Jurassic Period (i. ...

Appalachian Mountain

The standard long, narrow, and steep sided ridges with narrow valleys that define the state in LANDSAT photos. Many of the valleys have karst features due to carbonate rocks that reside in them. Road building generally follows the vallleys and rarely cut across the ridges. The Pennsylvania Turnpike cut tunnels into the ridges rather than scale the mountain tops. Mount Nittany, Tuscarora Mountain and Sideling Hill are three prominent mountains in this section The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a toll highway system in the state of Pennsylvania, USA. The turnpike system encompasses 532 miles (855 km) in three distinct sections. ... Mount Nittany is the most prominent geographic feature in Centre County, Pennsylvania, and a Penn State landmark. ... Sideling Hill is part of the Appalachian Mountains, specifically the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians. ...

Appalachian Plateau

By far the large provience in the state, most of the rocks in this region are not folded and faulted and sit relatively flat. In western Pennsylvania, large bituminous coal fields exist in rocks with a simialr age as the rocks in the anthracite region. Many of the folds in the province are high amplitude and strech for miles. In glaciated sections, steep canyons developed and much of the terrain have many glacial features. The drainage pattern in this area is dendritic. Bituminous coal Bituminous coal is a relatively hard coal containing a tar-like substance called bitumen. ... Lateral moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt, Switzerland. ... A drainage system is the pattern formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular watershed. ...

Glaciated Pocono Plateau

The Pocono Mountain section of Pennsylvania is the same (geologically speaking) as the Catskill Mountains of New York. The red-green-gray sedimentary rocks of the Catskill Formation are the predomiant bedrock type in the Poconos. The elevation of the plateau is between 1,200 and 2,300 feet with only a few steep hills. (Camelback Mountain for example) Much of the rock sits in gently dipping horizontal beds, unlike the neighbooring Appalachian Mountain section. Pennsylvanias Pocono region counties The Poconos, or the Pocono Mountains region, is a mountainous region of about 2,400 square miles (6,200 km²) located in northeastern Pennsylvania, approximately 30 miles north of Allentown, in the United States. ... Catskill Escarpment and Blackhead Range as seen from Overlook Mountain The Catskill Mountains (also known as simply the Catskills), a natural area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany, are not, despite their popular name, true geological mountains, but rather a mature dissected plateau... Camelback Mountain is a mountain of 2704 foot elevation in Phoenix, Arizona. ...

Glaciated Low Plateau

Considered a part of the Pocono Plateau, this area lies to the north of the poconos and contains many of the same types of rock. The local relief is less than that of the Pocono region and bounded to the southeast by the Delaware River. The Bushkill Creek cuts a gorge through this section and has many waterfalls especially around the area of Resica Falls Scout Reservation. Dingmans Falls and Bushkill Falls are waterfalls within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Also a part of the Endless Mountain region of Pennsylvania. Tower Fall in Yellowstone National Park A waterfall is usually a geological formation resulting from water, often in the form of a stream, flowing over an erosion-resistant rock formation that forms a sudden break in elevation. ... Resica Falls camp patch Resica Falls Scout Reservation is composed of Camp Firestone and Camp Big Springs, north of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in the Pocono Mountains. ... The Dingmans Falls is a waterfall located in Dingmans Ferry in Dingman Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania, United States near the Silverthread Falls. ... Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service, preserves almost 70,000 acres (283 km²) of land along the Delaware Rivers New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores. ...

Glaciated High Plateau

Also an extension of the Catskill Mountains of New York, this section generally has higher elevations that the low plateau section as well as deeper valleys. The uplands are rounded or flat along mostly broad hills. An excellent example of the escarpment that divides this section are Ricketts and Ganoga Glen located within Ricketts Glen State Park. Bald Eagle at Lake Jean Ricketts Glen State Park near Benton, Pennsylvania is a 13,050-acre (5. ...

Deep Valleys

This section is home to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania and some of the most remore areas of the state. As the name implies, the streams of this area have cut deep valleys with steep sided slopes of the surrounding ridges. Some of the gorges are at least 1,000 feet deep. Much of the area was forested at the end of the 19th century and much of the area is owned by the Pennsylvania Buraeu of Forestry. The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania is situated in approximately 160,000 acres of the Tioga State Forest. ...

Allegheny Front

This section includes the abrupt escarpment that divides the Ridge and Valley Provience from the Allegheny Plateau. The region is a large broad ridge with a steep ascent from east to west and rolling hills away from the ridge. Stream valley that do cut into the ridge are often shallow and steep.

Allegheny Mountain

This section includes Pennsylvania's highest point, Mount Davis which stands at 3,213 feet above sea level. Many of the mountains are long and broad with realtively shallow and broad valleys. Unlike the Appalachian Mountain section, the streams of this area have not cut deep and well defined valleys into the earth. Much of the drainage pattern is dendrtic with a little trellis where erosion resistant rocks have created higher and more well defined ridges. Elevations increase to the south and Mt. Davis resides only 50 miles from the Maryland border. A few of the ridge tops contain some Low-volatile bitminous coal fields including the Broad Top field.[2] This region is also home to two national stories: the Quecreek Mine Rescue and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93. Mount Davis is the highest mountain in Pennsylvania, located in the 5,685 acre (23. ... Official language(s) None (English, de facto) Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  Ranked 42nd  - Total 12,417 sq mi (32,160 km²)  - Width 90 miles (145 km)  - Length 249 miles (400 km)  - % water 21  - Latitude 37°53N to 39°43N  - Longitude 75°4W to 79°33... The Quecreek Mine Rescue took place when nine miners were trapped underground for over 78 hours, July 24–28, 2002. ... United Airlines Flight 93 was a regular flight from Newark International Airport (now known as Newark Liberty International Airport) in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport, then continuing on to Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan, on a different aircraft. ...

Waynesburg Hills

Located in the southwest corner of the state, the Waynesburg hills are another major coal producing area for state. Much of the 64.4 billion tons of bituminous coal that is remaining in the state resides under these hills in near horiztonal beds. The hills are narrow and steep sided with some deeper valleys.[2]

Pittsburgh Low Plateau

Another section that is a significant coal producer. It is similar to the Waynesbrug hills section expect for higher local relief and deeper valleys. Landslides and mine subsidence are common hazards. This entry refers to the geological term landslide. ... A road destroyed by subsidence and shear. ...

High Plateau

This section consists of high, broad, and flat uplands cut by sharp and shallow river valleys. Much of this area was not covered by the Late Wisconsinan glacier but there is evidence of pre-Wisconsinan glaciers in the area. The Wisconsin (in North America), Weichsel (in Scandinavia), Devensian (in the British Isles), Midlandian (in Ireland) and Würm glaciation (in the Alps) are the most recent glaciations of the Pleistocene, which ended around 10,000 BC. The general glacial advance began about 70,000 BC, and reached its maximum...

Northwestern Glaciated Plateau

This section has been influenced by glaciers and many of the valleys cutinto the bedrock trend northwestward- in the direction of the retreating glaciers. There are many signs of glaciers including kames, kettles, and moraines. Some of the drainage patterns have shifted and only a few of streams flow into Lake Erie. Kames is a village in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. ... Kettle lakes in Siberia, adjacent to the Gulf of Ob (image right). ... Moraine is the general term for debris of all sorts originally transported by glaciers or ice sheets that have since melted away. ...

Central Lowlands

Along with the Coastal Plain Province, the smallest province in the state, the central lowlands are a part of the Great Lakes area and exists along a glacial escarpement adjecent to Lake Erie. The only economic factor in this province is the port of Erie. The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ... Lake Erie (pronounced ) is the eleventh largest lake on Earth[2] and, of the five Great Lakes of North America, it is the fourth largest by surface area, the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume. ... Nickname: The Flagship City Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: County Erie County Founded 1795  - Mayor Joseph Sinnott Area    - City 72. ...

Geologic Features

The following is a lsit of notable Pennsylvania geologic features noted for their bueaty and/or uniqueness.


The Boulder Field of Hickory Run State Park

The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania is situated in approximately 160,000 acres of the Tioga State Forest. ... Hickory Run State Park is located in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. ... McConnells Mill State Park is located in Lawrence County, PA along Slippery Rock Creek just southwest of the intersection of US 422 and US 19. ... Moraine State Park, located in Butler County, Pennsylvania, is a Pennsylvania state park operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. ... Aerial view from the northeast, showing Gull Point in the foreground Presque Isle Lighthouse Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200 acre state park located on a sandy peninsula in Lake Erie, near the city of Erie, Pennsylvania. ... Promised Land State Park is located in Pike County, Pennsylvania, near Greentown. ... Bald Eagle at Lake Jean Ricketts Glen State Park near Benton, Pennsylvania is a 13,050-acre (5. ...


The Delaware Water Gap is a mountain pass on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the Delaware River traverses a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. ...

Notable Rock Formations

  • Allegheny Formation
  • Bloomsburg Formation
  • Catskill Formation
  • Conemaugh Group
  • Dunkard Group
  • Llewellyn Formation
  • Martinsburg Formation
  • Mauch Chunk Formation
  • Passaic Formation (former Brunswick Formation)
  • Pottsville Formation
  • Shawangunk Formation
  • Tuscarora Formation
  • Wissahickon Formation


  • Celestine was proposed as the state mineral in 2002. The proposal however, was not approved.[8][9]
  • Quaker State (now owned by Royal Dutch Shell) and Pennzoil are brand name motor oils that originate from the oil fields of Pennsylvania.

Celestine or celestite[1] (SrSO4) is a mineral consisting of strontium sulfate. ... Royal Dutch Shell PLC is a multinational oil company (oil major) of Anglo Dutch origin. ... Pennzoils current version of their logo. ...

Outside Links

  • The Pennsylvania Geologic Survey
  • Physiographic Provinces of Pennsylvania
  • The Geologic Story of Pennsylvania


  1. ^ Sevon, W.D. (2000). Physiographic Provinces of Pennsylvania, Map 13. Pennsylvania Geologic Survey. Harrisburg, PA.
  2. ^ a b c Edmunds, W.E., (2002), Coal in Pennsylvania (2nd ed.): Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Educational Series 7, p. 17.
  3. ^ Faill, R.T. (2004). The Birdsboro Basin. Pennsylvania Geology, Pennsylvania Geologic Survey, Harrisburg, PA. V 34 n 4.
  4. ^ Smith, R.C. and Keen, R.C., (2004). Regional Rifts and the Battle of Gettysburg. Pennsylvania Geology, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Harrisburg, PA. V 34 n 3.
  5. ^ Barnes, J.H. and Smith, R.C., II, (2001). The nonfuel mineral resources of Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Educational Series 12.
  6. ^ Oleksyshyn, J., (1982). Fossil plants from the anthracite coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Harrisburg, PA.
  7. ^ citation needed
  8. ^ http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/collecting/rocks.aspx
  9. ^ Edwin, C., (2003). Celestine, the Proposed State Mineral. Pennsylvania Geology, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Harrisburg, PA. V 33 n 1.



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