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Pennsylvania Geologic Map

Geologic Maps of the 50 United States


Pennsylvania may be the quintessential Appalachian state. (more below)
Pennsylvania's rocks

Image courtesy Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Click the map for a larger version
Pennsylvania straddles the entire Appalachian range, starting from the Atlantic coastal plain on the extreme southeast corner, where young sediments are shown in dark green (Tertiary) and yellow (recent). The oldest rocks (Cambrian and older) at the core of the Appalachians are depicted in orange, tan and pink. The collisions between the North American and Europe/African continents pushed these rocks into steep folds. (The green-gold strip represents a crustal trough where today's Atlantic Ocean began to open much later, in Triassic and Jurassic time. The red is thick intrusions of basalt.)

To the west, the rocks grow progressively younger and less folded as the full range of the Paleozoic Era is represented from the orange Cambrian through the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, and Pennsylvanian, to the greenish-blue Permian basin in the southwest corner. All these rocks are full of fossils, and rich coal beds occur in western Pennsylvania.

The American petroleum industry began in western Pennsylvania, where natural oil seeps were exploited for many years in the Devonian rocks of the Allegheny River valley. The first well in the United States drilled specifically for oil was in Titusville, in Crawford County near the northwest corner of the state, in 1859. Soon afterward began America's first oil boom, and the region is littered with historic sites.

See a gallery of Pennsylvania geological attractions.

I've also prepared a 1200x900 pixel version of this map (290 KB) that includes the explanation. All the text is readable. The explanation also includes the many different resources—stone, gravel, coal, oil and more—extracted from everywhere in the state. A larger version at 3100x2400 pixels (525 KB) has every pixel of the state's original PDF file. You can also get that map and many others from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

More about Pennsylvania Geology

More Pennsylvania resources on About.com:
About Philadelphia
About Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania Maps
Pennsylvania Geography, State Symbols & Facts
Pennsylvania Travel
Pennsylvania National Parks
Pennsylvania State Parks
Pennsylvania Campgrounds
Pennsylvania Hunting
Pennsylvania Skiing
Pennsylvania Rock Climbing & Caving
Pennsylvania Bed & Breakfasts
Pennsylvania Archaeology

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