Pennsylvania Geology – A Guided Tour

Attached is an interesting article written by Katherine Schmid and Robin Anthony of the Pennsylvania Geological Survey. Here they describe in detail, the geology as you travel from the Pittsburgh International Airport to the NSS Convention.

Once arriving at the airport, follow their directions, mile by mile you will be able to view scenery as well as learn about the geology of the area. Below is an excerpt from their paper.

As you travel south from the Pittsburgh International Airport to West Virginia, the terrain you will be crossing in Pennsylvania consists of relatively flat plateaus cut down as much as 600 feet by the various creeks and rivers.

The bedrock in southwestern Pennsylvania is mostly Pennsylvanian through Permian in age and is composed of thin cyclic sequences of sandstone, shale, claystone, coal and limestone (Figure 1).

These rocks were deposited in ancient river environments and the cycles are a result of fluctuating sea levels (Gray and others, 2012). The bedrock is mostly flat-lying and gently folded. The dominant structural trends are northeast to southwest.

Ice reached about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh during the last glacial period. This glacial advance changed the courses of the rivers in the Pittsburgh area. Before the glaciers, rivers in this area drained north into the “Ancestral Erie Basin” (Harper, 1997).