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DCNR’s Interactive Online Map Now Features Pennsylvania’s Geology

Ever wonder where an earthquake could strike in Pennsylvania and its magnitude?

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has centralized that data along with information about the commonwealth's bedrock geology, waterfalls, rock formations and other features into the interactive geographic information systems map (GIS).

With various geologic themes plotted on a map, you can scroll over and pick specific locations to get more information about geology, state parks and forests, and recreational opportunities available throughout Pennsylvania.

According to Mike Bialousz, Director of GIS for DCNR, one of the biggest challenges until now for people has been how to obtain the data.

“There are a lot of different organizations, municipalities, counties, as well as other partners and agencies that we work with that want to use our data in their processes, but there wasn’t a very simple and easy way to get them the data, to keep the data up to date once they have it and everything. So we found using GIS technology through interactive mapping online that we could accomplish that.”

Other information includes state park geologic guides, maximum elevations by county and glacial boundaries.

Some of the state’s outstanding geologic features include:

  •  Chimney Rocks in Blair County, an outcrop of finger-like spires of limestone;
  •  The boulder field at Hickory Run State Park in Carbon County; and
  •  The 50-foot Alpha Falls in Lawrence County where a small stream exits from a “hanging valley” into the deeper Slippery Rock Gorge.

Bialousz also said that with the geology feature being added to the state parks and state forests features, more extensive information is still to come for the interactive map.