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Geologic Publications and Data

The Pennsylvania Geological Survey has been collecting and disseminating geologic and topographic data since the First Pennsylvania Geological Survey was formed during 1836.

Over the years, the Survey has published hundreds of reports and maps, many in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey. The current (fourth) series of publications includes printed and digital products, mostly technical, but also many popular and educational in scope.

Statewide Geologic Map and GIS Datasets

The Pennsylvania Geological Survey’s most popular group of datasets -- Bedrock Geology of Pennsylvania (ZIP) -- consists of 1:250,000-scale ArcGIS shapefiles for geologic units, geologic contacts, dikes, and faults that were created and slightly modified from the materials used to produce the 1980 printed Geologic Map of Pennsylvania (ZIP).

Pennsylvania Geology Magazine

Pennsylvania Geology is the Pennsylvania Geological Survey’s free online magazine. It includes articles about the geology of Pennsylvania, earth science education, topographic mapping, and announcements of new publications, conferences, and other geologic and topographic items of interest.

To receive a hyperlink to each new issue as it becomes available, email the Pennsylvania Geological Survey. To view past editions of the magazine, use the hyperlinks provided in this list of magazine volumes (PDF).

Obtaining Geological Publications


The Fourth Pennsylvania Geological Survey assigns reports to different publication series according to their content, technical complexity, and intended audience. These publications are available as ZIP or PDF files.

Pennsylvania Geological Survey Publications (ZIP) contains descriptions of each series, individual report information, and hyperlinks to all publications. Publications can also be selected and downloaded through geographical searches on PaGEODE.

The American Geosciences Institute maintains a database of Geological Survey publications that allows for word and geographic searches. The database links back to the original sources for downloads. Most Fourth Pennsylvania Geological Survey publications are included in the database, and AGI is actively adding the publications that are missing.

In Libraries

Almost all formal Pennsylvania Geological Survey publications can be borrowed from the Survey library or through an interlibrary loan.

Free Publications

In addition to being available online or in libraries, free publications that are still in print may be ordered from the Survey by email. These include most of the:

  • Educational series booklets
  • Park guides (now part of the trail of geology series)
  • Page-size maps
  • Poster maps
  • Information circulars

When emailing your request, please include:

  • The publication series and number
  • The quantity you desire
  • The ship-to address
  • A telephone number where you can be reached if necessary
  • The school affiliation if relevant

The Geology of Pennsylvania

Special Publication 1, The Geology of Pennsylvania, can be purchased online from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

New Publications From the Survey

Check out these publications from the past six months:

September 2019:

August 2019:

June 2019:

  • Pennsylvania Geology (v. 49, no. 1) (PDF), featuring the articles “A Saga Concerning the Identification of Chevkinite-(Ce), a Rare-Earth Titanosilicate from Northampton County, Pennsylvania -- Some Rare-Earth Minerals in Pennsylvania, No. 1” and “Rocks and Water -- The Conflict of a Typist in a Geologist’s World -- Reflections from the Pennsylvania Geological Survey staff field trip to Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania, April 2019”

Databases and GIS Datasets

GIS datasets are included with many of the geologic maps and reports released since the year 2000.

Databases exist for the following:

PaGEODE Web-Mapping Application

PaGEODE stands for Pennsylvania GEOlogic Data Exploration. In addition to the publication-searching capability mentioned above, it can be used for geographical searches of Survey data. With PaGEODE, GIS datasets related to bedrock or surficial geology, mineral resources, or geologic hazards can be viewed in your web browser and downloaded for specified areas.