Eastern Lake Section
Central and Lowland Province

Eastern Lake Section showing geology and shaded relief


The Eastern Lake Section consists of a series of northwest-sloping, lake-parallel, low-relief ridges. These ridges are made up of unconsolidated surficial materials, mainly sands and gravels, that were deposited during the most recent deglaciation of the area about 18,000 years ago. Steep-sided, narrow valleys cut through these ridges into the underlying shales and siltstones and flow into Lake Erie. Originally, the ridge bordering Lake Erie sloped gently into the lake. However, erosion of the shoreline has caused the lake-land interface to move southeastward so that today there is a steep bluff adjacent to the lake. Continued erosion of this bluff is a primary environmental problem in the area. Local relief in the Section is less than 100 feet and generally half that. Elevation is 570 feet at Lake Erie and rises southward to a high of 1,000 feet. Drainage pattern is parallel and streams are oriented normal to the Lake Erie shoreline.

The length of the Section can be seen very well along the Pennsylvania parts of US Route 20, Interstate 90 west of Erie, and Pennsylvania Route 5. Short segments of Pennsylvania Routes 215, 18, 98, 97, and 89 cross the Section normal to the Lake Erie shoreline.

Outstanding Scenic Geological Features present in the Section: Devils Backbone and Presque Isle, which is also a State Park.

There are no State Forest Natural Areas in the Section.