The Pennsylvania Geological Survey maintains databases for water wells, oil and gas wells, coalbed-methane wells, quarries, sinkholes, and earthquake epicenters. We also provide GIS datasets for many geologic maps. Most of the databases and all of the GIS geologic map datasets can be accessed or downloaded from our website.
Our available digital data is explained by topic below. You may also be interested in our Digital Mapping Resources web page, which is a portal to outside sources of digital geologic maps, and images and vector data used in mapping.
Disclaimer: Each user is responsible for the appropriate application of Pennsylvania Geological Survey reports and data as explained in our official disclaimer.
Many Survey publications include maps that were created using a GIS dataset. Some of these publications have GIS datasets as part of the report, and others include associated GIS datasets with the report download. The reports and their datasets can be accessed from the list of report titles found on each report series page; if GIS data are available in a selected series, it will be noted at the top of the series page. A short description of available GIS datasets for geologic maps follows:
Probably the Survey’s most popular dataset, Bedrock Geology of Pennsylvania is a 1:250,000-scale statewide coverage consisting of ArcGIS shapefiles for geologic units, geologic contacts, dikes, and faults. This dataset was created and slightly modified from the source materials used for Map 1, Geologic Map of Pennsylvania.
A 175b—ArcGIS feature classes and shapefiles of the data used to create a geologic map (scale 1:24,000) and a coal resource map (scale 1:12,000) of the Conyngham quadrangle (east-central Pennsylvania).
A 189b—ArcInfo coverages (export files) and ArcGIS shapefiles used to create the bedrock geologic map and map of data stations and exposures (both scale 1:24,000) of the Coatesville quadrangle (southeastern Pennsylvania). This report also includes GeoTIFF files of the two maps.
M 99, M 100, and M 101—These three coal reports cover the Brandy Camp, Kersey, and Windber quadrangles of the Main Bituminous coal field of western Pennsylvania, respectively. They include GeoTIFFs of 1:24,000-scale coal-resource and geologic maps, as well as ArcInfo coverages (export files) and ArcGIS shapefiles of the geologic units, geologic structure, coal and other key beds, and mined-out areas shown on those maps.
All OFBM and OFSM reports—ArcGIS shapefiles and feature classes of data shown on the bedrock and surficial geologic maps found in these two open-file report series, respectively, are available for download with the reports. The maps in most of these reports are 1:24,000 scale. The OFBM series is focused on areas in southeastern and central Pennsylvania, and the OFSM series is for areas in northeastern and north-central Pennsylvania.
OF 97–02 and OF 97–03—These reports include georeferenced images of 1:100,000-scale surficial geologic maps of the Wellsboro and Towanda 30- x 60-minute quadrangles, respectively.
OFGG 05–01.1—A georeferenced image of the map Precambrian Basement Map of the Appalachian Basin and Piedmont Province in Pennsylvania (scale 1:500,000) and associated ArcGIS shapefiles are part of the report Basement Depth and Related Geospatial Database for Pennsylvania.
OFGG 11–01.0—Folds of Pennsylvania—GIS Data and Map shows Pennsylvania fold axes and structural fronts at 1:500,000 scale. It includes an ArcGIS geodatabase and ArcMap document for viewing the data, as well as ArcGIS shapefiles. Among the attributes are fold names and sources used to compile the named folds.
Open-File Report OFMI 11–01.0, Geochemical Analyses of Selected Lithologies from Geologic Units in Central, North-Central, and Southeastern Pennsylvania, presents geochemical analytical results for 38 rock samples in an Excel spreadsheet. Locations where the samples were collected are indicated in decimal degrees. A rock’s chemistry affects the composition of groundwater and other fluids that move through it, the soils that develop from the rock, and the rock’s industrial and agricultural applications. Chemical composition also provides important constraints on the tectonic setting, the depositional setting, and the source of many rock types.
Information about companies that extract and sell commodities such as construction aggregate, agricultural lime, and similar materials was published by the bureau as Open-File Report OFMR 11–01.1, Directory of the Nonfuel-Mineral Producers in Pennsylvania. Included in the compilation are the contact information for each company, the names and locations of their operations, the geologic formations that they are mining, and the products that they sell. The open-file report is a PDF file, but also accessible from the report page is an interactive map that allows the user to zoom to the location of a quarry on a Google map base. From the interactive map, one can select “Add Data to ArcMap” to download an ArcGIS layer of the nonfuel mineral resource data.
The Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey maintains a Wells Information System (WIS) database to track, interpret, and digitally archive data from all available oil and gas well records in the commonwealth. Connected to this database is the Pennsylvania Internet Record Imaging System (PA*IRIS), which provides online access to scanned images of the WIS well records and their associated geophysical logs, location plats, and plugging certificates.
Around-the-clock remote access to oil and gas well information in PA*IRIS/WIS is available to system partners. Those interested in obtaining data from this system who do not subscribe to the PA*IRIS/WIS service, may do so by visiting one of the Survey offices or by submitting a service request to our Pittsburgh staff. To learn more about PA*IRIS/WIS services, including contact information and how you can become a system partner, visit our PA*IRIS/WIS web page through the link above.
Organic-rich, fine-grained source rocks like the Marcellus and Utica Shales have become the target of intense exploration and drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania. So-called thermogenic shale-gas reservoirs are an exciting unconventional energy resource, one in which the shale serves as source, reservoir, trap, and seal. The relative ability of a source rock to generate oil and gas is dictated by the quantity of organic matter (total organic carbon or TOC), the quality or type of organic matter (hydrogen content), and the thermal maturity of the organic matter in the rock. Data that are a measure of these three parameters are provided in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for multiple samples from scattered locations across the state.
Maps showing the extent of the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, as well as geologic structure and isopach maps of related formations, and isopach maps of organic-rich shales are available from the Marcellus and Utica Shales page of our website. The associated GIS line and polygon shapefiles for these maps are also available to download. To see the links to these maps and datasets, select “Maps and Digital Data” under the “Marcellus Shale” heading.
Also on the Marcellus and Utica Shales page, there is a link to a map showing the distribution of the Utica Shale in Pennsylvania: “Occurrence of the Utica Shale in Pennsylvania” (under the “Utica Shale” heading). The shapefiles used to produce that map are available from the “Line” and “Polygon” links beside the map link.
Coalbed methane (CBM), the natural gas from coal, rivals conventional natural gas in composition and heating value. Historically a mining hazard, CBM is extracted in southwestern Pennsylvania to improve mine safety and for use as an energy source. Production typically occurs in Pennsylvania’s coal-bearing rocks at depths ranging from approximately 300 to 1,800 feet. A good overview of CBM can be found under Economic Resources on our website.
Open-File Report OFOG 11–01.0, Pennsylvania Coalbed Methane Wells Database, catalogs data on CBM wells, including owner/operator information, production statistics, driller logs, types of geophysical logs, and locations (latitude-longitude locations are given for 229 wells).
The online publication Subsurface Rock Correlation Diagram, Oil and Gas Producing Regions of Pennsylvania (OFOG 07–01.1) shows subsurface stratigraphic relationships across much of Pennsylvania based on the study of selected geophysical logs. The locations of these type logs, the well owners, the target formations, and the logged intervals are included in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with this report. Also included in a ZIP file are images of the logs with formation tops indicated.
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The aquifer characteristics datasets provide ArcGIS feature classes and shapefiles of bedrock geologic units and water well locations for each of Pennsylvania’s 23 physiographic sections. The attributes in each dataset include information on well construction, yield, specific capacity, and water-bearing zones. To create the aquifer characteristics polygon datasets, the bedrock geologic dataset of the state was partitioned by the state’s physiographic sections (a dataset that is available from PASDA), and attributes were added based on the data presented in Water Resource Report 69 (see below). Water well point locations were obtained from PaGWIS (see below) and are included to show the general data distribution.
Water Resource Report 69, Hydrogeologic and Well-Construction Characteristics of the Rocks of Pennsylvania, is a Microsoft Access database that provides a statewide statistical summary of the hydrogeology, groundwater geochemistry, and well-construction characteristics for the stratigraphic units shown on Map 1, Geologic Map of Pennsylvania. The data for the statistical analyses were obtained from PaGWIS (see below). In all, data from almost 50,000 field-located wells and water-quality data for more than 15,000 of those wells were used in the statistical calculations contained in the database. In addition to stratigraphic unit, statistics are further broken down by physiographic section, topographic position, water use, or any combination of those criteria.
The preponderance of data in PaGWIS are from water well records submitted to the Pennsylvania Geological Survey by water well drillers. The types of data provided, the accuracy of well locations, and the amount of data entered into PaGWIS has varied over the years. It is estimated that Pennsylvania has over a million domestic water wells, and PaGWIS has records for over 400,000 water wells (domestic and others).
PaGWIS water well data for Pennsylvania may be viewed online, or the information may be downloaded as a Microsoft Access database. Online viewing is limited to well-construction and hydrogeological data; the Access database of PaGWIS also includes information on well-water quality, springs, and spring-water quality.
Open-File Report 00–02, Groundwater Resources of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, includes Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and comma-separated-value (CSV) text files of well, spring, and water-quality data. Data are provided for 663 wells and 76 springs in Somerset County.
Map 69, Earthquake Catalog and Epicenter Map of Pennsylvania, includes an ArcGIS shapefile and ArcInfo coverage (export file) of earthquake epicenters (437 points) that were recorded in and near Pennsylvania from August 16, 1724, through July 17, 2003. Many of the points represent more than one event. These data are also available to view or download on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources interactive geologic map. In addition to the GIS dataset, the Map 69 publication includes a GeoTIFF of the epicenter map and a database of the epicenter information. The earthquake epicenter data include the locations, times and dates, magnitudes, and sources of information for each event.
Sinkholes are subsidence features that are commonly found in areas underlain by carbonate bedrock (limestone, dolomite, and marble). Sinkholes can cause significant damage to roadways, buildings, and utilities. By mapping the location of existing sinkholes, we are able to identify areas that are prone to subsidence and sensitive to groundwater contamination. A more complete description is given on the Sinkholes in Pennsylvania page of our website.
Sinkholes and related surface depressions were mapped at 1:24,000 scale in central and southeastern Pennsylvania, and the maps were released in a series of Pennsylvania Geological Survey open-file reports. The central points of these features were added to the department’s interactive geologic map, and the associated data can be extracted from that map (through the “Tools” dropdown) in a GIS or CAD format.