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Scientific Investigations Map 3172

Geologic Cross Section C–C’ Through the Appalachian Basin From Erie County, North-Central Ohio, to the Valley and Ridge Province, Bedford County, South-Central Pennsylvania

By Robert T. Ryder, Michael H. Trippi, Christopher S. Swezey, Robert D. Crangle, Jr., Rebecca S. Hope, Elisabeth L. Rowan, and Erika E. Lentz


Sheet 1 of SIM 3172 and Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (4.55 MB) Sheet 2 of SIM 3172 and Thumbnail of and link to report PDF 3.76 MB)


Geologic cross section C–C′ is the third in a series of cross sections constructed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to document and improve understanding of the geologic framework and petroleum systems of the Appalachian basin. Cross section C–C′ provides a regional view of the structural and stratigraphic framework of the Appalachian basin from north-central Ohio to the Valley and Ridge province in south-central Pennsylvania, a distance of approximately 260 miles (mi). This cross section is a companion to cross sections E–E′ and D–D′ that are located about 50 to 125 mi and 25 to 50 mi, respectively, to the southwest.

Cross section C–C′ contains much information that is useful for evaluating energy resources in the Appalachian basin. Although specific petroleum systems are not identified on the cross section, many of their key elements (such as source rocks, reservoir rocks, seals, and traps) can be inferred from lithologic units, unconformities, and geologic structures shown on the cross section. Other aspects of petroleum systems (such as the timing of petroleum generation and preferred migration pathways) may be evaluated by burial history, thermal history, and fluid flow models based on what is shown on the cross section. Cross section C–C′ also provides a general framework (stratigraphic units and general rock types) for the coal-bearing section, although the cross section lacks the detail to illustrate key elements of coal systems (such as paleoclimate, coal quality, and coal rank). In addition, cross section C–C′ may be used as a reconnaissance tool to identify plausible geologic structures and strata for the subsurface storage of liquid waste or for the sequestration of carbon dioxide.

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First posted June 19, 2012

For additional information contact:
Chief, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
956 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Ryder, R.T., Trippi, M.H., Swezey, C.S. Crangle, R.D., Jr., Hope, R.S., Rowan, E.L., and Lentz, E.E., 2012, Geologic cross section C–C’ through the Appalachian basin from Erie County, north-central Ohio, to the Valley and Ridge province, Bedford County, south-central Pennsylvania: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3172, 2 sheets, 70-p. pamphlet. (Also available at



Construction of the Cross Section

Structural Framework

Stratigraphic Framework


References Cited

Appendix A—Table Summarizing Drill Holes, Stratigraphic Units, and Depths of Stratigraphic Units in Cross Section C–C’

Appendix B—Scale, Units, and Depths for Gamma-Ray Logging Runs

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