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May 2024: 
Dr. Kerrigan finishes his tenth year at Pitt-Johnstown.

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Structural Geology of Large Fracture Zones
in the Allegheny Plateau

     Structural geology is the science of interpreting features in the rocks to infer the stresses that have deformed the units.  A recent branch of my research has been to investigate the structural geology of the Allegheny Plateau in the vicinity of Pitt-Johnstown.  The Allegheny Plateau is characterized long wavelength, low amplitude folds that are parallel to the Appalachian Mountain belt. In addition to the folds of the plateau, there are a series of fracture zones known as lineaments. These lineaments are characterized by deeply penetrating fractures and increased jointing that has associated Pb-Zn and Cu mineralization.
Above is a map of the Allegheny Plateau in the vicinity of Pitt-Johnstown. The map shows the locations of folds, lineaments, and kimberlite intrusions.

My current research in this area is focused on the nature and features of the structural lineaments in the Allegheny Plateau. Characterizing these lineaments and understanding the stress that have created these structural elements will provide a greater understanding of the events of the Alleghenian Orogeny. 

I have written several review papers that have contributed to field conference guidebooks:
I'm always looking for interested students to take on more projects!!!

Future Projects in Structural Geology:
Other Projects:
Top images (left to right): Geologic Map of the Youngsford Road ultramfic body; field work at Bells Mill Road with Ryan Kerrigan, Loring Simboli, and Sam Louderback; XPL image of orthopyroxene altering to anthophyllite; Secondary electron image of relict olivine altering to serpentine; field contact between the Bells Mill granodiorite and the Wissahickon schist; trace element chemical discrimination diagram for serpentinites. Copyright © 2024 Ryan Kerrigan (last updated Jun 2024)