Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

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Bethel Park is a home rule municipality in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States, and is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area, approximately 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Pittsburgh. The population was 33,556 at the 2000 census, at which time it was a borough.[1]

Contents

Geography

Bethel Park is located at 40°19′38″N 80°2′15″W / 40.32722°N 80.0375°W / 40.32722; -80.0375 (40.327102, -80.037491).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the affluent borough had a total area of 11.7 square miles (30 km2), all of it land. Its average elevation is 1,197 feet (365 m) above sea level.[3] Bethel Park lies at the margin between the Pittsburgh Low Plateau and Waynesburg Hills Sections of the Allegheny Plateau physiographic province.[4] The area is characterized as a maturely dissected region where the ephemeral minor tributaries converge into the tributaries of principal streams.

The highest point in Bethel Park is Rocky Ridge, in the southwestern portion of the municipality, 1,370 feet (420 m), and the lowest point is at the intersection of the Piney Fork and Alsip Run creeks, 980 feet (300 m), in the southeast corner of the municipality.

Geology

The exposed rocks in the municipality are mostly composed of sandstone, limestone, shale, and a few coal layers (Redstone, Waynesburg, Washington, etc.). The ages of the exposed rocks bracket the late Pennsylvanian epoch (Gzhelian age; approximately 303 million years ago) near the lowest elevations, and early Permian period (Asselian age; approximaetely 297 million years ago) near the highest parts of the southern part of Bethel Park (e.g. Rocky Ridge). These sedimentary rocks were deposited as the sea level rose and fell along an ancient coastline (with the region alternating between delta, shallow lake, and shallow sea), and finally being uplifted with the formation of the Appalachian Mountains.

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