Heritage Geology Site Classifications
Categories and Definitions
The PNHP sites and proposed additional sites under review can be classified into five broad categories: outcrop, geologic landform, water, scenic geologic viewshed, and cave. Classification is for convenience and for the PNHP process of preserving outstanding geologic sites. Categories are simply defined and may ultimately include subcategories. Also, some sites can be included in more than one category. For example, Chickies Rock is a classic example of a outcrop that contains a geologic structure as an anticline (upfold), and is also a viewing platform from which to observe a noted scenic geologic viewshed of the Susquehanna River valley.
Heritage geology sites represent important elements of the landscape and the underlying geology that defines it. These sites represent unique, exemplary, or illustrative geologic features of Pennsylvania, and together highlight the geologic diversity of the state. The following are definitions for geoheritage site categories:
Outcrop: Exposures of bedrock or surficial material, individual or a small group. Displays outstanding or noteworthy examples of: rock type, mineral or fossil specimens, tectonic structure, sedimentary feature, erosional or differentially weathered features, or a “type locality.” A type locality is a location where the rock typifies a specific geologic unit or feature.
Geologic Landforms: Land patterns and shapes. Includes large scale landscape patterns like water gaps, wind gaps, gorges, ridges, etc. and small scale patterns like knobs, peninsulas, eskers, and boulder fields.
Water: Features that currently hold running or standing water (includes bogs and ephemeral ponds).
Scenic Geologic Viewshed: A view over a landscape pattern that is visually or aesthetically pleasing, and one that contains an outstanding representation of a particular geologic setting, physiography, or landform of Pennsylvania.
Cave: A natural underground open space, generally with a connection to the surface and large enough for a person to enter.