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:


Chimney Rock.jpg

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.  







The Narrows.jpg

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. 









Fulmer Falls.jpg

Water: Features that currently hold running or standing water (includes bogs and ephemeral ponds). 









Hyner View.jpg

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.  








Laurel Caverns: The longest cave in Pennsylvania formed in the Loyalhanna limestone.

Cave: A natural underground open space, generally with a connection to the surface and large enough for a person to enter.