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Classification Project

We currently have a full list of volunteers - and are currently not adding more people to the project.  However, you can still register your name below and when places become available we will contact you.

We are seeking the help of EarthCachers who have a good understanding of geoscience to assist us in classifying the EarthCaches in our database.

Classification is a field that is not captured in the submittal process - and yet it plays an important role in understanding EarthCaches and using them to meet challenges, teach about geoscience phenomenon and more.

It is a simple process to classify an EarthCache using our online system:-

1. Read the EarthCache listing (there is a direct link from our database)
2. Select from the list below the MAJOR theme for the EarthCache.  Many fall into two you need to establish which is the strongest theme.
3. Click Edit, select the classification form a pull down menu and click update.

We are hoping that people will volunteer to classify 25 EarthCaches.  Anyone who does 50 or more will be added as a Crust Level EarthCache supporter for the rest of the year.

By participating in this project you agree to receive communications from The Geological Society of America (GSA) which may include electronic newsletters, emails and postal delivery of information about the Society’s operations, programs and opportunities.  GSA values your privacy and will only use your contact information for the purposes of the Society and we will never share your email, phone number or address with any outside organization without your express permission. GSA follows best practices to ensure the safety, reliability, and privacy of its electronic and postal communications. You have the right to opt-out of these communications at any time. Please see the GSA website for our full privacy policy

If you are interested,please complete this online form.

Classification Types

These are features related to any cave formation or associated feature. “Karst” refers to the unique landforms that occur in areas where the bedrock can be dissolved. These includes sinkholes, dolines, disappearing streams etc

These are landform features that relate to coasts. They could be unusual beaches (e.g. green sand, black sand, pebbles etc), dunes, estuaries etc These are site to educate visitors to coastal process, such as long shore drift, sea cave or sea stack formation etc

These are features that display some major form of erosion and can be used to explain the process to visitors, such as gully erosion, river band erosion etc.

These are features where the rocks have broken under stress and some movement along the break (fault) is visible. They could also be the epicenters (the place on the Earth’s surface directly above the movement) of past major earthquakes.

These are places where the pressure inside the Earth has caused the rocks to bend and those folded rocks are now exposed at the surface.

These are locations where fossils can be found in the rocks. Visitors should be actively discouraged from collecting the fossils (other than photographs). If sites are in quarries, adequate safety warning should be given to keep people away from quarry walls.

These are landform sites that don’t readily fall into another classification. For example, cliff faces that exhibit some unique feature (shape of a face etc) or where there is a continental divide in the flow of rivers.

These are any feature that shows the work of current or past glaciers. They could be glacial lakes, rock striations, moraines or erratic (rocks that have been left behind by glaciers but originally came from somewhere else).

These are site in which some historical geology took place. For example, the first place a certain fossil was discovered, or the place where a famous historical geologist discovered some phenomenon.

These are sites that display some water feature that do not fall into other categories (such as rivers). These include natural springs, waterfalls etc

Igneous (Plutonic)
These are sites that visitors learn something about the cooling of molten rock underground. These include batholiths, plutons and stocks. This will also include outcrops of plutonic rocks, such as granite or gabbro.

Igneous (Volcanic)
These are sites that visitors learn about current or past volcanic activity. These sites include lava flows, cinder cones, lava tubes and all types of outcrops of volcanic rocks (basalt, rhyolite etc)

These are sites where visitors learn about metamorphic rocks. These are rocks that have ‘changed’ due to being heated (without melting) or put under enormous pressure.

These are sites in which visitors can see unusual minerals. These include veins, pegmatite outcrops etc. Visitors should be actively discouraged from collecting at the site.

These are sites where current or past mining has taken place. Visitors should be made aware of any dangers that exist at the site (like mine shafts) and always be discourages from entering old workings.

These are any site that relates to the action of a river.

These are sites in which visitors learn about sedimentary rocks and the processes that form them. Examples would include sandstone, shale, conglomerate and limestone.

These are sites directly related to the local soil profile, or the process of soil formation.  Soil terminology should be used (not just 'dirt').

These are sites in which visitors can learn something about the structure of the rocks in that area. This would include features such as domes, monoclines etc. Some of these features may also fall under folds and faults.