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Some Definitions, Please


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Some months ago, I sent this e-mail to geoaware:

 

"In the submittal form, there are the various types of earthcaches.

 

It would be very handy to know what the various types are before needing the form, and what the requirements might be for some of the less obvious ones. Like...oh say...historical."

 

As always, when dealing with geoaware, the response was quick, and quite pleasant. I do realize that they have other things to do, just like the rest of us...but....I could really use this list of definitions. :rolleyes:

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To help the process along....here are some definitions for the different categories we use. Please note that sometimes (often really) a site will fall into more than one category. IIf this is the case, you chose the most obvious one based on the lesson that you hope the visitor will get from visiting the site.

 

Cave/Karst

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

Taking people to undeveloped (non-tourist) cave locations needs to be done with caution. Caves are places of unique and sensitive ecosystems. They can also be very dangerous.

Please note that any cave feature submitted in North America goes through an additional approval process by the national Speleological Society.

 

Coastal

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

 

Erosional

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.

 

Faults

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.

 

Folds

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.

 

Fossils

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.

 

Geomorphological

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.

 

Glacial

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).

 

Historical

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.

 

Hydrologic

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)

 

Metamorphic

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.

 

Mineral

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.

 

Mining

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.

 

River

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

 

Sedimentary

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

 

Structural

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.

 

Impact

These are features formed from the impact of an extraterrestrial body (comet, meteorite) with the Earth.

 

Other

If you honestly can’t find a category…you can place it here.

 

I hope this helps. I will work on getting these onto the earthcache.org website as well.

 

Geoaware

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I've got one that defies classification. The destruction path from an avalanche. It's a toss-up between erosional and hydrologic.

 

I would place it in erosional.....

 

Concur. Per the definations where Hydrologic is a water feature not included in another classification.

 

However, I'd really like to know how Kit Fox would design an avalanche earthcache!? I have multiple locations available near me, but no clue as to what kind of educational exercises an earthcacher could perform at a popular avalanche site.

Link to comment

To help the process along....here are some definitions for the different categories we use. Please note that sometimes (often really) a site will fall into more than one category. IIf this is the case, you chose the most obvious one based on the lesson that you hope the visitor will get from visiting the site.

 

I hope this helps. I will work on getting these onto the earthcache.org website as well.

 

Geoaware

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. :blink::unsure::ph34r:

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I've got one that defies classification. The destruction path from an avalanche. It's a toss-up between erosional and hydrologic.

 

I would place it in erosional.....

 

Concur. Per the definations where Hydrologic is a water feature not included in another classification.

 

However, I'd really like to know how Kit Fox would design an avalanche earthcache!? I have multiple locations available near me, but no clue as to what kind of educational exercises an earthcacher could perform at a popular avalanche site.

 

How about having visitor measure the width and length of the avalanche path?

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