Members of the British public were asked to vote for the “geo-sites” they felt had done the most to shape the landscape and cultural heritage of the United Kingdom. Now what about the US? (The Telegraph)
Take a look through our geography resources and choose your favorites in the 10 geosite categories listed below. What are some landscapes that help define the United States? Why? There are no right answers! Be creative!
Then make a “geo-tour” of geosites using our MapMaker Interactive! Use the tutorial to make the most of MapMaker’s capabilities—choose your base layer, use markers, and add photos and links.
Here’s what ours looks like—be sure to click on the titles for links to our materials! Today, our map plus the 11 photos in this post make up our “Teachers’ Toolkit”!
The first category is “Landscape.” The British winner is Assynt, a region in the Scottish Highlands. Take a look at Assynt here. What are some landscapes that help define the United States?
The second category is “Industrial and Economic Importance.” The British winner is the Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, the symbol of the Industrial Revolution. Look at the Iron Bridge here. What location do you think symbolizes American industrial and economic importance?
The third category is “Historical and Scientific Importance.” The British winner is Siccar Point, Berwickshire. Take a look at the “unconformity” here. Siccar Point is the place geologist James Hutton cited when developing a theory that became known as “uniformitarianism”—the idea that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe. Read more about uniformitarianism here. What location do you think symbolizes American historical and scientific importance?
The fourth category is “Educational.” The British winner is the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough, Yorkshire. The Rotunda Museum, which is still operating, was one of the UK’s first buildings specifically built as a museum (in this case, for geological specimens.) What location do you think symbolizes education in America?
The fifth category is “Adventurous.” The British winner is Staffa, a rocky island that is part of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. Staffa is uninhabited and famous for its sea caves. What area best exemplifies American adventure?
The sixth category is “Human Habitation.” The British winner is Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. What site of human habitation best exemplifies the cultural heritage of the U.S.?
The seventh category is “Coastal.” The British winner are the dramatically layered Hunstanton Cliffs, Norfolk. What coastal area symbolizes the U.S.?
The eighth category is “Outcrops.” The British winner is Craster, Northumberland, where the rocky dolomite layer known as the Great Whin Sill is visible. What rocky outcrops help define the U.S. landscape?
The ninth category is “Folding and Faulting.” The British winner are the zigzag cliffs of Millook Haven, Cornwall. What mountainous folds or tectonic faults contribute to the U.S. landscape?
The final category is “Fire and Ice.” The British winner is Glencoe, a valley in the Scottish Highlands carved by an ancient glacier. (What a view!) What landscape typifies American “fire and ice”?
2 thoughts on “What are America’s Best ‘Geosites’?”
I would vote to see the Adirondacks on this list! But, White Sands is a great consolation prize! Remind me to show you my pictures from there sometime!
I felt most adventurous when kayaking 200 miles in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. I knew I touched trees, and discovered brooks that no other human had explored. I felt like a real explorer!