Welcome to the Geologic Image Archive
at the University of Pittsburgh!

The purpose of these web pages is practice. Practice will help you spot and identify natural geologic and landscape features, both in your backyard and in the nation's parks and natural areas. Identification is the first step in understanding the long history of processes that created the natural feature you've spotted. Understanding what we see greatly enhances our appreciation of the beauty of the natural world. It is this heady combination of understanding and beauty that motivates many geologists to be geologists.

You will notice there are lots of images. This is because getting good at identifying rocks and other geologic features isn't always easy--it takes practice! The more examples you work through here, the more likely you'll be able to identify natural features in the wild.

Click on the following links to prepare for the next time you go on a hike...

Features a selection of Hubble and other telescope images plus photos of meteorites.
Mineral photos and descriptions are organized alphabetically and by rock type.
Examples of both igneous textures and rock compositions are given.
Dikes, sills, plutons, and batholiths
Shield, cinder, and composite volcanoes, plus many volcanic features
Both sedimentary rocks and sedimentary structures are presented for your viewing pleasure.
Both common and rare but interesting rock types are shown.
Folds, faults, and joints are featured.
Mass Wasting
Worth knowing if you ever hope to buy property...
River Systems
Headwater systems, meandering rivers, and braided streams
River-dominated, wave-dominated, and tidal-dominated.
Major features of beaches
Major features of deserts
Valley and continental glaciers and their landforms

E-mail C.E.Jones with comments or corrections. Delete "ALLCAPS" from address before sending. (I'm trying to cut down spam by masking my address).
Geology and Planetary Science Home Page