A geotope is a geological rock outcrop, a significant boundary between rocks, or a geological structure (fault, spring) in which the geological development of a region can be observed and investigated. Geological outcrops can be very diverse:
Mountains, boulder fields, sinkholes, rock formations, rock faces, rivers and river cuttings (cut banks), mineral or fossil discovery sites, trenches, caves, lakes, basins, quarries, valleys, type localities, road cuttings, springs.
The status geotope constitutes a conservation status. This means that a geotope must be protected against negative impacts such as constructions or damage in order to ensure its preservation for research and the general public.
Outstanding geotopes are designated as "National Geoptope" by the Academy of Geosciences and Geotechnology. The following three of the 12 national geotopes in Thuringia are located within the Geopark Thuringia Inselsberg-Drei Gleichen: