Skip to Main Content

Geological Sciences: GSA Style - Figures | Tables

Research guide for geology

GSA - Figures


  • If figures (e.g., graphs, photographs, line drawings) are reproduced without change from other sources, acknowledgements must be given
  • Use backlines between 1 and 2 point thicknesss
  • On maps, include latitude (°N, °S) and longitude (°W, °E), a north arrow, and a scale (in km)
  • Graphs must have all axes and lines labelled
  • Use the International System of units (SI, or metric) in captions


  • Use sans serif typeface (Arial or Helvetica)
  • Lettering should be between 7 and 12 point type size
  • Keep all text within figure around the same size (including axis labels, contour labels, latitude and longitude, etc.)
  • Avoid large lettering
  • Avoid boldface lettering
  • Place white background behind lettering that crosses a dark/textured area in the figure


  • Figures should be sequentially referred in the text
  • Label each figure caption with the figure number at the bottom of the figure, e.g.,
    Figure 1. Crystal structure of the ...
  • general titles of illustrations need to appearing figure caption and not in the figure


  • The terms "Figure" (or "Figures") in-text should be written fully, but abbreviated when enclosed in parentheses, e.g., (Fig. 3) or (Figs. 3 and 4)

... having proportionally more Paleozoic ages (Fig. 2).
Figure 2 shows that ...

GSA Figure Guidelines
(from the Geological Society of America)

GSA - Tables


  • Tables should replace text and not duplicate it
  • If possible use Helvetica font
  • Table number and title should be centered at the top of the table
  • No period after that title of the table
  • Capitalize all letters in the title, e.g.,
  • Leave chemical symbols in the title as they normally appear, (e.g., Mg, Al)
  • Use the following sequence for footnotes: * (asterisk), † (dagger), § (section mark), # (pound symbol), **, ††, §§, ##, ***, †††, §§§, ###, and so on. All symbols should be set as superscripts
  • Tables in the main text start with "Table 1", while tables in the appendix start with "Table A1"


  • Tables should be numbered consecutively in the order that they are cited in the paper (i.e., Table 1, Table 2, etc.)

... and the data is shown in Table 3.
It was observed that the color of the mineral ranges from orange to red (Table 4).

GSA Table Guidelines
(from the Geological Society of America)