Links for Geology 118

The following links follow (mostly) the order of topics in the syllabus with a few extra topics thrown in (asbestos and waste management). Use the quick links below or scroll down and browse the links by heading. All links should be operational. Click on the Back button to return to the GEOL 118 home page.

General | The Big Bang | Earth Origin | Earth Interior | Minerals | Asbestos | Rock Cycle | Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks | Sedimentary Rocks | Geologic Time and Time Scale | Rock Record and Fossils | Earth's Clock | Plate Tectonics | Earthquakes | Volcanoes | Soils | Landslides | Rivers | Floods | Groundwater | Water Quality | Coastlines | Glaciers | Global Change | Acid Rain | Global Warming | Renewable Energy | Fossil Fuels | Energy & the Environment | Waste Management

General Geology Links

This site allows you to have questions answered by a geologist from the U.S. Geological Survey. There is also a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's).


This site features a different excellent web site dealing with various aspects of earth science each week. Previous selections of the week are also listed. It is run by the Atlantic Division of the Canadian Geological Survey.


This is a GREAT site that lists geologic features and events that most geologists would like to experience (firsthand) during their careers. How many can you check off the list so far?


The home page of the U.S. Geological Survey is a great place to start exploring the field of geology. The site includes links to pages on geology, biology, mapping, and water as well as links to other earth and environmental science sites.


This site, which is organized by the Geology Department at the University of Kentucky, contains virtual field trips to Kentucky, compendium of information on rocks and minerals, and photo gallery.


This site contains geology course resources on the Internet, including a long list of virtual fieldtrips available on the Web and a lengthy listing of geology course web pages from around the world.

The Big Bang

Kyle's Faboo Astronomy links:

Personal home page of Kyle Gerlach with astronomy links to institutions and societies, projects, databases and sources, images, magazines, NASA, data on the planets, data on solar activity, satellites and space probes, and telescopes and observatories.

Earth Origin

Lunar + Planetary Institute Homepage

Lunar + Planetary Institute is an academic research institution which studies the current state, evolution, and formation of the solar system. Their homepage includes a discussion of the question of life on Mars and a 3-D tour of the solar system (bring your 3-D glasses).

The Nine Planets

This site contains many images and a lot of text, including multiple images of the features in the solar systems, video of a few features, and a list of "Open Issues" about each member of the solar system. You can take a "Quick Tour" to get a overall idea of what's in the site.

Views of Solar System

There is a gallery of images from NASA and other sources at this site. Basic data, images, and video is provided for each component in the solar system. Text is available in English and Spanish.

Welcome to the Planets

This NASA site includes data and images for each of the planets, a glossary, and information about the spacecraft that produced the images.

Earth Interior

This site, which is located within the "Views of the Solar System" web site, contains numerous illustrations and text on Earth's interior including descriptions of Earth's layers (crust, mantle and its subdivisions, core and its subdivisions, continental lithosphere and oceanic lithosphere) and plate tectonics. There are also links to more detailed information on selected topics.


Lots of beautiful images of fluorescent minerals as well as links to other mineral-related web sites.


This site constains a lot of information and high-quality photographs of mineral samples.


This site includes many mineralogy-related web links from the Illinois State Geological Survey homepage.


This OUTSTANDING site contains images and descriptions of some of the more remarkable (and famous) gem and mineral specimens in the Smithsonian Institute. Specimens include the Hope Diamond, Napoleon I's crown and diamond necklace to his Empress Marie Louise, Marie Antoinette's earrings, and the Star of Bombay.


A comprehensive on-line database about the periodic table. The site also contains geology-specific data for the elements.


The first of three sites with many mineralogy-related web links.


A second site crammed with mineralogy- and petrology-related web links.


A third site of mineralogy links.


Many high-quility photos from their collections (the site is in French and English).

Hazardous Minerals? Asbestos

This site contains many links to other asbestos-related web sites.


Cancer facts about asbestos from the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Health.


A comprehensive resource from the Asbestos Institute in Canada on asbestos-related topics.

Rock Cycle

At the University of British Columbia, Geology 202 (Introduction to Petrology) has a variety of URL's including this one on the rock cycle, which includes an attractive color diagram and description of the rock cycle.

Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

This class web from University of Saskatchewan is a good introduction to metamorphic rocks and processes.


A personal web page at the University of Texas which includes lots of information about granite, particularly granite in Texas. The author makes an interesting comparison between granite and ice cream!


Descriptions, photos, and classification of igneous rocks at an introductory level.


This web page from Geology 202 (Introduction to Petrology) from University of British Columbia contains extensive sections on igneous rocks (including extrusive and intrusive varieties, compositions, and textures) and metamorphic rocks (including metamorphic settings, facies concepts, rock names, and textures).

Sedimentary Rocks

A good review of the important features of the formation and nature of sedimentary rocks from the Geology 202 course (Introduction to Petrology) at University of British Columbia.


Lots of web links related to the field of sedimentary geology.

Geologic Time and the Geologic Time Scale

This site has some interesting text (discussions on scientific and Creationist arguments for the age of the earth) and a time scale similar to the class handout -

Rock Record

A site devoted to the Archean Eon (3.8-2.5 b.y.) including the oldest evidence of life on Earth - bacteria.


The unofficial Grand Canyon National Park home page. Loads of information about the Grand Canyon including descriptions of the geology of the Grand Canyon, a virtual trip to the Grand Canyon area, maps, visitor information, news articles related to the Canyon, and a river trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.


Virtual exhibits from the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

Earth's Clock

Lots of information from the University of Waikato in New Zealand about radiocarbon dating, the main technique which has been used to build the most "recent" part of the geologic time scale (Late Pleistocene and Holocene).


This web site offers an interesting introduction to the concepts of radiometric dating via a Virtual Dating program. Try the interactive tutorial and match your skills against the computer.

Plate Tectonics, Continental Drift, and Sea-floor Spreading

  • Drifting Continents (Continental Drift)

    The Story of Plate Tectonics - Historical Perspective:

    This is a chapter on Continental Drift (and Alfred Wegener) in an electronic version of a book on Plate Tectonics by Jacquelyne Kious and Robert Tilling of the USGS.


    Wandering Poles (Sea Floor Spreading)

    The Story of Plate Tectonics - Developing the Theory:

    This is a chapter on Sea Floor Spreading in an electronic version of a book on Plate Tectonics by Jacquelyne Kious and Robert Tilling of the USGS.


    Plate Tectonics

    Plate Tectonics Lesson and Links from Jon Stackhouse:

    This sites reviews plate tectonics, its causes and its major effects including earthquakes and volcanoes. On the last page (transform boundaries) are links to appropriate sites that go into the subject matter in more detail or have really good movies or pictures. There are also some well-done animated block diagrams here.


    Tectonic Plate Motion:

    This site features maps from several parts of the world showing the movement of tectonic plates as determined by satellite measurements.

  • Earthquakes

    This site of EQE International, a consulting firm specializing in earthquake and structural engineering, contains extensive summaries of recent earthquake disasters including Loma Prieta, CA in 1989; Northridge, CA in 1994; and Kobe, Japan in 1995 (in the Disaster Reports Archive Index).


    This USGS-sponsored webpage features a ton of very well-done earthquake information including the latest EQ's in the USA and many other regions of the world; EQ hazards and preparedness; EQ damage; and USGS research on EQ's.


    This site is maintained by the University of Arizona Department of Geosciences and has many seismograms including: current seismosgrams (past 24 hours) from the SASO seismic recording station; seismograms of the day (week or month); list of recent major earthquakes; make your own seismogram; and maps of recent seismicity (global and USA).


    This site, developed by the University of Washington Geophysics Program and NOAA (National Oceanographic Administration), provides a wealth of general information and research about tsunamis (seismic sea waves or "tidal waves"). There are many maps, photos, and computer simulations here.


    This Web site, developed by California State University in Los Angeles, presents information about earthquakes and seismograms, including an interactive computer program that allows you to determine both the epicenter location and Richter magnitude of an earthquake.


    This site describes USGS efforts to understand and predict earthquakes and reduce earthquake damage.


    From the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Center for Vulcanology homepage is a great place to learn about Hawaiian volcanoes. The site includes maps, photos, scientific information, and web links to the Hawaiian volcanoes and volcanic islands.


    This web page from Geology 202 (Introduction to Petrology) from University of British Columbia contains extensive sections on igneous rocks including extrusive (volcanic) varieties, volcanic rock composition, volcano types, and links to a few volcano web sites.


    Learn about the hazards of volcanoes in general and the U.S. Geological Survey program on monitoring volcanoes and reducing the risks associated with volcanoes. In addition, you can find information on currently active volcanoes all around the world.


    This site has a lot of information about volcanoes, animations, and eruption histories. This site would be a useful reference site for your second web exercise.


    This is THE site to visit for interesting and thorough coverage of volcanoes. This site at the University of North Dakota (and supported by NASA) contains everything you ever wanted to know about volcanoes including: Exploring Earth's Volcanoes (maps, photos, text, and a glossary about practically every volcano on our planet), What's Erupting Now? (current information about the most recently active volcanoes such as Montserrat and Etna), Volcano Movie Clips (video footage about the Kilauea, Stromboli, Etna), Volcanoes of Other Worlds (information about volcanoes located on the Moon, Venus, and Mars), Volcanic Parks and Monuments (information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mt. Saint Helens, other U.S. and foreign Volcanic Parks and Monuments), Today in Volcano History (past volcanic events that occurred on the current date), Ask a Volcanologist, and Volcano World contest (test your knowledge about volcanoes).



    This site from the U.S. Geological Survey includes a great set of images of landslides, a landslide hazard map of the USA (marking areas susceptible to landslides), and recent maps of current landslide activity in this country.


    This interesting site includes a virtual field trip down the 50 mile-long Los Angeles river. Twelve stops include information on sights, plants, animals, architecture, and history. You can also learn about microorganisms, water quality, human impact, history, and art on the L.A. River.


    Loads of water-related data from the US Geological Survey. Information includes recent information on stream flow levels from across the country, headline news (commonly related to recent world-wide flooding), a features section (which in Nov. 1997 covered USGS work in the Chesapeake Bay and a USGS report on Preliminary estimates of water use in the United States, 1995), water data (which includes real-time or historical records of stream flow data from zillions of gaging stations around the country such as the Boneyard Creek or the Chicago river, water quality data, water use data, and acid rain data).


    This NASA site focusses on remote sensing data, including views of the 1993 Mississippi flood.


    This site from the EPA describes a federal program targeting the clean-up and revitalization of 10 US rivers. In addition, a linked web site, Surf Your Watershed, you can find the watershed in which you live by clicking on a map, or by entering name of your town or the name of a nearby river, lake, or estuary. You can also find out about government programs and grass-roots efforts to protect and restore these waters.


    From Dartmouth College - information on large floods worldwide. 3-D maps of the extent of flooding are depicted for floods over the past several years. This Web site is a research tool for early detection, mapping, measurement, and analysis of extreme flood events world-wide using remote sensing (satellite images and geographic information systems data).


    The Univ. of Kentucky College of Agriculture provides daily information from the National Weather Service on flooding, flood warnings, and flood advisories throughout the United States.


    Another EPA site: this one gives lots of information on wetlands including their role in reducing flood size.


    This USGS web site provides an excellent summary (with lots of photos) about flooding in northern California during late 1996 and early 1997. That area was drenched by an unusual series of warm rainstorms from Dec. 29, 1996 through Jan. 4, 1997, which caused widespread melting of an above-normal snowpack. These conditions caused wide-spread minor to record-breaking floods from central California to Oregon.


    This site, from the Trade and Environment Database, describes a case study of the Three Gorges Dam, the greatest project that China has undertaken since the construction of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. The Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze river will be the largest hydroelectric power station and dam in the world, with a 1.2 mile stretch of concrete that will create a 370 mile-long reservoir which is 525 feet deep. This project will cost more than virtually any other single construction project in history.



    This U.S. Geological Survey site provides information about groundwater programs, publications, techniques, and links to other groundwater sites.


    Browse the mineral wonders of the cave environment. This site contains lots of images of fantastic cave formations from around the world as well as a directory to some U.S. caves (caves in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are listed, but none for Illinois).


    A web site maintained by Culligan that gives you all you ever wanted to know about drinking water including information about hard water, water that smells and stains, water and health disease, improving your drinking water, the best water for coffee, water testing information, and other water web sites.


    This site gives lots of water information, including facts, data, and federal regulations. 

    Water Quality

    Provides information about the goals and objectives of a USGS program called the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, which is designed to assess historical, current, and future water-quality conditions in 60 importan river basins and aquifers nationwide. A primary objective of the program is to describe relations between natural factors, human activities, and water-quality conditions and to define those factors that most affect water quality in different parts of the USA.


    A detailed discussion of non-point source pollution. Includes chapters on how we use water in the USA, how excessive water use affects water quality, how to conserve water and use it effectively, and case studies of water use in the USA.


    This site provides information about a state-run coastal management program in Massachusetts. "The importance of the tourism, shipping, and commercial fishing industries to the state's economy show that in coastal Massachusetts, the environment is the economy."


    This USGS site contains information, pictures, and animations of coastal environements, El Ni–o and hurricanes, and USGS research projects throughout the U.S.

    Extreme Climates - Glaciers and Ice Ages

    The Illinois State Museum has put together an excellent site that contains a lot of information about glaciation during the Pleistocene, animations, and answers to questions about the "What, When, and Why" of Ice Ages.


    This graduate student has posted a nice discussion on ice ages and answers many common questions about past and possible future ices ages.

    Global Change

    The EPA's site provides information on defining acid rain, the environmental effects of acid rain (including forests, water, buildings, and people), and what is being done to reduce the problem of acid rain.


    The EPA's site provides information on defining global warming, the potential effects of global warming on this country, and what's being done to prevent global warming.


    The Sierra Club's introduction to global warming, its effects, and solutions to the problem, with emphasis on specific actions that WE can take to combat global warming.


    Includes a description of climate change, a description of the global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, world views on climate change, lots of recent news stories on climate change, and the scientific debate on climate change.

    Renewable and Experimental Energy Resources

    The Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology's website contains theoretical and practical information about renewable energy, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass.


    Developed by General Atomics (US Department of Energy) this site includes an overview of fusion, a slide show on fusion, reasons for studying fusion, and links to fusion research.

    Fossil Fuels

    Compiled by the Energy Information Association of the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), this site has hundreds of energy-related links.


    The homepage for Shell Oil Company contains a well-done overview of oil exploration, production, transportation, and products. There are several nice photographs of drilling platforms, fossils, and refineries.

    Energy and the Environment

    The homepage of the Environmental Defense Fund includes extensive sections on global warming, recycling, and energy.


    This site provides information in order to "evaluate complex environmental issues, including potential climate change associated with elevated levels of carbon dioxide" and other greenhouse gases.


    The NASA Earth Observing System, based at the University of Washington, has developed this site. The Earth Observing System represents an interdisciplinary investigation which will use data from satellite instruments and a variety of climate models to construct an integrated view of atmospheric climate over the oceans. Primary problem areas include the role of circulation, clouds, radiation, water vapor, and precipitation in climate change, and the role of ocean-atmosphere interactions in the energy and water cycles.


    This interesting site contains animations that show 70 year predictions in global surface temperature and sea-ice coverage.

    Waste Management

    A history of the Love Canal as well as outcomes of the disaster.


    Topics include: Basic Facts about Solid Waste; Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Waste; Generate and Transport Waste; Treat, Store, and Dispose of Waste; Waste Cleanup

    General | The Big Bang | Earth Origin | Earth Interior | Minerals | Asbestos | Rock Cycle | Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks | Sedimentary Rocks | Geologic Time and Time Scale | Rock Record and Fossils | Earth's Clock | Plate Tectonics | Earthquakes | Volcanoes | Soils | Landslides | Rivers | Floods | Groundwater | Water Quality | Coastlines | Glaciers | Global Change | Acid Rain | Global Warming | Renewable Energy | Fossil Fuels | Energy & the Environment | Waste Management






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