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Geology Subject Guide: Websites

Resources for research in geology.


Using websites can be tricky. Ask these questions to get a sense for whether the website is reliable:

  • Ask who is responsible for the information.
    Are they qualified to teach you? Why are they providing this information? Does someone take credit for the information by name? Can you contact them if you have questions?
  • Ask whether the information is objective.
    Does it present both sides of an issue? Is it designed to persuade you? Does anything about the information seem fishy?
  • Ask how current the information is.
    Is the site dated? Has it been updated recently enough to provide good information? Are there old or out of date links?


Encyclopedia of Earth
This on-line encyclopedia, published by the Environmental Information Coalition, contains articles on the Earth's natural environments and interaction with society.

USGS's search tool for lithologic and geochronologic unit names.

EROS Data Center
Provides maps and satellite images.

Geologic Hazards Team
Includes information on earthquakes, volcanoes and other geologic hazards.

Mineraology Database
Contains 4,442 individual mineral species descriptions with links and a comprehensive image library. Mineral data includes: crystallography, X-Ray powder diffraction, chemical composition, physical and optical properties, Dana's New classification, Strunz classification, mineral specimen images, and alphabetical listings of mineral species.

National Resource Conservation Service: Soils
Provides online access to soil maps, lists of soil surveys, information on soil quality and state soils, a soil science glossary, and more.

State Geological Surveys
Links to all geological survey web sites for every state.

U.S. Geological Survey
The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

USGS Geography: National Map
Interactive topographical map of the United States.

The Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences Internet Guide with links to web sites dealing with many different topics.