Geology Resources

Here is a list of useful geology resources. If you know of any others, feel free to leave a comment below.


If you would like to know what geologists do all day, follow GeoSciTweeps on Twitter. This is a rotation curation (aka rocur) account where geologists from all over the world have the chance to talk about what they do, their research and more.

Geological Hazards

USGS has an earthquake catalogue with various editable parameters such as magnitude, time, geographic region, cause of the earthquake (natural vs anthropogenic), etc. There’s also an earthquake map with circles colour-coded based on when the earthquake occurred.

The Smithsonian Institution has a searchable database of volcanoes. This interactive map shows which volcanoes are actively erupting or in a state of unrest.


The British Geological Survey (BGS) has a map portal which contains geological maps from 1832-2014; you can search for maps by region or map number. However, a website called ‘Beneath Your Feet‘ offers a simple way of finding geological maps. It shows a map of Britain split into rectangular regions based on geological map numbers.

The Geology of Britain Viewer from BGS allows you to view the rock formations across Britain and a few select locations have cross-sections and boreholes.

The BGS offers various mobile apps. To view the geology beneath your feet, use iGeology. There’s also a 3D verison of this app which shows a geological map overlay on the landscape when you use your phone camera.

Topographic maps from all over the world can be found here. Maps from the Ordnance Survey and maps of historic, geological, marine, environmental and aerial features can be downloaded from Digimap – N.B. institutional access is needed to download material.


The Virtual Fossil Museum has beautiful pictures and detailed palaeontological information.

UCL has an in-depth micropalaeontology website which covers diatoms, foraminifera, nannofossils, radiolaria and more. It gives details on how these microfossils are used in palaeoclimatology and how samples should be prepared.

If trilobites are your favourite fossil, you’ll love this website dedicated to the ancient arthropods.

The Tree of Life Explorer from Evogenao is an interactive tool which shows how closely humans are related to various animals, plants and bacteria.

This interactive map of fossils in the Museum of Manchester collections is a brilliant example of how a collection’s objects can be displayed online. It shows where various fossils were collected, who collected them and taxonomic information.

Rocks and Minerals

BGS has a searchable database of all the rock units used in their geological maps. It provides information about their age range, lithology and thickness.

Mindat is an extensive mineral database with pictures, formulae, crystallographic properties and more.

RRUFF is an online database for Raman spectra, x-ray diffraction and chemistry data.

This online Rock Library from Imperial College London has pictures and information of various rocks and mineral hand specimens.

There are several resources for thin sections. There’s a catalogue of common minerals in thin section, this Atlas of Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks, Minerals and Textures and an Atlas of Metamorphic MineralsGeosec sells thin sections (you also get a piece of the sample rock/mineral/fossil) as well as thin section-themed jewellery, mugs, keyrings and more.

Urban Geology

You don’t have to head to the mountains to find good geology. Many of the buildings around us are made from beautiful rocks. A great introduction to urban geology is available here. The Geology Collection at UCL Earth Sciences contains numerous building and decorative stone samples – an online catalogue can be viewed here. An excellent urban geology project called London Pavement Geology allows you to learn more about the rocks used in buildings. A mobile app was recently released so you can view urban geology while on the move.


This extensive list of 3D paper models includes volcanoes, landforms, fossils, dinosaurs, planets and more. Cut-out volcano models and a colour in geological map of the UK are available from the BGS.


Geology isn’t always about hard work, it can be funny too! Fun-filled geological hashtags include #GeologistProblems and #MineralPunday. I’ve also come across a few funny geology websites such as:
Things to do in a Geology Exam When You Are Failing Anyway
TV Tropes: Artistic License – Geology


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