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Geology: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Identify Almost Any Rock with This Table
Identify 43 of the most common rock types: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.
Use This Master Index of Rock Pictures
My master alphabetical guide to igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock pictures.
The Most Common Green Minerals in Nature
A guide to the most common and significant green and greenish minerals.
Fast Links for Real-Time Info on Current...
Directions to information and data from earthquakes as fast as possible.
What Is My Blue or Purple Mineral?
A guide to the most common and significant blue and purple minerals.
10 Steps to Help You Identify Any Mineral
Mineral identification starts with picking a good specimen.
What a Black Mineral Is Most Likely to Be
A guide to the most common and significant black minerals.
See the Densities of the Most Common Rock Types
Density, or specific gravity, of common rock types.
Identify Typical Minerals with This Master...
My master guide to annotated pictures to help you identify minerals: typical examples of rock-forming, accessory, and rare or notable minerals.
Where Are the Greatest Earthquake Threats in...
The United Nations' global map of seismic hazard
What to Know About Igneous Rocks
Introducing igneous rocks, first of the three great rock classes (along with sedimentary and metamorphic rocks).
Where to Look for Rocks and Minerals
Rocks and minerals can be found everywhere, but there is a learning process involved.
How to Look at a Rock Like a Geologist
Notes on the most basic operation in geology.
What Is My Red or Pink Mineral?
A guide to the most common and significant red and pink minerals.
Why the Earth's Crust Is So Important
The Earth's crust is exceptionally important, and not just because we live on it.
Florida Geologic Map
Geologic map of Florida, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 9.
Quartz: How to Tell It, Different Kinds, What...
Quartz is essential to the land as we know it.
Syenite
Syenite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 23.
What Makes Metamorphic Rocks Special
Most of the thousands of rare minerals known to science occur in metamorphic rocks, which are formed by great heat and pressure. Introducing
Schist
Schist is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 15.
Serpentinite
Serpentinite is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 16.
What to Know About Sedimentary Rocks
Introducing sedimentary rocks, second of the three great rock classes (along with igneous and metamorphic rocks).
Igneous Rock Types
The major igneous rock types, plutonic, intrusive and extrusive.
Georgia Geologic Map
Geologic map of Georgia, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 10.
Peridotite
Peridotite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 15.
Exfoliation
How big rock domes peel off in shells. Page 6.
Granite
Granite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 8.
Viewing Earth from on High
Satellite views of Earth's surface make possible geological discoveries never before imagined.
Diorite
Diorite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 4.
Pegmatite
Pegmatite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 14.
Rhyolite
Rhyolite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 21.
Obsidian
Obsidian is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 13.
Pyroxenite
Pyroxenite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 19.
Scoria
Scoria is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 22.
Michigan Geologic Map
Geologic map of Michigan, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 22.
Quartz Monzonite
Quartz monzonite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 20.
Tonalite
Tonalite is a felsic plutonic rock without alkali feldspar. Page 24.
Why Granite is the Signature Rock of Earth
Granite is the signature rock of the continents. Here are the basics of this important stone.
6 Things to Know About the Earth's Mantle
A six-part look at the basics of the Earth's mantle, the part between the crust and the core.
Colorado Geologic Map
Geologic map of Colorado, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 6.
Granodiorite
Granodiorite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 9.
Pumice
Pumice is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 18.
Porphyry
Porphyry is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 17.
Basalt
Basalt is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 3.
Siltstone
Siltstone is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 24.
Gabbro
Gabbro is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 7.
Slate
Slate is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 17.
Tuff
Tuff is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 26.
Felsite
Felsite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 6.
Geologic Maps of the 50 United States
Geologic maps of all 50 U.S. states.
How to Tell the Feldspar Minerals Apart
Feldspar is the commonest mineral in the Earth's crust, but identifying it can be tricky.
Perlite
Perlite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 16.
The Great Cascadia Earthquake of 2xxx
Cascadia is America's tectonic version of Sumatra, where the great quake of 2004 occurred.
Troctolite
Troctolite is one of the gabbroid rocks: igneous, plutonic and mafic. Page 25.
Dunite
Dunite is a plutonic rock consisting of olivine. Page 5.
Minnesota Geologic Map
Geologic map of Minnesota, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 23.
Quartzite
Quartzite is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 14.
Metamorphic Rock Types
The major metamorphic rock types, from regional, contact and mechanical metamorphism.
Komatiite
Komatiite is a rare and ancient ultramafic lava. Page 11.
Gneiss
Gneiss is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 6.
What Is the Most Common Mineral on Earth?
This question has several answers, depending on what a mineral is and what part of the Earth we're talking about.
Greenstone
Grenstone is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 8.
Sedimentary Rock Types
The major types of sedimentary rocks.
What Is Chemical Weathering?
A short explanation of chemical weathering.
Latite
Latite is the extrusive equivalent of monzonite. Page 12.
Metamorphic Rock Gallery
A spectrum of metamorphic rocks, the pelitic sequence and the basaltic sequence.
Andesite
Andesite is one of the major igneous rock types.
Kimberlite
Kimberlite is the peculiar deep-seated ultramafic rock most famous as the ore of diamonds. Page 10.
What Is My Yellow Mineral?
A guide to the most common and significant yellow minerals.
Texas Geologic Map
Geologic map of Texas, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 43.
Volcanic (Extrusive) Rock Types
Photos of the types of erupted igneous rocks.
Travertine
Travertine is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 25.
The Rock-Forming Minerals
A handful of very abundant minerals account for the great majority of the Earth's rocks.
Phyllite
Phyllite is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 13.
Marble
Marble is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 10.
Maine Geologic Map
Geologic map of Maine, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 19.
Mineral Pictures A to Z
A-to-Z list of minerals shown on About.com Geology.
Shale
Shale is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 23.
Quartz and Silica Minerals Gallery
Get familiar with quartz.
Sandstone: What It Is and What It Tells Us
Sandstone is sand cemented together into rock.
Anorthosite
Anorthosite is one of the major igneous rock types. Page 2.
Graywacke or Wacke
Wacke or graywacke is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 15.
Soapstone
Soapstone is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 18.
Chert
Chert is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 7.
The Size Divisions of Sediment Particles
The grain sizes of sediments and sedimentary rocks are a matter of great interest to geologists. Here is a guide to sediment grades and grain sizes.
Top 10 Action Steps to Take Against Earthquakes
Earthquake professionals list the elements of a quake-resistant society.
Quartz
Quartz is classified as a rock-forming mineral. Page 9.
Sandstone
Sandstone is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 22.
California Geologic Map
Geologic map of California, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 5.
North Carolina Geologic Map
Geologic map of North Carolina, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 33.
Migmatite
Migmatite is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 11.
Weathering: Details of This Central Geologic...
A short description of weathering.
Actinolite
Actinolite is a major amphibole mineral. Page 5.
Calderas - World's Largest Calderas
Table of the world's largest known calderas
Louisiana Geologic Map
Geologic map of Louisiana, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 18.
Limestone
Limestone is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 17.
Rock Gypsum
Rock gypsum is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 20.
Claystone
Claystone is a type of sedimentary rock. Page 8.
Greenschist
Greenschist is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 7.
Augite
Augite is one of the pyroxene minerals. Page 2.
Mississippi Geologic Map
Geologic map of Mississippi, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 24.
Holes in Rocks
Geologists have named a variety of holes.
Hawaii Geologic Map
Geologic map of Hawaii, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 11.
Fossil Parks for Hands-On Digging
Public parks in the United States where you can collect fossils legally.
The Lithosphere in a Nutshell
What you need to know about the lithosphere.
Oregon Geologic Map
Geologic map of Oregon, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 37.
Brown Minerals
A guide to the most common and significant brown minerals.
Connecticut Geologic Map
Geologic map of Connecticut, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 7.
More Than 50 Different Landforms in Pictures
Find and see geological landforms at About.com Geology.
Massachusetts Geologic Map
Geologic map of Massachusetts, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 21.
How to Use the Mohs Hardness Scale to Identify...
The 10-mineral Mohs scale of relative hardness is based on what scratches what.
Arkose
Arkose is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 2.
Utah Geologic Map
Geologic map of Utah, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 44.
Fossil Picture Gallery
Pictures of fossils, part of the About.com Geology gallery of images.
Fault Types in a Nutshell
The three basic types of fault, with their nomenclature, in a nutshell.
Epidote
Epidote is one of the silicate minerals. Page 10.
Peat
Peat is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 18.
Hornfels
Hornfels is a major metamorphic rock type from contact metamorphism. Page 9.
Coquina
Coquina is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 11.
Learn to Read a Geologic Map
Understanding geologic maps starts with topography.
Apatite
Apatite is the principal phosphate mineral.
Ironstone
Several types of sedimentary rocks are called ironstone. Page 16.
Earthquakes - The Basics in a Nutshell
Start here for the seismic basics: faults that cause earthquakes, types of seismic waves, damages they cause and more.
Argillite
A lightly metamorphosed claystone also called pipestone. Page 2.
Conglomerate
Conglomerate is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 10.
What Counts as a Rock to a Geologist?
Everyone knows what a rock is, until you ask what it is exactly.
Translate Names Between Gemstones and Minerals
Big list of mineral names and their corresponding gemstone names.
What to Know Before You Buy a Magnifier
What to think about and look for when you set out to get a nice magnifier.
Sizes of Tectonic or Lithospheric Plates
Table listing the lithosphere's tectonic plates by oder of size.
Breccia
Breccia is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 6.
Olivine
Olivine is an important rock-forming mineral. Page 7.
North Dakota Geologic Map
Geologic map of North Dakota, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 34.
Rock Salt
Rock salt is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 21.
Chrysocolla
Chrysocolla is one of the silicate minerals. Page 7.
Plate Tectonics Explains How the Earth's...
Start here to learn the basics of plate tectonics.
Minerals with Metallic Luster
Minerals with metallic luster are easy to learn to identify.
Amphibolite
Amphibolite is one of the major metamorphic rock types.
Mylonite
Mylonite is a major metamorphic rock type from mechanical metamorphism. Page 12.
Actinolite, Northern California
Actinolite in the gallery of amphibole minerals. Page 6.
Maryland Geologic Map
Geologic map of Maryland, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 20.
Plutonic Rocks
Plutonic rocks defined and explained.
Coal
Coal is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 9.
Shark Teeth
Shark teeth, fresh and fossil, from the U.S. east coast. Page 21.
Dolomite Rock or Dolostone
Dolomite or dolostone is one of the major types of sedimentary rocks. Page 14.
Diopside
Diopside is one of the pyroxene minerals. Page 5.
Diatomite
Picture and notes about the sedimentary rock diatomite. Page 13.
Blueschist
Blueschist is a major metamorphic rock type from regional metamorphism. Page 3.
Pennsylvania Geologic Map
Geologic map of Pennsylvania, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 38.
The Scientific Definition of a Mineral
Minerals meet four criteria, more or less strict.
Oklahoma Geologic Map
Geologic map of Oklahoma, part of a set of all 50 states. Page 36.
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