Educational Series: Best Free Geology Books

Geology Books

Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also refer generally to the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet (such as the geology of the Moon or Mars).

The Geology books featured below are released under an open source license.

Physical Geology

Physical Geology

By Steven Earle (619 pages)

Physical Geology is a comprehensive introductory text on the physical aspects of geology, including rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciation, groundwater, streams, coasts, mass wasting, climate change, planetary geology and much more. It has a strong emphasis on examples from western Canada, especially British Columbia, and also includes a chapter devoted to the geological history of western Canada.

The book is a collaboration of faculty from Earth Science departments at Universities and Colleges across British Columbia and elsewhere.

Deserts : geology and resources

Deserts: Geology and Resources

By Alta S. Walker (64 pages)

Approximately one-third of the Earth’s land surface is desert, arid land with meager rainfall that supports only sparse vegetation and a limited population of people and animals. Deserts stark, sometimes mysterious worlds have been portrayed as fascinating environments of adventure and exploration from narratives such as that of Lawrence of Arabia to movies such as “Dune.” These arid regions are called deserts because they are dry. They may be hot, they may be cold. They may be regions of sand or vast areas of rocks and gravel peppered with occasional plants. But deserts are always dry. Deserts are natural laboratories in which to study the interactions of wind and sometimes water on the arid surfaces of planets. They contain valuable mineral deposits that were formed in the arid environment or that were exposed by erosion. Because deserts are dry, they are ideal places for human artifacts and fossils to be preserved. Deserts are also fragile environments. The misuse of these lands is a serious and growing problem in parts of our world.

This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics

This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics

By W. Jacquelyne Kious and Robert I. Tilling (77 pages)

This booklet gives a brief introduction to the concept of plate tectonics and complements the visual and written information in This Dynamic Planet (see Further reading), a map published in 1994 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Smithsonian Institution. The booklet highlights some of the people and discoveries that advanced the development of the theory and traces its progress since its proposal. Although the general idea of plate tectonics is now widely accepted, many aspects still continue to confound and challenge scientists. The earth-science revolution launched by the theory of plate tectonics is not finished.

Living with Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest

Living with Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest

By Robert S. Yeats (390 pages)

In this expanded new edition of Living with Earthquakes, Robert Yeats, a leading authority on earthquakes in California and the Pacific Northwest, describes the threat posed by the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a great earthquake fault which runs for hundreds of miles offshore from British Columbia to northern California.

New research reveals subtle movements on the deepest part of this fault every 14-15 months — building up strain toward the next major earthquake.

NOTE: This is a draft.

OPEN SOURCE EDUCATIONAL BOOKS - Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Oceanography, Psychology, Geology, Sociology