Soil Water Solutions

Earth sci.

Links to information about earth sciences

[Royal geographical Society]

British Geological Survey]

[US Geological survey]

Landform development, rivers, coastlines, hydrology and soils

Big Empty

Sponsored by the US Bureau of Land Management, this site explores the Great Basin of the western USA and its desert ecosystem of plants, animals, and minerals. This site includes information on the scarcity of water, modern and environmental challenges, mining, grazing, wild horses and burros, and a look at methods to preserve and rehabilitate the ecosystem. Maps and photographs complement the text.

Coastal Features and Processes

This glossary of essential terms relating to coastal landscapes would make a helpful revision aid. The straightforward text layout and concise descriptions make this a good page to download and keep.

Coasts in crisis

Full text of a US Geological Survey publication. This detailed site uses intelligent text and photographs to show a coastline under siege. It describes the various types of coastline, methods of shoring them up, and the human and meteorological forces attacking the coast. This is an excellent resource for anyone studying coastal erosion, deposition and protection.

Dust Bowl

Historical information on the US mid-West dust bowl of the 1930s. The site features period photographs and an MPG video clip of a dust storm taken from original film footage (please beware the lengthy download time for this clip).

Features Produced by Running Water

Revision page aimed at GCSE geography students, explaining essential terms and concepts to do with rivers and running water. The layout is simple and quick to load, and the definitions are clear and concise.

Edwards Aquifer Home Page

Guide to the Edwards Aquifer (a rock formation containing water) in Texas - one of the most prolific artesian aquifers in the world.

Erosion and Deposition

Description of two important geological processes, part of a much larger site on physical geography, set up by a Canadian university. The hyperlinked text explains the three stages in the process of erosion -detachment, entrainment, and transport as well as the causes of deposition.

Global Drainage Basins Database

Informative United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) database of drainage basins worldwide. This detailed, scientific site includes a good, clear explanation of what drainage basins are, and why they are important.

Groundwater Quality and the Use of Lawn and Garden Chemicals by Homeowners

Extensive information about the problem of keeping groundwater free from garden chemicals. There is a description of groundwater, as well as detailed information on pesticides and their use. There are also notes on applying lawn and garden chemicals, and what should be done with the leftovers.

Soil pH - What It Means

Explanation of soil pH. The Web site also describes how to measure the pH of soil using simple experimental equipment, and goes on to describe methods that may be used to modify the acidity of alkalinity of your soil.


Companion to the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television programme Nova, this page concerns many aspects of flooding. It takes an historical look at floods and examines the measures that engineers have taken to combat them. Three major rivers are discussed: the Yellow, Nile, and Mississippi. In addition to learning about the negative effects of floods, you can also find out about the benefits that floods bestow on farmland. There are many images dispersed throughout the site, plus an audio clip of a flood in progress.


Find out about the coldest, windiest place on Earth, and the geological processes behind its formation. Full of detail about what it's really like to go on an expedition to Antarctica, this well-designed site has ample information on ice and glaciers, and explains why the ice-sheet that covers all but 2% of Antarctica has expanded and contracted throughout its history.


Comprehensive information about glaciers from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre. There are explanations of why glaciers form, different kinds of glaciers, and what they may tell us about climate change. There are a number of interesting facts and a bibliography about the compacted tongues of ice which cover 10% of the land surface of our planet.

U-Shaped Valleys and Truncated Spurs

Information page aimed at GCSE-level geography students, which describes these important physical features and explains the process of glacial erosion which brought them into being.

Hydrologic Cycle

Easy to understand and well-illustrated guide to the water cycle. The site is part of an online meteorology guide provided by the University of Illinois.

Hydrology Primer

Information from the US Geological Survey about all aspects of hydrology. The 'clickable' chapters include facts about surface water and groundwater, the work of hydrologists, and careers in hydrology. For answers to further questions click on 'ask a hydrologist, which provides links to other US national and regional sources.

Internal and External Friction

Page explaining the concept of friction in the context of rivers. Part of a much larger site containing resources for secondary school geography, this page describes how friction is crucial to the way in which a river is formed, and how it acts.

Models of Landform Development

This page on landforms discusses the four types to be found on Earth, and how they develop. Part of a much larger site, 'Fundamentals of Physical Geography" set up by a Canadian University, the text is supported by a graphical model explaining the relationship between geomorphic processes and landform types.

Landforms of Weathering

From a much larger site 'Fundamentals of Physical Geography' set up by a Canadian University and covering many aspects of the area of study. The site is clear and well organized and contains maps and diagrams.

River Gauging Stations

UK Environment Agency page providing flow statistics for 35 English and Welsh rivers. Click on a region on the map of England and Wales, then select a gauging station to access flow statistics for individual rivers, as well as data on the geology of the catchment area and average monthly flow figures.

Rivers and Streams

Essential terms and concepts for the study of rivers, part of a university geography site. Hypertext is used to link definitions of drainage patterns, oxbow lakes, meanders, and other aspects of river formation, to simple sketch diagrams.

Streamflow and Fluvial Processes

Clear, hyperlinked explanation of streamflow, which is part of a university site on physical geography. The site uses diagrams and photographs to illustrate the various fluvial processes.

The Watershed Game*******

Interactive game designed to teach pupils from secondary level upwards how human activity can affect the quality of the local water supply. Click on a section: national parks, agriculture, cities, or neighbourhoods, to access virtual reality simulations allowing you to make your own landuse decisions and see their impact on the watershed.

Maps, globes, satellite pictures, map making and mapping history


 Interactive world atlas featuring information on local time and sunrise and sunsets in hundreds of cities, and a database of public holidays around the world. You can rotate the globe to view areas of daylight and night, zoom in on areas of interest, or display national borders.

Atlapedia Online

Database of maps which allows you to view a detailed political map for almost any country in the world. You can also choose to see a physical map for the same country. Also included on this site are detailed facts about each of the countries.

Cartographic Images Home Page

Treasure trove of cartographic images spanning from 6,000 to 1700 AD, put into context with the help of individual or group monographs and a rich bibliography. A valuable and neatly designed resource of astonishing dimensions.

Earth and Heavens - The Art of Map Maker

Excerpts from a major exhibition (now closed) at the British Library on the way maps and mapmaking have been used over the years to make statements about humankind's relationship to the world and the mysteries of the universe.

Bodleian Library Map Room - The Map Case

Broad selection of images from the historical map collection of the Bodleian library Visitors can choose between rare maps of Oxfordshire, London, areas of Britain, New England, Canada, and more. The maps can be viewed by thumbnail and then selected in their full GIF or JPEG version.

Great Globe Gallery

Over 200 globes and maps, showing the Earth from all angles, including space shots, political maps, the ancient world, geographical features, and animated spinning globes.


Features interactive maps of more than 3 million cities worldwide. You can track down businesses and landmarks in Europe and zoom in on street maps. If you've lost your way, 'TripQuest' provides door-to-door driving directions.

Mathematics of Cartography

History of maps and details of the mathematics behind mapmaking. There are maths-related mapping problems to solve and a list of cartographical links.

Ordnance Survey

Impressive site from the official body responsible for the mapping of Britain. Here you can download a selection of UK maps in a variety of formats. Other features include the 'Education section which has a selection of teaching resources linked to maps and geography.

Out of This World Exhibition

Educational and entertaining exhibition of celestial atlases - highly illustrated scientific books of the post-Renaissance period designed in an effort to capture 'the sweeping grandeur of the heavens, super imposed with constellation figures, in a grand and monumental format' * As well as plenty of images, the site also offers an introductory historical essay and accompanying notes for each image.

National Geographic Online

Large and lavishly illustrated Web site. Features include the Map Machine Atlas, which allows you to find maps, flags, facts, and profiles for the countries of the world, and discussion forums on a variety of subjects. Many articles and multimedia items can be accessed for free.

Weather, Clouds

UK and Ireland Climate index

Highlights of this very comprehensive climate information site include an index of the main UK and Irish weather stations, with tables of monthly minimum and maximum temperatures, as well as rainfall figures. This is also where to come to find the likelihood of rain in a host of towns from Barnstaple to Ullapool.

World Meteorological Organization

Internet voice of the World Meteorological Organization, a UN division coordinating global scientific activity related to climate and weather. The site offers ample material on the long-term objectives and immediate policies of the organization. It also disseminates important information on WMO's databases, training programmes, and satellite activities, as well as its projects related to the protection of the environment.

(UK) Met.Office Home Page

Authoritative account of global warming issues such as the ozone problem, EI Ninio (and the less known La Ninia) the tropical cyclones, and forecasting methods. Scientific explanations alternate with images and film clips in an educational site which especially targets teachers and their students.

Clouds and Precipitation

Illustrated guide to how clouds form and to the various different types. The site contains plenty of images and a glossary of key terms in addition to further explanations of the various types of precipitation.

Clouds from Space

This site offers a unique look at clouds, containing photographs of various cloud types taken from space including thunderstorms over Brazil, jet stream cirrus clouds, and a description of how clouds form.

Coriolis Effect

Subtitled 'a (fairly) simple explanation', this site contains a description of the principles involved, and is aimed at non-physicists.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Masses of data and other information on climate around the planet. Among the site's more attractive features is the use of multimedia instructional modules, customized weather maps, and real-time weather data.

Climate Change - greenhouse effect, el ninio

Causes of Climate Change

From a much larger site 'Fundamentals of Physical Geography' set up by a Canadian University and covering many aspects of the area of study. The site is clear and well organized and contains maps and diagrams.

EI Ninio Theme Page

Wealth of scientific information about EI Niflo (a 'disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific') with animated views of the monthly sea changes brought about by it, El Ninio-related climate predictions, and forecasts from meteorological centres around the world. It also offers an illuminating 'Frequently Asked Questions' section with basic and more advanced questions as well as an interesting historical overview of the phenomenon starting from 1550.

State of the Climate: a Time for Action

Climate change is happening now and having a drastic effect upon the natural world, according to this dramatic, animated Web site from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). A Macromedia Flash multimedia introduction is followed by information on WVVFs climate change campaign.

The Greenhouse Effect. How the Earth Stays Warm

Explanation of the greenhouse effect, the process by which atmospheric gases trap heat. This page links to a description of how this perfectly normal and essential process is being turned into something harmful by the pollutants humans put into the atmosphere. It also explains that related phenomenon, the hole in the ozone layer.

Global Climate Change Information Programme (GCCIP)

Established in October 1991, the GCCIP provides an information link between scientists (both natural and social), politicians, economists, and the general public, on the subjects of climate change and air quality Their Web site includes a number of essays on related issues.

Weather: What forces affect our weather?

User-friendly, US-based site exploring aspects of climate including'the water cycle', 'powerful storms', and 'our changing climate'. The site includes'hands-oiY activities such as'Try your hand at tornado chasing'.

Ice, Glaciers, Snow

Cracking the Ice Age

Companion to the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television programme Nova, this page provides information about glaciation, the natural changes in climate over the past 60 million years, the greenhouse effect, global warming, and continental movement. There is also a list of related links.

Mulimedia History of Glacier Bay, Alaska

Virtual tour featuring scenic flights over 3-dimensional glaciers. The multimedia experience combines video footage, computer and satellite images, photos, text, and maps, and includes information on glacial formation. View hand-drawn maps of glaciers that date back to 1794 and watch video of massive ice fronts splitting and splashing into the sea.

Questions and Answers About Snow

Comprehensive information about snow from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre. Among the interesting subjects discussed are why snow is white, why snow flakes can be up to two inches across, what makes some snow fluffy, why sound travels farther across snowy ground, and why snow is a good insulator..

Tropical Storms - Hurricanes

Hurricane & Tropical Storm Tracking

Follow the current paths of Pacific and mid-Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms at this site. Java animations of storms in previous years can also be viewed, and data sets for these storms may be downloaded. Current satellite weather maps can be accessed for the USA and surrounding region.

Dan's Wild Wild Weather Page

Introduction to the weather for kids. It has pages dealing with everything from climate to lightning, from satellite forecasting to precipitation - all explained in a lively style with plenty of pictures.

Storm Chaser Home Page

Set up by a devotee of the sport, this site has swiftly expanded through voluntary contributions of other fans. There are a vast number of stunning photos and a whole online Tornado Museum to tempt you into this hobby. On the other hand, an extended section of veterans' thoughts on safety may make you think twice. The site also offers severe weather reports for emergencies!

Naming of Atlantic Hurricanes

Interesting explanation about how hurricanes are named, from the US national weather service. There is also a table that shows you what name future hurricanes will be given.

Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

Striking photographs, one of a 21-cm hailstone, another of the anvil shaped cloud typical of a severe thunderstorm, illustrate this hyperlinked description of some dramatic weather events. Part of a much larger physical geography site set up by a Canadian university~ the page gives a clear explanation of the various types of thunderstorm and the conditions that bring them about.

Tornado Project Onllne

All about tornadoes - including myths and oddities, personal experiences, tornado chasing, tornado safety, and tornadoes past and present.

Tropical Weather and Hurricanes

From a much larger site 'Fundamentals of physical geography', set up by a Canadian university and covering many aspects of the area of study. The site includes details about how and where tropical storms develop. It is well organized and contains maps and diagrams.


Nature Explorer

Wealth of information about water creatures. The presentation is fun and interactive, including a'Virtual pond dip'.

N0AA (Earth Resources mapper satelite)

The US government National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site is beautiful and user-friendly, with information and the latest news on weather, climate, oceanography, and remote sensing.

Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean

Animated journey through the deepest ocean trench in the world, in a series of downloadable MPEG animations. The animations are based on NASA data and this site also includes an illustrated geology of the area and a description of plate tectonics.

Ocean Link

Good site for finding out about many marine animals, with encyclopedic descriptions of selected animals. This site contains sections called Xidlinks', Ask a scientist, 'Spotlight on..." and 'Ocean news'.

Ocean Planet

Oceans and the environmental issues affecting their health, based on the Smithsonian Institute's travelling exhibition of the same name. Use the exhibition floor plan to navigate your way around the different ,rooms' - with themes ranging from ocean science and immersion to heroes and sea people.

Ocean Satelite Image Comparison

Maintained by the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, this site is a Java applet which compares satellite images and data about the ocean surface temperatures and turbidity of numerous coastal areas around the USA. The site includes an image panner for navigating larger images.


Description of many aspects of tsunamis. Included are details on how a tsunami is generated and how it propagates, how they have affected humans, and how people in coastal areas are warned about them. The site also discusses if and how you may protect yourself from a tsunami and provides 'near real-time' tsunami information bulletins.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Home Page

Site run by a Massachusetts-based oceanographic institute. As well as containing details of their research programmes and an overview of the organization, there is a gallery of marine pictures and videos, and contacts for their education programmes.