Geologists study the Earth, trying to understand the forces that gradually shape and change the landscape and ocean floor, as well as forces that make themselves felt more suddenly, like earthquakes and volcanoes. The information geologist discover helps in many ways, from keeping populations safe from disasters like landslides to uncovering important ore deposits like titanium used for surgical equipment.

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The Ring of Fire is a region of volcanic and earthquake activity that surrounds the Pacific Ocean. In this project you can explore the connection between plate tectonics and volcanic activity by mapping historical data. Read more
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Have you ever had to dig a hole in really hard soil? It is a lot of work! In this science project you can make an instrument to test the soil and find out how compacted it is, before you dig! Read more
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Have you ever wondered how fast a seismic wave from an earthquake travels? In this geology science project you can figure this out using historical seismograph data that you can collect from the comfort of your own computer. You will use a web interface to a network of seismometers run by the Northern California Earthquake Data Center, at the University of California, Berkeley. From the seismograms you make, you will be able to measure the time it took for the seismic waves to travel from the… Read more
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What causes landslides? The USGS Landslide Hazards Program conducts research needed to answer major questions related to landslide hazards. Where and when will landslides occur? How big will the landslides be? How fast and how far will they move? What areas will the landslides affect or damage? How frequently do landslides occur in a given locality? Investigate the patterns of landslide occurrence in your area. Are they related to locations, geology, or topography? Are they more frequent… Read more
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You may have heard the expression, "You can't get blood from a stone." But what about oil? Can you get petroleum oil from a stone? In this geology science fair project, you'll find out what kinds of stones make the best storage rocks for oil. You'll see which ones can soak up oil like a sponge, and which ones cannot soak up oil or let it pass through, but can act as a "cap" to contain the oil in secret underground traps. Can a hard rock really act like a soft sponge... maybe SpongeBob… Read more
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Sedimentary rock forms in layers that are deposited one after the other over long periods of time. Oftentimes, sedimentary rock contains fossils and other debris that are deposited within the layers. How do sediments form? How are sediments of different shapes, sizes, and types sorted during the process of sedimentation? Find out in this science fair project! Read more
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You can study hazards that affect coastal areas. What geological forces cause a tsunami? A tsunami (Japanese for 'harbor wave') is a wave generated by an undersea earthquake, landslip, or volcanic eruption. You can demonstrate what causes a tsunami by simulating an undersea earthquake with a water table. How does the depth of water effect the height of the wave? Do different slopes of bottom change the speed of the wave? Visit the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program to find out about… Read more
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Think about mountain ranges, canyons, sand dunes, or any other interesting geological feature you may live near enough to visit. The surface of the Earth is always changing due to a balance of forces both above and below the surface. Below-surface forces cause the Earth's crust to be faulted, folded, tilted, and lifted. Above-surface forces are primarily due to the natural processes of weathering and erosion. Can you show the effects of these forces using scale models, demonstrations,… Read more
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Are you fascinated by dinosaurs, fossilized bones, and fossilized plants? Although this project is not based on actual fossils, you will get good practice at reconstructing an animal's skeleton from individual bones. You'll use what you find to identify the types of prey that owls consume. Read more
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Have you ever noticed an old stone wall and wondered how long it has been there? If there is lichen growing on the wall, the lichen has most likely been living there since the time the wall was made, so if you could figure out how old the lichen is then you could deduce the age of the wall. Geologies use this method, called lichenometry, and other methods to establish dates and temporal sequences as they seek to construct a history from the available evidence. In this geology science project,… Read more
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Free science fair projects.