Geology: Selected Resources

This handout is compiled by Monica White. It is designed to help you begin your research at the LAC Library and on the World Wide Web. If you need further assistance, please consult a librarian at the Reference Desk during library hours.

Image of Sandstone
Bedded Navajo Sandstone
Copyright © Corbis Corp.
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In order to get ideas for your research paper, you may want to browse some of the Library's reference books related to geology. Following are suggested titles:

Callinor's Dictionary of Geology Ref QE 5 .C45 1986
Encyclopedia of Earthquakes & Volcanoes
Ref QE 521 .R58 1994
Encyclopedia of Minerals Ref QE 355 .R6
Geology. 2 vols. Ref QE 5 .G465 1999
Innovations in Earth Sciences Ref QE 26.2 .I5 1999
Macmillan Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences. 2 vols. Ref QE 5 .E5137 1996
Minerals of the World Ref QE 366.8 .S3813 1992

Voyager, the Library's online catalog, indexes books, pamphlets, and other material by subject, author, title, keyword, and call number.
To search Voyager by subject, enter a term and click on "subject search" in the pull-down menu. Like most American academic libraries, LBCC Library uses Library of Congress subject headings, such as the following:

Faults (Geology) [Subject Heading Search]
Geology [Subject Heading Search]
Geology, Structural [Subject Heading Search]
Mineralogy [Subject Heading Search]
Petroleum Geology [Subject Heading Search]
Petrology [Subject Heading Search]
Physical Geology [Subject Heading Search]
Rocks [Subject Heading Search]
Sedimentology [Subject Heading Search]
Sediments (Geology) [Subject Heading Search]
Volcanism [Subject Heading Search]

To search Voyager by keyword, enter essential keywords preceded by the "plus" sign; enter phrase searches in parenthesis, as shown below:

California +geology [Keyword Search]
"global warming" [Keyword Search]

To search Voyager by title, enter the title (omitting leading articles, such as "a," "an," "the") and click on "title search" in the pull-down menu, as shown below:

Geology of California [Title Search]

To search Voyager by author, enter the author's last name, followed by the first name or initial.

Norris, Robert [Author Search]

Since LBCC Library has a partnership agreement with CSULB, you may check out books from the University Library. To identify books, search CSULB's online catalog, called Coast, which is accessible over the Web at

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The Library subscribes to a number of online databases, which are accessible over the World Wide Web, from remote computers or those located in the Library. These databases index and abstract articles, and in some cases, provide the full text.

The databases available through Long Beach City College Library which are perhaps the most useful for your assignment are ProQuest and SIRS Researcher. To access the Library's online databases, first point your browser to the Library’s homepage at Click on the button labeled “Online Databases.” You will see a list of databases available for searching. Click on the database you want to search. If you are accessing the databases remotely from your home or office, you will be prompted for a user name and password. You may obtain a list of the current user names and passwords from a librarian at the Reference Desk.

To become proficient in database searching, the librarians recommend that you attend the free, drop-in workshops, offered on Tuesday from 4 to 5:30 pm in Room L208 (the Open-Access Lab.). There, you will receive individual instruction and hands-on practice.

ProQuest covers literature published in newspapers, magazines, trade journals, and scholarly journals. The basic search allows you to search for keywords and combine keywords with the following connecting words (known as Boolean operators): AND, OR, NOT.

Sample basic search
California and earthquakes

The guided search allows you to use fields to focus your search on a specific piece of information. Sample fields are subject, author, publication name, and article type.

Sample guided search
California [Geographical Name]
plate tectonics [Subject]

SIRS Researcher
Sample search
plate tectonics

General Science Index (located in the Reference Room on an Index Table)
This print index provides citations to articles in periodicals. Use this print index to identify older articles published prior to 1980, which are not indexed in the online databases.

Sample search

Selected Periodicals

Image of San Andreas Fault
Shelved under the call number GE in the Periodicals Room

California Geology
Earth Island Journal
Journal of Geology
Journal of the Geological Society
Natural Hazards Observer
Rocks and Minerals
Stone World

San Andreas Fault
Copyright © Corbis Corp.

Electronic Journals
The full text of this e-journal is available on the Web.


Google is a powerful search engine equipped with technological innovations that retrieve the most relevant results to any query. Google has a huge database--2 billion fully indexed Web documents. To access Google, go to To enter a query, type in descriptive words and press “enter” or click on the Google search button. Since Google is designed to retrieve pages that include all of your search terms, there is no need to include “and” between them. Following is a sample Google search:
California geology

Librarians' Index to the Internet (LII) and Infomine are excellent annotated subject directories of Internet Resources. To access this site, go to Click on "Science, Computers, & Technology," then click on "Geology." To access Infomine, go to

Selected Web Sites

The LBCC librarians recommend the following sites:

American Association of Petroleum Geologists

American Geological Institute

Rocks at San Onofre
Copyright © Larry White
American Geophysical Union

California Geological Survey

Earthquake Info. from the U.S.G.S.

Geologic Hazards Team

Geological and Geophysical Databases, Information , and GIS Map Server

Geological Society of America

Geology at the University of California Museum of Paleontology

Global Environmental Change Research

Lists and Maps of Recent Earthquakes

Mineral Gallery

National Geophysical Data Center

Southern California Earthquake Data Center

U.S. Geological Survey, Recent Earthquakes in California and Nevada

U.S. Government Agencies (a portal to scientific material from government agencies)

Volcano World. University of North Dakota

When selecting additional Web sites for research, consult Thinking Critically About World Wide Web Resources. This page, prepared by UCLA Librarian Esther Grassian, presents an excellent set of criteria for evaluating the authority and reliability of Web sites.

Remember to list the sources used in your research in a bibliography or works-cited page following a documentation style, such as MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association). The most up-to-date guides for citing Web pages and other electronic sources in footnotes and bibliographies are on the Web, and they are accessible from the Library's homepage at Click on "Internet Resources," then click on "Citation Guides."

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Images reproduced with permission from Corbis Corporation and Larry White.
Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without prior written permission from the copyright holder.

E-mail questions and comments to
Monica White, Liberal Arts Campus
Last updated: May 30, 2006

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