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Factsheets

A series of downloadable A4 colour information PDFs, our factsheets are aimed at primary school students, secondary school students, teachers and the general public. 

Quick Links:

Factsheets for primary school students aged 7-11:
Volcanoes | EarthquakesThe Rock Cycle | Dinosaurs | Fossils | Water Hardness | Groundwater | Water Resources

Factsheets for secondary school students, teachers and anyone else:
Volcanoes | EarthquakesTsunamisMining | Mineral Resources | Water HardnessGroundwater | Water ResourcesUK Geoheritage | William Smith | Energy | Flooding | Volcanoes |

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The Rock Cycle

What are rocks made of? How are they formed? What can rocks tell us about past environments on Earth? What is the difference between sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks? Find our all you need to know about rocks in our factsheet for primary school students and teachers released in October 2017.

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Dinosaurs

You've probably heard of T. rex and Triceratops, but what exactly is a dinosaur? What do palaeontologists know about the different types of dinosaurs and why do they think they might still be around today? Find out all about dinosaurs in our factsheet for primary school students and teachers released in August 2017.
 Dinosaur factsheet
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Fossils

What are fossils? How do they form? Find out why scientists study fossils and what they can tell us about the ancient creatures that once lived on Earth in our fact sheet for primary school students released in April 2017.

Fossils factsheet
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Volcanoes (primary and secondary)

What is a volcano and how do they form? Why are there different types of volcanic eruption and how can these be dangerous? Find out all you need to know about volcanoes in our factsheets for primary and secondary school students updated in December 2017 to mark the Geological Society's 2017 Year of Risk.


 
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Earthquakes (primary and secondary)

How do earthquakes happen? Where are they most likely to occur? How are they measured and why are they so dangerous? Find out all you need to know about earthquakes in our factsheets for primary and secondary school students and teachers updated in December 2017 to mark the Geological Society's 2017 Year of Risk.

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Water Hardness (primary and secondary)

Have you ever noticed that tap water tastes different depending on where you are? Have you ever seen a white coating inside your kettle or the shower head, or found that the shower gel won’t lather up? All these effects are caused by differences in the ‘hardness’ of the water. 

Released in November 2016 to support a new BBC schools initiative, our water hardness fact sheet has two versions - one for primary school students aged 9-11, and one for teachers, older students and anyone else.

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Groundwater (primary and secondary)

Supplying drinking water to every tap in the UK is a huge challenge. Water hidden underground, or groundwater, is a vital part of this process in many regions, but can also cause flooding. Find out more in our fact sheet, released to mark Earth Science Week 2016 and the Year of Water and updated in 2017.

This fact sheet has two versions:

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Water Resources (primary and secondary)

Fresh water is needed for every part of our lives, but access to clean water is becoming increasingly difficult for millions worldwide, and responsible management of water resources is more important than ever. Find out more in our water resources factsheet, produced in 2016 and updated in 2017.

This fact sheet has two versions:

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Tsunamis

Tsunamis are a devastating natural hazard that affect coastal regions all over the world. But what actually are tsunamis? What causes them? How do they get so big? Discover tsunamis in our factsheet for secondary school students and teachers released to mark the Geological Society's 2017 Year of Risk.

 
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Mining

How do geologists find mineral deposits, and what happens after the mines close? What is a critical metal, and where are the deepest mines on earth? Find out how we mine and process minerals above and below ground in our mining fact sheet, released in February 2017.

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Mineral Resources

Almost everything in the modern world uses minerals or their by-products in some way. Find out more in our mineral resources factsheet, released in February 2017.

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UK Geoheritage

In October 2014, the Society announced its list of 100 Great Geosites. Find out more about the geoheritage of the UK and Ireland, and why we have such an amazing range of geological sites.

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William Smith

William Smith is sometimes known as ‘the father of English geology’.

Find out why, and how he created his famous 1815 geological map, in our 2014 Factsheet.

William Smith Factsheet
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Energy

Where does the UK’s energy come from, and how has this changed over time? What is carbon capture and storage and fracking?

This Factsheet, produced in 2014, is available to download below.

Energy Fact Sheet
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Flooding

How many types of flood are there? Why does flooding happen, and how can we protect ourselves?

This fact sheet, produced in 2013 for a broad general audience, gives an overview of flooding categories, and how we can mitigate their effects.

Flooding factsheet