What is Earth Science?


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Geology Image

Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth's materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.

What Does a Geologist Do?

Geologists work to understand the history of our planet. The better they can understand Earth’s history, the better they can foresee how events and processes of the past might influence the future. Here are some examples:

Geologists study Earth processes:

Many processes such as landslides, earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions can be hazardous to people. Geologists work to understand these processes well enough to avoid building important structures where they might be damaged. If geologists can prepare maps of areas that have flooded in the past, they can prepare maps of areas that might be flooded in the future. These maps can be used to guide the development of communities and determine where flood protection or flood insurance is needed.

Geologists study Earth materials:

People use Earth materials every day. They use oil that is produced from wells, metals that are produced from mines, and water that has been drawn from streams or from underground. Geologists conduct studies that locate rocks that contain important metals, plan the mines that produce them and the methods used to remove the metals from the rocks. They do similar work to locate and produce oil, natural gas, and groundwater.

Geologists study Earth history:

Today we are concerned about climate change. Many geologists are working to learn about the past climates of Earth and how they have changed across time. This historical geology news information is valuable to understand how our current climate is changing and what the results might be.

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