Geoscientists study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. They study the Earth’s geologic past and present by using sophisticated instruments to analyze the composition of earth, rock, and water. Many geoscientists help to search for natural resources such as groundwater, metals, and petroleum. Others work closely with environmental and other scientists to preserve and clean up the environment.
Geology and Geophysics
Geology (Greek geo, “earth”; -logia, “knowledge of”), field of science concerned with the origin of the planet earth, its history, its shape, the materials forming it, and the processes that are acting and have acted on it. It is one of several related subjects commonly grouped as the earth sciences, or geoscience, and geologists are earth scientists concerned primarily with rocks and derivative materials that make up the outer part of the earth. To understand these materials, geologists make use of knowledge from other fields, such as physics, chemistry, and biology; thus, geological fields such as geochemistry, geophysics, geochronology, and paleontology, now important disciplines in their own right, incorporate other sciences, enabling geologists to understand better the working of earth processes through time.
Geology is the science and study of the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth. The field of geology encompasses the study of the composition, structure, physical properties, dynamics, and history of Earth materials, and the processes by which they are formed, moved, and changed. The field is a major academic discipline, and is also important for mineral and hydrocarbon extraction, knowledge about and mitigation of natural hazards, some engineering fields, and understanding past climates and environments with reference to present-day climate change.
Geophysics applies the physical principles to study the fundamental structure and evolution of earth. Geophysics is concerned with earthquakes, the birth and destruction of planets, volcanic eruptions, the movement of the tectonic plates at the Earth's surface and also with the gradual rise of land once covered by ice sheets.
Nature of Work
Study the composition, processes, and history of the Earth.
Try to find out how rocks were formed and what has happened to them since their formation.
Study the evolution of life by analyzing plant and animal fossils. Geophysicists use the principles of physics, mathematics, and chemistry to study not only the Earth’s surface, but also its internal composition, ground and surface waters, atmosphere, oceans, and magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces.
spend a large part of their time in the field, identifying and examining rocks, studying information collected by remote sensing instruments in satellites, conducting geological surveys, constructing field maps, and using instruments to measure the Earth’s gravity and magnetic field.
Often perform seismic studies, for example, which involve bouncing energy waves off buried layers of rock, to search for oil and gas or to understand the structure of the subsurface layers.
Use seismic signals generated by an earthquake to determine the earthquake’s location and intensity.
Examine the chemical and physical properties of specimens.
Study fossil remains of animal and plant life or experiment with the flow of water and oil through rocks.
Within the domain of Geo-Sciences, geology and Geophysics are two major disciplines.
Investigate the materials, processes, products and history of the Earth.
Provide basic information to society for solving problems and establishing policy for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety and welfare.
Seek to reconstruct the past and anticipate the future By applying knowledge of forces that shape the Earth
Gather and interpret data about the Earth for the purpose of increasing our understanding and improving the quality of human life.
Study and help to mitigate natural hazards such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods and landslides.
Search for oil and mineral deposits, as well as water and energy resources
Study underground detection of nuclear explosions,
Provide information for use in constructing bridges, dams, buildings and others.
Are concerned with earthquakes and the internal structure and development of the earth.
Study the earth's interior and its vibrations caused by earthquakes and man-made explosions.
Map the earth's surface and explain the variations found.
determine the positions, elevations, and distances between points on the earth, and measure the intensity and direction of gravitational influences, with the aid of satellites
Geophysicists involved in the atmosphere investigate the earth's magnetic and electric fields, and compare its outer atmosphere with those of other planets.
Geology and geophysics offer numerous specialties. The following list gives a glimpse of what geoscientists do in these disciplines and a variety of subdisciplines.
Atmospheric scientistsstudy weather processes; the global dynamics of climate; solar radiation and its effects; and the role of atmospheric chemistry in ozone depletion, climate change, and pollution.
Engineering geologistsapply geological data, techniques, and principles to the study of rock and soil surficial materials and ground water; they investigate geologic factors that affect structures such as bridges, buildings, airports, and dams.
Environmental geologistsstudy the interaction between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and human activities. They work to solve problems associated with pollution, waste management, urbanization, and natural hazards, such as flooding and erosion.
Geo-chemistsuse physical and inorganic chemistry to investigate the nature and distribution of major and trace elements in ground water and Earth materials; Petroleum Geochemist use organic chemistry to study the composition of fossil fuel (coal, oil, and gas) deposits.
Geo-chronologistsuse the rates of decay of certain radioactive elements in rocks to determine their age and the time sequence of events in the history of the Earth.
Geologists study the materials, processes, products, physical nature, and history of the Earth.
Geo-morphologistsstudy Earth's landforms and landscapes in relation to the geologic and climatic processes and human activities, which form them.
Glacial geologistsstudy the physical properties and movement of glaciers and ice sheets.
Hydrologists are concerned with water from the moment of precipitation until it evaporates into the atmosphere or is discharged into the ocean; for example, they study river systems to predict the impacts of flooding.
Marine geologistsinvestigate the ocean-floor and ocean-continent boundaries; they study ocean basins, continental shelves, and the coastal environments on continental borders.
Meteorologists study the atmosphere and atmospheric phenomena, including the weather.
Mineralogists study mineral formation, composition, and properties.
Oceanographersinvestigate the physical, chemical, biological, and geologic dynamics of oceans.
Sedimentologists study the nature, origin, distribution, and alteration of sediments, such as sand, silt, and mud. Oil, gas, coal and many mineral deposits occur in such sediments.
Seismologistsstudy earthquakes and analyze the behavior of earthquake waves to interpret the structure of the Earth.
Soil scientistsstudy soils and their properties to determine how to sustain agricultural productivity and to detect and remediate contaminated soils.
Structural geologistsanalyze Earth's forces by studying deformation, fracturing, and folding of the Earth's crust.
Stratigrapher: They study the stratified rocks, sediments and volcanics and their correlation, particularly their ages, compositions, and relationships to other rock layers. Stratigraphy provides clues about the earth’s past and predicts what types of rocks lie below the ground and to understand geologic processes.
Economic Geologist: Explore for and develop geologic materials that have profitable uses. They are involved in the analysis, exploration, and exploitation of geological materials of use to humans, such as fuels, metals and nonmetallic minerals, water, and geothermal energy. Kindred fields include the science of locating economic or strategic minerals (exploration geology), processing ores, and the practical application of geological theories to mining.
Military Geologist: They apply geologic knowledge to the warfare.
Forensic Geologist: They use geological evidences in crime detections. They study rocks, minerals, fossils and other natural and synthetic materials in connection with the criminal cases.