What is Geology and why do we study it?

On the first day of class, Dr. Pillar asked the class, “why do we study geology?” Many answers had a common factor, to gain knowledge and a better understanding of our planet and the future of home. By looking at the book (Chapter 1), I plan to explain the deeper details on the beneficial outcomes of study Geology.

Geologic studies are at the center of interdisciplinary efforts to understand the Earth system, which is composed of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Geology includes narrowly focused disciplines, many of which intergrate knowledge from other sciences. Geologists not only strive to understand the cause and distribution of geologic processes on and within Earth today, but also to describe the 4.5-billion-year history of these processes on the planet. Geologic knowledge is required to locate and develop essential natural resources and to avoid or diminish the effects of hazardous natural phenomena.

Geology is defined in class as the scientific study of the origin, history, and structure of Earth; including its composition features, and physical processes, as well as humanity’s interactions with it. There are many fields of geology: Geochemists, geophysicists, Paleontologists, Planetary geologists, Geomorphologists, Mineralogists, Structural geologists, Resource geologists, and Environmental geologists.

We study Earth partly out of curiosity about our planet and our relationship with the Earth system. Many people ask questions about our natural surroundings, and geologic processes are usually where to the question leads to. The geosphere is central to the Earth system, so geologic studies are central to human curiosity about our surroundings

One of the most important things geologists have done in the past century is to find essential resources. Geologists are motivated to understand the workings of the planet in order to locate and develop essential resources. Geologists then apply their knowledge to find economically viable deposits of natural resources, such as fuel that cars coonsume.

On a more practical level, geologic topics affect virtually every aspect of our daily lives, including such diverse issues as the economy, environmental health, and climate. Another important reason to study Geology is to work to diminish the detrimental impact of hazardous geologic processes. An example of this is, future knowledge of active volcanoes can save many lives if you are able to notify the surrounding residents. This intertwines with land planning as well. Geologists routinely map the distribution of different materials at the Earth’s surface. These maps determine the suitability of a site for building or highway foundations or the instability of hillsides that could fail in disastrous landslides.

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One Response to What is Geology and why do we study it?

  1. jessicatibbs says:

    The first day of class when Dr. Pillar asked us that question, I had a negative attitude towards this class. I thought geology would be boring. We would just be studying rocks all day and I really did not want to do that. But then I started going through the book myself. And I found some interesting things and found that geology was more than just rocks. Now, I have a positive outlook towards geology and hope to learn a lot of good information about the “study of the origin, history, and structure of the Earth..”

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