Geology is perhaps one of the most fascinating, and important earth sciences, and one that continues to offer up unanswered questions, and opportunities to discover more about the world we live in. At its most basic level, geology is all about understanding the planet we live in, how it evolved, and how it may change in the future.
Understanding the earth in this way has value in several different areas. We can look at how to make the most of our natural resources, such as mineral deposits and oil, while other studies may help us protect the biodiversity of our environment, and plan developments such as roads, and buildings, with this, and any natural risk factors, such as flooding in mind. Studying natural phenomena also plays a big part in the geology field, whether it’s studying how earthquakes and glaciers have shaped the earth, looking at how natural disasters such as Tsunamis occur, or looking at issues such as global warming or climate change.
Geologists will typically be graduates who have studied science and maths subjects, and then gone on to gain university qualifications in geology. There are many different fields of geology to specialise in, each with its own specific fields of work, and value. Studying palaeontology is key to understanding how organisms evolve and interact with each other, while if you work in mineralogy, you may look at how valuable minerals were formed, how pollutants disperse, and from a commercial point of view, how best to mine, and make the most of these natural resources. Other fields include engineering geology, which plays a vital part in the planning of any manmade structure, and any hazards that may be faced.
The earth is changing all the time, but it only takes a brief look at the different fields of geology, and what they involve, to know what a vital role geologists play in understanding how the world works. There may always be unanswered questions, but the work of geologists, some of which dates right back to Ancient Greece, has made vital progress in this field. Alfred Wegener’s work in monitoring Arctic weather, along with William Smith’s first UK geological map, are just two examples of work by well-known geologists, that helped pave the way for further studies.
The way climate change, global warming, and sustainable development have hit the headlines today, only goes to show that geology has a continuing and ever growing importance in today’s society. It doesn’t matter which field of geology you are talking about, they all have their part to play in helping us understand how the world works, and this site aims to introduce you to geology as an earth science, as a career, and as something that will ultimately help shape our future.