Earth & Life Sciences (articles)
What is Earth Science? Earth Science is the study of the earth, its processes and products. The subject is expansive covering all aspects of geology and physical geography. Geology is not just rocks and minerals, although these make up a good part of the subject framework. Geology also encompasses sub disciplines including, but not limited to: palaeontology, sedimentology, geophysics, geochemestry, hydrogeology, volcanology and glaciology.
Landscapes are constantly changing as nature's endless cycles create and destroy, compress and stretch, mould and erode. Volcanic activity and tectonic movements push up mountain ranges, ridges and plateaus, while ice, water and wind through physical and chemical erosion grind them down, redistribute their sediments and reshape the landscape into valleys, plains, caves and canyons. To the untrained eye these processes are invisible and the concept of geological time almost impossible to fathom, however, to a GEOLOGIST the earth, its processes and rocks are alive and ever changing. The rocks have a story to tell. Where the average person looks at events that have shaped their lives over the past week, a geologist will examine events that have occurred over a period of millions of years.
Earth science over the past decade or so has become interwoven into other science disciplines; chemistry, biology, physics, geography and spatial systematics have incorporated their themes into the basic geological building blocks. The reason for this is clear - geology provides in many cases, a fundamental framework, from which other science disciplines are built upon. For example, biology, pedology (soils), and botany are reliant on basic earth structures as their initial building block. As such, earth science is being studied and utilised by scientists whose work encompasses different, but inter-connected fields.
The study of geology is a fascinating and exciting subject that provides endless pleasure and surprise for those who wish to spend the time to learn the basics of how to interpret and understand the rocks. Once you understand how to read the rocks, no journey within the natural world will be quite the same again.
I intend to add interesting segments as time allows. The image thumbnail top left is of Turvurvur Volcano in Rabaul Papua New Guinea. There was little warning of the eruption.
White Island Stratovolcano, north Island, New Zealand (volcanology) UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Taupo Volcanic Zone, north Island, New Zealand (Volcanology) UNDER CONSTRUCTION