Geology is the study of the physical structure and composition of the earth, its history, and the processes which are taking place or happened in the past. A degree in geology gives in-depth and advanced knowledge in this field and enables geologists to study the earth and its processes.
There are many roles you can take as a geologist. However, the ultimate goal of a geologist is to improve the world we live in and bring positive changes.
The main goal of geologists is to explore the earth. Geologists study the earth’s geological history, how it was formed, and what is found under the soil, ocean floors, and mountains. They also study the changes inside the earth; this knowledge can help avoid any catastrophe and predict volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, and other natural disasters.
Earth exploration also includes studying rocks, minerals, and gemstones. This helps us use these materials in our daily life. Geologists and petrologists have set some standards for rocks that determine their usage.
Understanding Climate Change and Natural Disasters
Geologists study climate change patterns and help predict natural disasters like floods and volcanoes. Other events like earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis greatly impact the earth. These events cause erosion, make new lakes and mountain ranges, and cause deforestation. All these events are important for geologists because they can disturb human and animal populations.
Geological engineers work alongside civil engineers in developing projects that are earthquake safe. They help build buildings, homes, and structures that withstand earthquake shocks and erosion. Moreover, they also identify that the ground can withstand the weight of the building and how many stories you can build in a particular spot.
Geologists also provide their services for residential and commercial water well drilling. Geologists survey the ground and assess the best spot for drilling a water well. Similarly, geological engineers also help build oil and gas drilling wells, manage mines, and identify rocks.
Geologists work to increase agriculture productivity and conserve soil. They study events that damage soil and find ways to stop this damage. Usually, natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms lead to soil erosion.
Man-made activities like deforestation, using agricultural land for other purposes, and waste material dumping destroys soil quality. Geologists work to reduce these effects and ensure soil conservation.
Finding and Developing Natural Resources
Geologists find natural resources and develop them in a way that safeguards the environment. The biggest impact is on the surrounding areas where the extraction takes place. For example, the extraction of oil, gas, and coal can damage the nearby environment. Geologists ensure that all this happens safely.
Geologists define the balance between society’s demand for natural resources and the need to sustain healthy ecosystems.
Geologists typically specialize in one subdivision. Some people specialize in more than one division to increase their market value. You can also pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. to gain more knowledge.
Check out what geoscientists do in the following subdivisions and specialties.
Geophysics: Geophysicists study the earth’s physics and structure using mathematical and physical methods.
Hydrogeology: It is the study of groundwater. Hydro geologists study how water gets into the ground, how it flows, and how groundwater interacts with the surrounding soil and rock.
Marine Geology: Marine geologists study ocean geology, including the deep ocean floor, shallower slopes, and shelves near continents and coastal areas.
Geomorphology: Geomorphologists study how the earth’s surface is formed and changed by oceans, rivers, mountains, air, and ice.
Pedology: Its students study all aspects of soil.
Structure Geology: Structural geologists study rocks and their internal structure, form, arrangement, and formation.
Volcanology: It is the study of volcanoes, lava, magma, and related geological phenomena.
Sedimentology: It is the in-depth study of sediments like sand, silt, and clay. It focuses on how sediment is formed, transported, deposited, and how it converted into rocks.
Paleontology: It is the study of fossils to classify organisms and study their interaction with each other and their environments.
Economic Geologists: They hunt and develop metallic and nonmetallic resources and mineral deposits and find eco-friendly ways to dispose of waste materials during mining.
There are a lot of other subdivisions and specializations you can pursue as a geologist. It all depends on your interest and what you love to study.