Portal:Earth Sciences
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Portal:Earth Sciences

Introduction

Earth seen from Moon
Earth seen from Moon

Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science related to the planet Earth. This is a branch of science dealing with the physical constitution of the Earth and its atmosphere. Earth science is the study of our planet's physical characteristics, from earthquakes to raindrops, and floods to fossils. Earth science can be considered to be a branch of planetary science, but with a much older history. Earth science encompasses four main branches of study, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere, each of which is further broken down into more specialized fields.

There are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth sciences. It is also the study of Earth and its neighbors in space. Some Earth scientists use their knowledge of the planet to locate and develop energy and mineral resources. Others study the impact of human activity on Earth's environment, and design methods to protect the planet. Some use their knowledge about earth processes such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes to plan communities that will not expose people to these dangerous events.

Selected general articles

Did you know ...?

Photograph of volcano
  • ...that a tuya (pictured) is a type of flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a thick glacier or ice sheet?
  • ...that in the United States, on average tornadoes are around 500 feet (150 m) across, and stay on the ground for 5 miles (8 km)?
  • ...that dust storms can carry large amounts of dust, so much so that the leading edge of one can appear as a solid wall of dust as much as 1.6 km (1 mile) high?
  • ...that the area of the world Ocean is 361 million square  kilometers, its volume is approximately 1.3 billion cubic kilometers, and its average depth is 3,790 meters?
  • ...that three quarters of the earth's atmosphere lies within the troposphere, and the depth of this layer varies between 17 km at the equator and 7 km at the poles?
  • ...that the Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean?

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In the news

12 November 2019 - Sea level rise driven by effects of global warming on oceans, Acqua alta
An exceptional high tide of 187 centimetres (6.14 ft) hits flooded Venice, Italy. It is the second highest acqua alta in Venetian history, after the 1966 Venice flood. Two deaths are reported. (NDTV) (BBC News) (The Guardian)
11 November 2019 - Transit of Mercury
In a rare celestial event, Mercury passes directly between Earth and the Sun for five and a half hours. Mercury's next transit will be in 2032. (CBS News)
8 November 2019 -
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake strikes 60 km (35 miles) from Hashtrud, East Azerbaijan Province, in northwestern Iran, killing at least six and injuring more than 300. The United States Geological Survey warns that "significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread". (Al Jazeera)
31 October 2019 -
American rock band My Chemical Romance announces their reunion and first show in seven years. (CNN)
29 October 2019 - 2019 Cotabato earthquakes
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake strikes the southern part of the island of Mindanao, killing at least eight. (GMA News and Public Affairs)
27 October 2019 -
The uncrewed Boeing X-37B spacecraft returns to Earth after spending a record 780 days in orbit. The nature of the X-37B's mission remains classified information. (United States Air Force) (Space)

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Featured articles

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Climate change (More...)

Global warming · Rachel Carson · Retreat of glaciers since 1850

Earthquakes (More...)

1949 Ambato earthquake · 1968 Illinois earthquake · 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens · 1997 Qayen earthquake · 2002 Bou'in-Zahra earthquake · 2005 Qeshm earthquake · 2007-2008 Nazko earthquakes

Volcanoes (More...)

1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens · 2007-2008 Nazko earthquakes · Amchitka · Armero tragedy · Calabozos · Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) · Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve · David A. Johnston · Geology of the Lassen volcanic area · Loihi Seamount · Mauna Kea · Mauna Loa · Metacomet Ridge · Mono-Inyo Craters · Mount Cayley volcanic field · Mount St. Helens · Mount Tambora · Nevado del Ruiz · Surtsey · The Volcano (British Columbia) · Upper and Lower Table Rock · Volcano (South Park) · Yellowstone National Park

Other geology (More...)

Mary Anning · Archaea · Archaeopteryx · Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) · Bryce Canyon National Park · Calabozos · Chicxulub crater · Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event · Charles Darwin · Earth · Ediacara biota · Geology of the Bryce Canyon area · Geology of the Capitol Reef area · Geology of the Death Valley area · Geology of the Grand Canyon area · Geology of the Lassen volcanic area · Geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area · Global warming · Iridium · Oil shale · The Volcano (British Columbia) · Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory · Volcanology of Io · Yellowstone National Park

Geography (More...)

Antarctica · Australia · Bryce Canyon National Park · Carlsbad Caverns National Park · Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve · Death Valley National Park · Geography of India · Geography of Ireland · National parks of England and Wales · Niagara Falls · Rondane National Park · Shoshone National Forest · Yellowstone National Park · Yosemite National Park · Zion National Park

Related topics

For a more comprehensive treatment of topics, see Outline of earth science and Index of earth science articles

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