By Devon Hauser
Geology and understanding our earth’s processes is so important for a multitude of reasons. There are many different aspects of Geology and each aspect has its own importance. Understanding how earth works and the earth’s history, we can predict natural hazards, understand where to obtain natural resources, identify and remediate contamination in water, and even find solutions for climate change and ideas for more sustainable practices. These are just a few of the many aspects of what Geologists study and the importance of Geology.
Additionally, by studying earth’s plate tectonics and plate boundaries, seismologists (geologists who study the seismic waves from earthquakes) are able to predict when earthquakes will occur and how they will affect different locations. Understanding these processes can not only aid in the evacuation of people, but also can be used to prevent such destructive outcomes by properly constructing buildings on more solid and safe substrate.
A branch of study within Geology known as Petrology, studies rocks and the processes that have led to these rocks being formed. An example of these processes is volcanoes. Both Petrologists and Volcanologists are able to understand and predict volcanic activity. Being able to predict such events can result in saving numerous lives and properties.
Coal, water, minerals, and oil are all examples of resources that are extracted with the help of Geologists. Geologists identify the rock formations and units that contain these resources. Additionally, by understanding how these resources are formed (i.e. coal, some minerals, and oil) we can come to the conclusion that these are nonrenewable resources and are not sustainable long term.
Hydrogeology is the branch of geology that deals with the water found underground and on earth’s surface. Hydrogeologists can predict the way groundwater moves under earth’s surface. This is extremely important when dealing with pollutants and contaminants found in water. If we can identify where the contamination has occurred, we can predict where it will spread which will aid in the remediation, or clean up, of the contaminated water/ soil.
By understanding the past climates and environments of earth, we can apply those conditions to modern conditions. Paleoclimatologists study past climates throughout earth’s history. They try to identify the causes of climate change that have occurred in the past which can help us understand our present and future climates. Additionally, by understanding what resources are nonrenewable and limited, we can identify that there is a need to transition into the use of resources that are renewable.