What is Earth Science?

What is Earth Science?
An organized body of knowledge
about the earth.
Daily Science Question:
• Imagine that you are an Earth scientist
and can travel wherever you want to on
Earth. Describe the aspects or features
of Earth that you would like to study.
Explain where you would go and what
you would do.
• Make sure you answer all questions
above in five sentences or more. If you
finish early, illustrate your answer as well.
Branches of Earth Science
Earth Science is the name for all the
sciences that collectively seek to understand
Earth and its neighbours in space.
Different branches study the different parts of
1) Solid Earth
2) Liquid Earth
3) Gaseous Earth
4) Space
Solid Earth
Geology – study of the solid Earth
• Divided into two broad areas;
1) Physical Geology - examines the materials composing Earth and seeks
to understand processes that operate beneath and upon its surface.
2) Historical Geology – seeks an understanding of the origin of Earth
and the development of the planet through its 4.6 billion year history.
Solid Earth
Seismology – study of earthquakes and seismic waves
Paleontology – study of fossils and life on Earth
Geomorphology – study of landscape features on Earth
Mineralology – study of minerals
Volcanology – study of volcanic activity
Liquid Earth
• study of the oceans and oceanic phenomena
• study of the composition and movements of sea water, as
processes, seafloor topography, and marine life
• study of Earth’s fresh water systems
• including, rivers, streams, and groundwater
. well as coastal
Gaseous Earth
Meteorology – study of the atmosphere; weather and climate
Astronomy – the scientific study of the universe and the relationship
between Earth and the universe. It focuses on the observation and
interpretation of celestial bodies in space.
Sample Problems
Which of the following branches of Earth Science focus on the study of
atmospheric conditions?
(A) astronomy
(B) meteorology
(C) seismology
(D) paleontology
Which branch of Earth Science focuses on the study of fossils?
(A) astronomy
(B) meteorology
(C) palaeontology
(D) seismology
Which branch of Earth Science focuses on the study of Earth’s water
(A) hydrology
(B) palaeontology
(C) petrology
(D) seismology
Which branch of earth science would most likely study the origin of
(A) astronomy
(C) meteorology
(B) geology
(D) oceanography
Common Errors and
Meteorology is the study of the
atmosphere which focuses on weather and
climate, whereas, meteorites fall under the study
of astronomy.
The impact meteorites have on Earth’s
surface falls under the study of Geology.
4 Branches of Earth Science
• Geology- The study of
the origin, history, and
structure of the solid
earth and the
processes that shape
Branches of Earth Science …
• Oceanography-the
study of earth’s
oceans. Includes the
study of currents,
waves, tides,
chemical composition
of ocean water, plant
and animal life.
Branches of Earth Science …
 Meteorology
- the study
of earth’s
Branches of Earth Science …
 Astronomy- the study of the universe beyond the
earth.(4000 years of study!)
Why is this Important to me?
In your group discuss why studying and
understanding Earth Science is important to
you and society.
Elect a scribe and be prepared to present a
brief summary of your discussion.
 • Which branch of Earth Science would you most like to explore?
 • What is the biggest problem that we face today? Which Earth
scientists may help us to solve the problem?
 • What other branches of science or society are related to and
necessary for Earth Science?