Geology and Geophysics term papers

What is Geophysics and Geology?

Geophysics is defined as the Earth's physics and its environment in relation to space. Geophysics also examines quantitative physical methods.  Traditional geophysics studies the geological aspects of Earth such as its shape, its structure, its magnetic fields, its composition, its rock formations, and so forth.  However, in recent times, geologists have also started to encompass other aspects such as fluid dynamics of the ocean, wind and ice, and Earth's relationship with the moon and other planets.

Geology is the science which studies solid Earth, its rock formations and how these evolved. Today, the field of geophysics is especially useful for water resources evaluation, mineral exploration, solutions for environmental problems, climate change and engineering.

History of Geophysics and Geology Studies

The study of the Earth's physics began in ancient times, and many may be surprised to learn that man was already creating magnetic compasses as early as the 4th Century BC!  Theophrastas, an ancient Greek wrote his famous Peri Lithon, meaning 'On Stones', while the Roman, Pliny the Elder wrote numerous texts on minerals and metals. Over the centuries, questions relating to geophysics and geology captured the imagination of man, producing many famous works by scholars and explorers such as the Islamic Ibn Sina, the Chinese polymath Shen Kuo and the 17th Century Nicolas Steno.  Geophysics, however, only became recognized as a separate discipline in the 19th Century.

Branches of Geophysics

Geophysics and Geology encompass many sub-fields, including but not limited to: biogeophysics, exploration geophysics, geophysical fluid dynamics, geodynamics, geomagnetism, mathematical geophysics, mineral physics, paleomagnetism, seismology and tectonphysics.

Majoring in Geology

A geology major is one which focuses on the scientific study of Earth, including the behavior and effects of the solids, liquids and gasses which incorporate it. Students enjoy courses such as historical geology, the chemistry of rocks and soils, mineralogy, geostatistics, geographical principles and more. A proficiency in science and math is highly recommended as they are essential tools for geology majors.

Majoring in Geophysics

A geophysics major covers the scientific study of the physics of solids and how this can be applied to Earth and other planets. A typical geophysics major will include courses in seismology, plate tectonics, earthquake forecasting, remote sensing and more.  Courses also cover data processing, geohydrology, inverse theory, geodynamics, geostatistics and signal processing. Studies would incorporate journal geophysics and other texts.

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