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Portal:Earth sciences

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The Earth Sciences Portal

Introduction

Earth seen from Moon
Earth seen from Moon
The Earth seen from Apollo 17 with transparent background.png

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.

The earth sciences can include the study of geology, the lithosphere, and the large-scale structure of the earth's interior, as well as the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Typically, earth scientists use tools from geography, chronology, physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics to build a quantitative understanding of how the earth works and evolves. Earth science affects our everyday lives. For example, meteorologists study the weather and watch for dangerous storms. Hydrologists study water and warn of floods. Seismologists study earthquakes and try to predict where they will strike. Geologists study rocks and help to locate useful minerals. Earth scientists often work in the field—perhaps climbing mountains, exploring the seabed, crawling through caves, or wading in swamps. They measure and collect samples (such as rocks or river water), then they record their findings on charts and maps. Read more...

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Strokkur geyser eruption, close-up view.jpg

A geyser (/ˈɡzər/, also /ˈɡzə/) is a spring characterized by intermittent discharge of water ejected turbulently and accompanied by steam. As a fairly rare phenomenon, the formation of geysers is due to particular hydrogeological conditions that exist only in a few places on Earth. Generally all geyser field sites are located near active volcanic areas, and the geyser effect is due to the proximity of magma. Generally, surface water works its way down to an average depth of around 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) where it contacts hot rocks. The resultant boiling of the pressurized water results in the geyser effect of hot water and steam spraying out of the geyser's surface vent (a hydrothermal explosion).

A geyser's eruptive activity may change or cease due to ongoing mineral deposition within the geyser plumbing, exchange of functions with nearby hot springs, earthquake influences, and human intervention. Like many other natural phenomena, geysers are not unique to planet Earth. Jet-like eruptions, often referred to as cryogeysers, have been observed on several of the moons of the outer solar system. Due to the low ambient pressures, these eruptions consist of vapor without liquid; they are made more easily visible by particles of dust and ice carried aloft by the gas. Water vapor jets have been observed near the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus, while nitrogen eruptions have been observed on Neptune's moon Triton. There are also signs of carbon dioxide eruptions from the southern polar ice cap of Mars. In the latter two cases, instead of being driven by geothermal energy, the eruptions seem to rely on solar heating via a solid-state greenhouse effect. Read more...

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Pterosaur portrayed as spawn of Satan
Pterosaur portrayed as spawn of Satan

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Winter trees covered in snow
Credit: Richard Fabi

Winter is one of the four seasons of temperate zones. Meteorological winter is the season having the shortest days (which vary greatly according to latitude) and the lowest temperatures.

In the news

22 April 2019 – 2019 Luzon earthquake
Eight people are killed when a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the towns of Porac and Lubao, Philippines. (Rappler)
5 April 2019 –
A small 5-200 kilometer planetesimal, with a similar mineral composition to Earth, is found orbiting in the debris disk of a white dwarf star. This discovery is among the first of its kind and expected to provide insight into the future of our own planetary system. (Astronomy.com)
30 March 2019 – Earthquakes in 2019
A 5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes northwest of Athens, Greece, near the seaside town of Itea at 1046 GMT. (The Washington Post)
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Papua New Guinea's New Britain island, east of Kandrian at 1120 GMT. (Reuters)
26 March 2019 – Iran–Israel proxy conflict, Gaza–Israel conflict, Iran and state-sponsored terrorism
Acording to Israel Today, a senior Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that Iran's rulers ordered the rocket attack on Mishmeret in central Israel on March 25, 2019, which injured seven Israelis. The rocket attack was carried out by Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, which is heavily financed by Iran. The Hamas official said that Hamas's goal was to hurt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chances of getting reelected in the April 9 elections. (The Jerusalem Post) (Israel National News)
25 March 2019 – Gaza–Israel conflict
Seven people are moderately injured after a rocket attack destroys a home in Mishmeret, Israel. The Israel Defense Forces claim that Hamas is responsible for any attack from Gaza. (BBC)


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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

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

Atmosphere Hydrosphere Lithosphere
Biosphere Systems Others
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