Portal:Earth sciences

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The Earth Sciences Portal

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Earth Science is the branch that deals with physical constitution of the Earth and its atmosphere. Earth sciences (also known as geoscience, the geosciences or Earth Science) is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. They are a special type of planetary sciences which deal with the structure and composition of the Earth, its origins, physical features, changing aspects, and all of its natural phenomena. Earth is the only planet known to have life, and hence the only planet with biological processes and a biosphere.

The major disciplines of Earth sciences use physics, mathematics, and chemistry to build a quantitative understanding of the principal areas or spheres of the Earth system. As in many sciences, the Earth can be studied both experimentally and theoretically. Also, there are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth Science.

Although mining and precious stones have been in human interests throughout the history of civilization, their development into the sciences of economic geology and mineralogy did not occur until the 18th century. The study of the earth, particularly palaeontology, blossomed in the 19th century and the growth of other disciplines like geophysics in the 20th century led to the development of the theory of plate tectonics in the 1960s, which has had a similar impact on the Earth sciences as the theory of evolution had on biology. Earth sciences today are closely linked to climate research and the petroleum and mineral exploration industries.

Applications of Earth sciences include the exploration and exploitation of mineral and hydrocarbon resources, cartography, weather forecasting patterns, and warning of volcanic eruptions. Earth sciences are related to the environmental sciences as well as the other subfields of planetary astronomy.

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Pahoehoe fountain, approximately 10 meters high
Credit: Jim D. Griggs, HVO (USGS) staff photographer, (Selected Images of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o–Kupaianaha Eruption, 1983–1997)

Puʻu ʻŌʻō, a cinder/spatter cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea volcano of the Hawaiian Islands, has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983, making it the longest-lived rift-zone eruption of the last two centuries.

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Halemaumau crater, Hawaii

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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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Earth sciences on Wikinews     Earth sciences on Wikiquote     Earth sciences on Wikibooks     Geology portal on Wikisource     Earth sciences on Wiktionary     Earth sciences on Wikimedia Commons
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