Portal:Earth sciences

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The Earth Sciences Portal

Introduction

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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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Major volcanoes in Indonesia
The geography of Indonesia is dominated by volcanoes that are formed due to subduction zones between the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate. Some of the volcanoes are notable for their eruptions, for instance, Krakatau for its global effects in 1883, Lake Toba for its supervolcanic eruption estimated to have occurred 74,000 Before Present which was responsible for six years of volcanic winter, and Mount Tambora for the most violent eruption in recorded history in 1815. Volcanoes in Indonesia are a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The 150 entries in the list below are grouped into six geographical regions, four of which belong to the volcanoes of the Sunda Arc trench system. The remaining two groups are volcanoes of Halmahera, including its surrounding volcanic islands, and volcanoes of Sulawesi and the Sangihe Islands. The latter group is in one volcanic arc together with the Philippines volcanoes. The most active volcanoes are Kelut and Merapi on Java island which have been responsible for thousands of deaths in the region. Since AD 1000, Kelut has erupted more than 30 times, of which the largest eruption was at scale 5 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), while Merapi has erupted more than 80 times. The International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior has named Merapi as a Decade Volcano since 1995 because of its high volcanic activity.

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Sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Credit: Rosa Cabecinhas and Alcino Cunha

Erg Chebbi (Arabic: عرج شبّي‎) is the sole Saharan erg in Morocco. It is 22 km long (North-South) and 5 km wide. Its dunes reach a maximum height of 150 meters. It is located roughly 40 kilometers south-east of Erfoud. The local center for tourists is the village of Merzouga.

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

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