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Portal:Earth sciences

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The Earth Sciences Portal

Introduction

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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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Amchitka (/æmˈɪtkə/; Aleut: Amchixtax̂) is a volcanic, tectonically unstable island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska. It is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The island, with a land area of roughly 116 square miles (300 km2), is about 42 miles (68 km) long and 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) wide. The area has a maritime climate, with many storms, and mostly overcast skies.

Amchitka was populated for more than 2,500 years by the Aleut people, but has had no permanent population since 1832. The island has been part of the United States since the Alaska Purchase of 1867. During World War II, it was used as an airfield by US forces in the Aleutian Islands Campaign. Read more...

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Halemaumau crater, Hawaii

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Ireland from space
Credit: MODIS

A true-color picture of Ireland, as seen from space, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Irish Sea to the east.

In the news

18 March 2019 – Kamchatka superbolide
NASA reports that it has detected a huge meteor explosion in Earth's atmosphere on December 18, 2018, above Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. The explosion went largely unnoticed due to its location. The explosion, which was ten times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, was the second largest of its kind in 30 years. (BBC)
15 March 2019 – 2019 Tel Aviv rocket strike
In response to a possible accidental launching of two rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Tel Aviv the day before, Israel launches hundreds of counter strikes directed at the town of Khan Yunis. (The New York Times) (Associated Press)
14 March 2019 – 2019 Tel Aviv rocket strike
Two rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip at Tel Aviv, Israel; neither rocket was intercepted by the IDF's Iron Dome system. (The New York Times) (IDF Spokesperson)
4 March 2019 –
A 4.6 magnitude earthquake is felt in central Alberta just before 6 a.m. The epicentre was determined to be just south of Red Deer, and is believed to be the result of tectonic activity east of the Rocky Mountains. No structural damage or injuries are reported, and it is unlikely to cause aftershocks. (Global News)
22 February 2019 – List of earthquakes in 2019
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hits Ecuador, near the border with Peru. It is relatively deep, with a depth of 152 km (94 mi). (USGS)
21 February 2019 –
A fossil from a new species of tyrannosaur named Moros intrepidus is discovered in the U.S. state of Utah. Scientists are using the find to better understand how Tyrannosaurus rex evolved during the Cretaceous period. (National Geographic)


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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

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