Overview on earth and role of Geologist for the service of mankind

The study of earth, water, air and the processes that influence them is called earth science. The 4.6 billion years earth’s history is depicted in the Geologic Time Scale. The earth is composed of different dynamic tectonic plates leading to a theory of Plate Tectonics. The earth is composed of three major layers which include crust, mantle and core. There are three types of rocks in nature i.e. igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. The most important element of the earth is water which is present in the form of glaciers, oceans, running and ground water etc. The rock cycle shifts the rocks from one type to another and these rocks also experience stresses being precursors for mountain building. The earth can also be affected by natural hazards like floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and volcanic eruptions. The earth is full of energy resources including oil, gas, coal and mineral deposits.

The earth science education is composed of four fields of study including geology, astronomy, meteorology and oceanography. It is aimed to explore the relationship between geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The author, being a Geologist, has taken into consideration geology only. The study of solid earth is called Geology. It encompasses great deal of scale of observations for the constituents of the earth varying from cryptocrystalline to macroscopic scale. The earth science education (Geology) is very significant in order to sustainably manage and explore earth’s energy, water, mineral, soil and coastal resources. It is also helpful in predicting and mitigating catastrophic events such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and volcanic eruptions.

The Geologist has a very crucial role in the socio-economic development of the country. They have variety of roles in different national and international organizations. The Geologists can work in companies such as petroleum, drilling, mining, mineral, geological surveys, environmental consulting firms, environmental protection agencies, teaching departments, research centres and equipments suppliers. They can work in mines, underground investigations, geological mapping, satellite imagery, building roads and foundations for homes and buildings. They are also searching and extracting raw material utilized in construction and industry provided by mining and quarrying. They are also involved in geotechnical studies to provide proper material for building foundations. They have key role in hydrocarbon (oil and gas) exploration. They can work as Petroleum Geologists, Engineering Geologists, Environmental Geologists, Professors, Researchers and Independent Consultants etc.

The earth science is a very invaluable field of study and it should be common in the early schooling stage till the intermediate level to everyone. All the four fields of study of earth science should be part of curriculum in college level in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. This will help people to live in a better and safe way. There are buildings along fault plane and or above loose sediments etc. The people are living in coastal areas. There are also communities in landslide prone areas. Therefore, at least common public should have some basic understanding of earth’s processes. This will help them not to do construction along fault plane and or above loose sediments and also avoid living in coastal and landslide prone areas.

The fossils fuels (oil, gas and coal) are used to drive vehicles. The people are most often talking about the oil prices but they have even no idea how and where are they formed. The rocks which are holding these fossil fuels are formed in the marine environment over millions of years ago. The petroleum is used in many common products like adhesives, carpeting, cosmetics, fertilizers, paints, rubber, fabrics and plastics etc. The gemstones are very widely used in jewellery and also for ornamental purposes. The copper is most often utilized in electric wires. In short, Geology needs to be common and people should have a bit know how of this basic applied science field.

The author “Muhammad Awais” is a lecturer in Geology at Department of Geology, University of Swabi.

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