Areas of Earth Science

The four basic areas of earth science include topics that study the earth, the seas, the skies and the earth’s environment: geology, astronomy, oceanography and meteorology.


According to, geology includes the study of the Earth, what it is made from, and what acts upon these items. Through geology, scientists are able to trace how organisms have changed over time and what may have caused them to change.

Processes change organisms of the earth. Some of these processes include volcanic eruptions, floods or monsoons. The knowledge gained from studying these processes then can help in planning communities

Geologists also study materials which make up the earth, such as rocks and metals. This helps in the planning of extraction of these items and their uses.

Another area geologists study is the history of the earth, including changes in climate. This helps scientists see how fast changes occur and how it affects the environment.


“Astronomy is the study of space beyond Earth’s atmosphere,” according to astrolab. It studies the evolution of the universe from its beginnings. This area of study includes planets, comets, stars and moons. There are various areas that scientists are able to study by observing and reflecting on past studies. Astrometry is the way scientists measure the position of stars and planets, called astrometry. Stellar astronomy is the study of stars, their evolution and their beginnings. Astrophysics is the study of the physics of the Universe. Cosmology is how the Universe began and evolved.


Oceanographers rely on other areas of science to assist in the study of their realm of the oceans, including biology, physics and chemistry. They study the movements or tides, pollution and the ocean ecosystem, and the evolution of fish.

Their studies can take them to the Arctic to study the changes that have occurred due to global warming, to fresh water environs to discover how a certain fish evolved. They study ocean currents, marine ecosystems, ocean storms, waves, plate tectonics, the ocean floor and much more.

Oceanography is commonly divided into four areas: biological oceanography or the study of marine biota; chemical oceanography which studies how the oceans, past and present interact with the atmosphere and the carbon cycle. Geological oceanography that looks at the make-up of the ocean floor and studies tectonic plates; and physical oceanography that studies how light and sound, as well as other aspects of physics interact with the ocean.


Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere. Some of topics studied in this science are temperature, air pressure, and water vapor and how they interact and change through time.

Each of these areas of earth science work together to help others understand our planet, atmosphere and Universe.