EARTH SCIENCES FOR MANKIND

T. Harinarayana
Director, GERMI Research Centre, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, India


Exploration of natural resources is one of the main concern of an earth scientist for the benefit of humanity. We all know that all the things related to water –surface water, underground water, rain water etc.- energy – oil, gas, geothermal etc. – and minerals – Gold, Silver, Iron, Copper, Diamonds etc   - are all originated from the Earth. Additionally, the natural hazards like Earthquakes, Tsunamis, landslides are the natural disasters that one need to be aware and it’s prediction on occurrence greatly helps us to survive. Thus it is important to know all the information about our mother Earth that provide the natural resources for better living and also plan to survive by avoiding the natural disasters.

Earth Science is based on the application of different science subjects like physics, chemistry and mathematics. From the study of gravitational attraction at different locations, one can have knowledge on the buried high or low density rocks. By mapping the electrical resistivity at different locations, one can map the high resistive rocks and differentiate with the low resistive rocks. This in turn helps to locate the water buried below the ground – ‘Ground Water’. Again different rocks have different elastic property and thus the sound waves (inside the Earth it is called Seismic waves) travel with different speed. From the study of such variation inside at different locations, one can map accurately the nature of rocks located at that location. While basic principles of physics helps to understand the Earth and it’s resources, the application of principles of chemistry is equally important. Mathematics is another subject through which one can model the Earth structure. Application of mathematical principles, one can compute the exact parameters of the rocks like it’s depth of burial, shape of the rock, extension of the rock etc. Similarly, electronic instrumentation skills help to develop the earth science measurement instruments like gravity meter, magnetometer, seismometer, resistivity meter etc.

The basic understanding and application of the principles of physics, chemistry, mathematics, electronics, computer software etc. helps to unravel the natural resources of the Earth for betterment of the humanity and also helps to understand and predict the natural calamities like earthquakes, Tsunamis etc. This way Earth science has an infinite scope for all the student community to take up the challenging tasks ahead. One should realize that there is a great demand now for an earth scientist to get a better job in all types of fields such as Water, Energy and Mineral sectors. Thus the person taking the Earth science as their main course or goal is directly helping the mankind in various ways.