Earth science

The Geosciences ( to geo gē of Greek Γεω "earth"; earth sciences ) dealing with the study of natural science aspects of the Earth system. Geosciences in particular the following main subjects are assigned:

  • Geodesy, Cartography and Geoinformatics
  • Geography (Geography)
  • Geophysics, glaciology and meteorology
  • Geology, paleontology, mineralogy and petrography
  • Hydrology and oceanography.

Mostly the geosciences are assigned:

  • Soil Science ( Pedology )
  • Remote sensing and photogrammetry (often considered part of Geodesy )
  • Geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics (see also civil engineering),
  • Limnology (see hydrology and biology),
  • Crystallography (see also Mineralogy and Solid State Physics),
  • Environmental monitoring (see also Meteorology, emission and environmental protection).

Interdisciplinary, environmentally relevant and related economic

Since the geosciences work very interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, there are many special disciplines which have a high environmental importance, such as the Applied Geology in the broader sense, the engineering geology, hydrogeology and hydrology, geochemistry (such as microbial geochemistry ), geo-ecology and geostatistics, and geothermal Meteorology and Climatology.

The earth sciences have an important role for the raw material and energy supply of our world. The search ( exploration ) for resources such as water, hydrocarbons ( oil, gas, coal), metals and non- metals ( rocks and soils ), to ground raw materials such as gravel, building sand, brick clay, lime, cement, etc., but also to nuclear energy raw materials ( uranium) and geothermal are designed and implemented by geoscientists. However, the extraction of these raw materials would fall more in the field of engineering, particularly of mining.

The applied geosciences, in turn, are important (foundation of buildings, earthworks, foundation engineering, rock engineering and tunneling ) in many constructions. The spatial planning and environmental protection to waste management (landfills ) require geoscientific knowledge, which are collected and processed in geographic information systems. Using methods of geotechnical fixing and monitoring tasks are performed, stabilized with geotextiles embankments or landfills.

The definition or the definition of " Geosciences " is not clear what the geography is an example. The above "hard" topics are also part of the " Physical Geography ". On the other hand, there is the subgroup of " human geography " with numerous references to true space-related, but not per se " erd "-related topics, as in the economic and social geography. But even this apparent contradiction loses with increasing human intervention in the system of Erdsphären important.

The individual branches of knowledge

See also: List of geoscientific topics



In recent years, the studies of Geology, Geophysics and Mineralogy on the program are fused " Geosciences " at many German universities. The courses of study meteorology, geography, hydrology, geo-ecology, geotechnical engineering, geodesy, cartography and geoinformatics, however, could usually get their independence. Geosciences courses can be studied at almost all universities in Germany, but differ in their content or lectures. Most universities put a targeted focus and enable a special approach to their studies. For example, in some bachelor's degree programs " Geosciences " but modules for geophysics (eg University of Bonn and the University of Jena) not integrated ( University of Göttingen and the University of Cologne) at other universities.


In Austria Geosciences can be studied at the following universities:

  • University of Salzburg geology
  • Geography
  • Geoinformatics
  • Atmospheric Sciences (Bachelor)
  • Earth Sciences ( Bachelor)
  • Geography (Bachelor)
  • Atmospheric Sciences (Master)
  • Earth Sciences ( Master)
  • Geography (Master)
  • Geography and Economics (Bachelor )
  • Earth Sciences
  • Geography (only at the University of Graz )
  • Geomatics Engineering ( Bachelor) / Geomatics Science ( Master) ( only at the TU Graz)
  • Geo-Spatial Technologies (Master)
  • Applied Geosciences
  • Natural Resources
  • Earth Sciences
  • Geography
  • Geography and Economics
  • Cartography and Geoinformation (Master)
  • Meteorology
  • Paleobiology (Master)
  • Spatial Research and Planning ( Master)
  • Geodesy and Geoinformatics
  • Geodesy and Geophysics (Master)
  • Geoinformation and Cartography (Master)
  • Spatial Planning and Regional Planning
  • Surveying and Cadastre (Master)
  • Landscape Design and Landscape Architecture
  • Environment and Bio Resources (Master)
  • Water and Environmental Engineering (Master)
  • Mountain Risk Engineering (Master)
  • Natural Resources Management and Ecological Engineering (Master)

Known geoscientists

Further reading

  • Hans Murawski, Wilhelm Meyer: Geological dictionary. Heidelberg: Spektrum, 2004 ISBN 978-3-8274-1445-8.
  • Adolf Watznauer: Earth Sciences Dictionary (English - German ), Verlag Harri German, Thun and Frankfurt am Main 1978, ISBN 3-87144-139-2.