Stanford University
Death Valley

Geological Sciences

The study of our planet and its neighbors, from their deep interiors to the surface, and through their multi-billion year history.

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Miller

Understanding our planets and their history

Our students and geoscientists study the properties of minerals, rocks, soils, sediments and water, using multiple lenses -- stratigraphy, paleobiology,  geochemistry, and planetary sciences. Their work informs our understanding of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods. It helps us meet natural resource challenges through environmental and geological engineering, mapping and land use planning, surface and groundwater management, and the exploration and sustainable extraction of energy and minerals.  It also helps us answer fundamental questions about the origin, history, and habitability of planets.

Geological Sciences Events

Geological Sciences News

Dozens of Yellowstone-sized volcanoes once drowned Nevada in thousands of feet of lava

New research by Elizabeth Miller suggests the ancestral Sierra Nevada range and the mountains we see today were born at different times.

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Sierra Nevada range should celebrate two birthdays

New research reveals that after its initial formation 100 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada “died” during volcanic eruptions that blasted lava across much of the American West 40 million to 20 million years ago. Then, tens of millions of years later, the Sierra Nevada mountain range as we know it today was “reborn.”

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How life reemerges from cataclysms

Research led by Pedro Monarrez of Stanford Earth shows that the usual rules of body size evolution change not only during mass extinctions but also during subsequent recovery.

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Earth faculty receive HAI seed grant for CO2 sequestration

Jef Caers, Sally Benson and Tapan Mukerji have been awarded a 2021 Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) seed grant to prototype an intelligent agent for CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers.

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