Stanford University
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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 News

Thinking beyond the academic degree

A new certificate program provides a framework for Stanford Earth graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to learn new skills, gain practical experience, and produce portfolio pieces that will broaden their professional preparedness. The program will be carried into the new school focused on climate and sustainability.

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To find alien life, scientists are unlocking mysteries of Saturn moon Titan

After modeling Titan's landscape, researchers led by Stanford geologist Mathieu Lapôtre found the moon exhibits a special type of sedimentary process called sintering, which means neighboring grains smash together and fuse into a bigger, stronger piece that's less destructible by wind.

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Massive conservation effort

California has rolled out plans to protect plant and animal life across 30 percent of the state’s most critical land and water by 2030. Biologists Elizabeth Hadly and Mary Ruckelshaus and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas discuss keys to its success, potential impacts, legal precedents, and more. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

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Scientists model landscape formation on Titan, revealing an Earth-like alien world

A new hypothesis reveals that a global sedimentary cycle driven by seasons could explain the formation of landscapes on Saturn’s moon Titan. The research shows the alien world may be more Earth-like than previously thought.

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