Stanford University
Death Valley

Geological Sciences

The study of our planet from its deep interior to the surface, and through its 4.6 billion years of history.

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Miller

Understanding our planet and its history

Our students and geoscientists study the properties of minerals, rocks, soils, sediments and water using multiple lenses -- stratigraphy, paleobiology, and geochemistry. 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. 

Geological Sciences News

Long before dinosaurs, virtually all life on Earth was wiped off the face of the planet

Research by PhD student Malcolm Hodgskiss finds new evidence for a mass extinction event 2.05 billion years ago in barite samples from Hudson Bay, Canada .

 

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Stanford geomathematician John W. Harbaugh, dies at 92

Harbaugh, former chair of the Department of Geology, was a foundational figure in mathematical geology and active in campus leadership. He died July 28 at age 92.

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Ancient die-off greater than the dinosaur extinction

When significant oxygen entered the atmosphere, ancient life multiplied. But after a few hundred million years, Earth’s oxygen plummeted, resulting in a die-off likely greater than the extinction of the dinosaurs.

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Q&A: Modeling an exoplanet’s atmosphere

New research using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has provided a rare glimpse at the surface of a rocky planet outside our solar system. The planet may be similar to Mercury or Earth’s moon, with little to no atmosphere.

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