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 News

Stanford’s 2021 NIAC fellows are working to bring sci-fi concepts to real space exploration

Two “out there” ideas from Stanford faculty have received NASA funding in hopes that they could drastically advance space exploration. Mathieu Lapôtre is co-PI on a project to increase robotic reach that could be used to explore Mars.

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U.S. asbestos sites made risky by some remediation strategies

Efforts to prevent human exposure to asbestos may be mobilizing the cancer-causing mineral so that it can reach water supplies, based on new findings about how the fibers move through soil.

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Ask the Admin: Kam Moler and Stephan Graham on new climate and sustainability school

In a podcast series hosted by The Stanford Daily, Dean Stephan Graham discussed the new climate and sustainability school and other topics affecting the Stanford community. 

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Baked meteorites yield clues to planetary atmospheres

The gases released from meteorite samples heated in a high-temperature furnace can tell scientists about the initial composition of the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets.

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