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

Hunting down clues to Earth's early molten days

Scientists are still trying to piece together how Earth transformed from a molten planet to one with living creatures walking around on its silicate mantle and crust. Hints lie in the strange ways materials behave under extreme temperatures and pressures.

Navigate to Hunting down clues to Earth's early molten days

High schoolers co-author paleobiology study with Stanford researchers

A cohort of the Stanford Earth Young Investigators program helped advance our understanding of the relationship between the body size and circulatory systems of marine animals over a vast time frame.

Navigate to High schoolers co-author paleobiology study with Stanford researchers

New ancient plant captures snapshot of evolution

Researchers have discovered an ancient plant species whose reproductive biology captures the evolution from one to two spore sizes – an essential transition to the success of the seed and flowering plants we depend on.

Navigate to New ancient plant captures snapshot of evolution

NASA’s new rover is headed to the perfect spot to hunt for life on Mars

Mathieu Lapôtre shows the targeted landing site for NASA's Perseverance rover may be a great place to look for signs of life.

Navigate to NASA’s new rover is headed to the perfect spot to hunt for life on Mars
IconsList of icons used on the sitemaillinkedindouble carrot leftarrow leftdouble carrotplayerinstagramclosecarrotquotefacebooktwitterplusminussearchmenuarrowcloudclock