An integrated approach toward understanding our planet
Sustainability Goals AW
Main Sustainable Development Goals for the Department of Earth Sciences.

In studying the system Earth and other planets, the Earth Sciences contribute to answers on social and economic questions that concern: 

  • the natural means of existence (water, energy, raw materials),
  • the terrestrial environment (including remediation of pollutions),
  • natural hazards and disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods),
  • and the use of terrestrial space (specifically near surface and underground space).

Through our work, we contribute in particular to 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations in 2015.

The Earth Sciences are a multidisciplinary science in which the principles and methods of physics, chemistry, geology, biology, mathematics, and computational sciences are integrated. We specifically develop new scientific hypotheses, methods of data analyses, and experimental and observational techniques that enable us to reconstruct and predict the interactive behaviour of the solid Earth, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere, on scales ranging from seconds to billions of years, and from nanometers to the entire globe. We honour James Hutton’s early insight that "from what has actually been, we have data for concluding with regard to that which is to happen thereafter".

Our research focus is on 4 major aspects of the natural Earth:


3 September 2019
Utrecht University and University of Hawai’i researchers have extended the astronomical time scale by 8 million years. Their results were published in Science.
2 September 2019
The Mediterranean region is geologically among the most complex regions on Earth. 'It is quite simply a geological mess."
28 August 2019
Wrong assumptions linked to political decisions make related problems like salinisation and flooding even more urgent for inhabitants of the delta
S. Majid Hassanizadeh
23 August 2019
For his outstanding contributions to hydrology.




E.g., 11/16/2019
16 December 2019 16:15 - 17:15
PhD Defence of A.A. Kadu
12 - 13
12 March 2020 09:00 - 13 March 2020 18:00
The NAC (Nederlands Aardwetenschappelijk Congres) conferences bring together all fields of research within the Earth Sciences.
24 - 26
24 August 2020 09:00 - 26 August 2020 18:00
EARTH! - Treasures, Threats, Transitions