An integrated approach toward understanding our planet
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 4 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:

News

Wentao Huang
13 April 2015
PhD research by Utrecht University’s Wentao Huang shows that the Himalayan continental collision began 52 million years ago.
Jorien Vonk
8 April 2015
Permafrost thaw causes a positive feedback loop and accelerates global warming, Jorien Vonk concludes in Nature.
Gert de Lange
19 February 2015
The Geochemical Society and European Association of Geochemistry have announced Prof. Gert de Lange one of the 2015 Geochemical Fellows.
Prof. dr. Sierd Cloetingh
18 February 2015
On 17 February the European Research Council announced the appointment of Professor Sierd Cloetingh of Utrecht University as its vice president.

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