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

Mechanisme aardbeving verklaard
11 December 2014
Utrecht University earth scientists and chemists have discovered a mechanism that triggers earthquakes.
Globe in hand
9 October 2014
For his impressive share in magnetostratigraphy, prof. dr. Cor Langereis is awarded the Van Waterschoot van der Gracht medal.
Globe in hand
12 May 2014
Palaeoclimatologists have found the first concrete evidence for global cooling caused by a meteorite impact some 66 million years ago.
Globe in hand
6 May 2014
Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences has received a philanthropic donation of €2.5 million to continue funding its Quantitative Water Management chair.

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