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:


IJskap Antarctica smelt door verandering oceaanstroming
5 April 2017
The Antarctic ice cap underwent cycles of enormous growth and shrinkage 20-30 million years ago.
1 April 2017
Research thesis that offers solution to complex shunting problems at NedTrain wins 2016 Vliegenthart Thesis Award
tropical beach frieling persbericht
6 March 2017
Surface temperatures of the tropical Atlantic ocean rose above 36 degrees Celsius 56 million years ago, resulting in a die-off of organisms in the region.
Arwen Deuss UU
27 February 2017
From 1 February 2017, Prof. Arwen Deuss takes up the post of Professor of Structure and composition of Earth’s deep interior.