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:

News

7 March 2019
A large delegation of Dutch polar and marine researchers has signed a letter of intent to collaborate with the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.
28 February 2019
Geologist Fransesco Salese from Utrecht University has found indications that ground water was once present on Mars.
27 February 2019
Netherlands Initiative Changing Oceans
27 February 2019
Veerle Cnudde is appointed as professor of Porous Media Imaging Techniques at the Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University.

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