What are the 15 Branches of Earth Science?

Earth science is not just about studying the planet you live on, but it is also about understanding how the planet works on a deeper level. 

Earth science is made up of various branches that are designed to give you a deeper understanding of the earth. Continue reading to find out about the 15 branches of earth science.

What are the 15 Branches of Earth Science?

The 15 branches of Earth Science are the following:

  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Meteorology
  • Oceanography
  • Climatology
  • Paleontology
  • Environmental Science
  • Volcanology
  • Soil Science
  • Hydrogeology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Planetary Geology
  • Geochronology

What is Earth Science?

Earth science is the study of the physical and natural world, including the composition, structure, history, and distribution of Earth’s crust, atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere and how these properties relate to human society. It is often defined as the “science of the Earth”

Earth science includes the study of the earth’s history, structure, atmosphere, and natural resources. It also includes the study of the properties of the Earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.

Earth science is divided into 13 branches. These are the following:


Geography is the study of the Earth’s surface, the bodies of water, the atmosphere, and other phenomena related to Earth. Geography is a vast and complex science that has been studied for centuries. 

Geography is often divided into two categories: physical geography and human geography. Physical geography includes the study of Earth’s natural features such as mountains, seas, and rivers. Human geography includes the study of how people live on Earth. 


Geology is the study of the Earth and its features. It is an Earth Science that studies the composition, structure, and history of Earth’s surface, as well as the processes that shape it. 

Geology also includes the study of rocks, minerals, and their characteristics. Geology is an essential part of many other fields including earth science, geophysics, hydrology, and environmental science.


Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere. It is a science that is used to predict and explain the weather. Meteorologists use a variety of tools and techniques to study the atmosphere, including satellites, radar, weather balloons, surface weather observations, and computer models. 

Meteorology is an important field of study because it helps people understand how weather patterns develop and what they might expect in the future.


Oceanography is the study of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth, atmosphere, and life. Oceanographers study the physical, chemical, geological, and biological aspects of the ocean. 

They are also the people who design ships, study ocean currents, and find new ways to explore the oceans. The ocean is a major part of our world and covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and is home to the vast majority of life on Earth.


Climatology is the study of climate and its patterns, variability, and change over time. Climatologists use observations and information from natural sources, such as air temperature, water temperature, precipitation, wind, soil moisture, and vegetation to understand how climate has changed in the past and how it might change in the future. 

They also use computer models to simulate the effects of human activities on climate. Climatologists are often involved in research related to climate change and its impact on natural resources and human health.


Paleontology is the study of prehistoric life using fossil remains, studying rocks and sediments, and comparing the fossil record with the present.

Paleontologists study things like how long ago a certain species existed, what animals lived where, and what climate was like when a certain animal lived.

Through the use of a wide variety of methods to study ancient life, Paleontologists study the earth and how it has changed over time. They look at the earth’s past to see how life evolved.

Environmental Science

Environmental science is the study of how humans interact with the natural environment. Environmental scientists investigate how human activity affects the health of the Earth and its resources. 

They also study the chemical, physical, and biological processes that affect the Earth’s ecosystems. Environmental scientists work in a variety of fields, including ecology, biochemistry, plant biology, oceanography, and geology.


Volcanology is the study of volcanoes, their composition, and the phenomena produced by them. Volcanologists study the origins of volcanoes, their structure, and the physical and chemical properties of volcanic rocks. 

They also study how volcanoes release their potential energy and how they are formed. Volcanologists use a variety of tools to study volcanoes, including seismology, geochemistry, geophysics, geomorphology, and geology.

Soil Science

Soil science is the study of the properties, composition, and behavior of soils. Soil scientists study soil processes such as: how soil forms, how it interacts with water, how it responds to different types of plant growth, and how it affects the quality of air and water. 

Many soil scientists work in the agricultural industry, helping farmers grow crops in a sustainable way. Other soil scientists work in industry and government agencies to help improve the quality of air and water.


Hydrogeology is the study of the movement, transport, and quality of water on the Earth’s surface. Hydrogeologists study how water interacts with the Earth, including how water moves underground and is exchanged between the land and the atmosphere. 

Hydrogeologists are also interested in the ways in which water can be used to produce energy, such as in hydroelectric power plants.


Geochemistry is the study of the chemical composition of the Earth and its surroundings. It is a branch of Earth science that deals with the chemical processes that have taken place in the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core, including the study of their effects on the earth’s surface. Geochemistry is also concerned with the chemistry of minerals and rocks.


Geophysics is the study of the Earth and its natural phenomena. It is a branch of Earth science that uses physics to analyze the structure, dynamics, composition, and history of the Earth. 

Geophysics can be divided into two main groups: geodesy and seismology. Geodesy studies the size and shape of the Earth, and seismology studies earthquakes and other seismic activity.

Planetary Geology

Planetary geology is the study of the Earth, other planets, and their moons. It’s a diverse field that focuses on understanding the processes and properties of objects in the solar system. 


Geochronology is the study of how rocks and minerals are formed. It is a branch of Earth science and planetary science that uses tools such as radiometric dating, luminescence dating, and geologic mapping to explore the age and history of rocks. 

Geochronology is useful for understanding the age of Earth, the changes that have occurred in it, and how those changes may have been caused.


Earth science is a vast field that can fascinate many people, but it can be difficult to find out what is actually out there. The key to understanding earth science is to create a level of curiosity and interest. Earth science is a big subject and it is important to know the different branches of earth. This is because each branch of earth science has different things to study and learn about.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the 15 Branches of Earth Science?

Is Earth science a good field?

Earth science is a great field to pursue. There are many fields of study that you can choose from, but earth science is different. Earth science is scientific, it has a lot of different career paths, and it’s a very diverse field. You can work in environmental protection, environmental engineering, environmental education, and more.

How can Earth science be applied in life?

Earth science can be applied to many different areas of life. It can be used to help protect people from natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as other disasters that have the potential to harm people and property. It can also be used to help keep people safe from environmental hazards like air pollution or radiation. It can also be used to help monitor weather patterns for more accurate forecasts. Earth science can also be used to help prevent future natural disasters by predicting what might happen in the future.

Who is the father of Earth Science?

James Hutton is considered the father of Earth Science. Hutton is known for his observations of the strata of rocks and the fossil remains found within them. He was also able to prove that the earth was old by using the fossils he found to estimate how long it took for these creatures to become extinct.


National Research Council. (2001). Basic research opportunities in earth science.

Philips, W. C. (1991). Earth science misconceptions. Science Teacher, 58(2), 21-23.

Earth sciences | Definition, Topics, & Facts | Britannica. Retrieved July 11, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/science/Earth-sciences

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