In any science, it is important to accurately and understandably describe your observations for others. Whether for advancing research or informing the public, communicating your work is critical.
For geologists, this comes down to describing rocks’ colors, patterns, shapes and other features. These features may reveal evidence about the past, clues to their suitability for a construction project, or signs of valuable natural resources hidden within them.
This easy exercise models one of the processes currently being researched at four U.S. universities to enable recovery of iron and other materials found on the Moon to construct an inhabited workstation. Research is being done to perfect magnetic separation techniques to recover iron-bearing minerals from the lunar soil.
People find inspiration in many different places and things. Among them is taking joy in sensing the Earth around you. Feel the breeze on your face. Take in the fresh smell of the air after a spring rain. Use your hands to build something. Wherever you live you can get outside, savor your surroundings and observe what makes up the rhythms of the place you live.
Did you know that a quarter of the world’s population gets drinking water from karst aquifers? Karst is the type of landscape that forms by dissolution of carbonate rocks (limestone, dolomite) or other highly soluble rocks such as evaporates (gypsum and rock salt). Karst includes caves, sinkholes, sinking streams, and springs. Karst environments are vulnerable to groundwater contamination. Understanding groundwater flow in karst terrains is critical for safe drinking water.
Karst, Sinkholes, and Human Activity
Scientists, engineers, and others create geologic maps to determine the best places for people to settle, build, farm, and use land in a variety of ways. They also use geologic maps to monitor the ways that human activity might be changing the land itself over time.