"The study of Earth — its interior and its exterior surface, the rocks and other materials that are around us, the processes that have resulted in the formation of those materials, the water that flows over the surface and lies underground, the changes that have taken place over the vastness of geological time, and the changes that we can anticipate will take place in the near future. Geology is a science, meaning that we use deductive reasoning and scientific methods to understand geological problems. It is, arguably, the most integrated of all of the sciences because it involves the understanding and application of all of the other sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, astronomy, and others. But unlike most of the other sciences, geology has an extra dimension, that of time — deep time — billions of years of it. Geologists study the evidence that they see around them, but in most cases, they are observing the results of processes that happened thousands, millions, and even billions of years in the past. Those were processes that took place at incredibly slow rates — millimetres per year to centimetres per year — but because of the amount of time available, they produced massive results." (Earle, S., 2016)


Earle, S. Physical Geology. B.C. Open Textbook Project. 2016.CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Related Content


How has space revolutionised subsidence?


Land subsidence is a global phenomenon and is defined as:

“a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the Earth's surface due to removal or displacement of subsurface earth materials”  - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2021)

Interview with Benjamin Kitambo, PhD student at the Laboratory for Space Geophysics and Oceanography

Describe your professional (and/or personal) experience relating to water and space technologies.

My interest in water is a result of my background in Geology. I come from a region (Katanga Province, Congo DR) where mining is the main source of livelihood. So, I had my bachelor's degree in Geology intending to work in the mining sector after graduation. However, towards the end of the bachelor’s programme, I was exposed to the deployment of geophysical equipment for water prospecting in my department.

Interview with Hannah Ritchie, PhD student in WASH at Cranfield University

Hannah has always had a love for the outdoors and especially for being by the sea. From her interest in both hydrogeology and development, developed during her undergraduate studies in geology and her travels respectively, she is now undertaking a PhD in WASH, researching water security in rural communities in Kenya. Hannah undertook a six-month internship with Space4Water at UNOOSA in 2021, where she developed her understanding of the importance and application of space-based technologies in the water sector. She believes that groundwater and sanitation are two areas where space technologies are currently under-exploited but in which they hold a lot of potential.

Capacity Building and Training Material

GIS OpenCourseWare for Hydrological Applications Capacity Building and Training Material

GIS OpenCourseWare for Hydrological Applications


For many studies models are used or developed. During modelling courses not much attention is paid to the preprocessing of input data and parameters needed for the models. A lot of open source software is available for this purpose. Besides desktop tools with graphical user interfaces, scripting is very useful for processing large datasets and timeseries. With the skills learned in this course you will be able to more efficiently process your data and setup and improve your models.