Earth Sciences comprise a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary research efforts, spanning all corners of Earth's surface, and from the upper reaches of the atmosphere to the depths of the inner core. Field-based exploration takes our scientists from Yellowstone to Tibet to southern Africa, while our world-class laboratories enable exploration and discovery from within. Our computational facilities enable transformative discoveries through in-house computer clusters, as well as extensive access to ASU's high-performance computing infrastructure. Our graduate and undergraduate students have access to fulfilling research experiences, often leading to articles published in high-profile research journals, awards at major international research meetings, and top jobs in both academia and industry.

Learn more about our Earth and Space Exploration Geological Science and Earth and Environmental Studies undergraduate degrees and the masters and PhD degrees in geological sciences and our undergraduate minor in geological sciences.

Search the tabs below for a list of faculty, research groups, labs and resources that comprise the school's Earth Sciences.

Earth Science Focus Areas

Biogeoscience

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Groups

Continental Tectonics and Structural Geology

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Groups

Earth Surface Processes

Earth’s surface and near-surface environment is host to much of the biosphere and has been termed the Critical Zone. The Earth’s surface is the dynamic interface where the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere interact. These interactions encompass physical, chemical, biotic and human processes and drive the co-evolution of landforms, soils, living ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles that both influence and are influenced by the hydrologic cycle, local and global climate, and the pace and pattern of tectonic deformation. How this dynamic interface functions and evolves is the focus of the field of Earth Surface Processes. Research foci encompass orogenesis, landscape evolution, weathering and soil formation, neotectonics, volcanic landforms, geohazards, ecohydrology, biogeochemical and microbial processes, co-evolution of life, soils, and landforms, connections to deep-earth processes, and the evolution of planetary surfaces.

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Groups

Earth and Planetary Geophysics: Geodynamics, Mineral Physics and Seismology

The field of Earth and planetary geophysics typically investigates that which is inaccessible, such as planetary interiors. Subdisciplines include predicting the dynamical motions and convective flow (geodynamics), subjecting planetary materials to high pressure and temperature to simulate interiors (mineral physics), and studying seismic waves that traverse interiors and provide information about internal structures and layers (seismology). Important questions on how planetary bodies evolve and ‘work’ in the present day include the nature of plate tectonics, magnetic fields, mantle plumes, and the composition of planets. 

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Group

Geochemistry and Environmental Geochemistry

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Groups

Medical Geology and GeoHealth

Medical Geology examines the public health impacts of geologic materials and geologic processes, while GeoHealth encompasses global, environmental and occupational health associated with geographic locations. Combined these studies bring together disciplines dedicated to understanding the impact of environments and environmental materials on human health.

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Groups

Petrology, Mineralogy, and Mineral Resources

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Groups

Volcanology and Volcanic Hazards

Volcanic eruptions are one of the most dynamic processes on Earth and on other bodies in our solar system. They link a planet’s interior and its atmosphere. They generate hazardous phenomena such as lava flows and far-reaching ash-and-gas laden plumes, with potential impact on local populations, regional infrastructure, and global climate. They are the only natural hazard aside from meteor impacts with the capacity to cause geologically-instantaneous global extinctions. Despite their significance, eruptions are difficult to predict and manage. Volcano science seeks to improve fundamental understanding of volcanoes and processes that control eruption timing, style, scale, and impact, often with an eye toward reducing volcanic risk. Methods and approaches include field documentation of volcanic deposits, real-time observations of eruptions, detailed geochemical, petrologic and other analysis of eruptive products, and a wide range of experiments and models that simulate volcanic processes, from source regions deep in the mantle and crust to the highest reaches of the atmosphere.

Principal Faculty and Research Scientists

Research Groups