Who are Geologists? What is Geology?

People in the mountain

A group of men is climbing up a steep mountain path. Each of the men is carrying a heavy rucksack and a hammer with a long handle.

It is not easy path to walk along. The sun is blazing overhead, and from time to time stones rattle away from under the men’s feet. One of the men suddenly stops and breaks of a small piece of stone. He looks at the stones carefully, and puts it away in his rucksack.

… The men are on their way again along the mountain path, climbing further and further. Soon they are lost out of sight beyond a mountain pass, and all that is left is a song carried on the wind:

The road is long, the road is hard,

But there’s no turning back yet awhile…

Press on, geologist!

Step firm, geologist!

You are brother to the wind and the sun!

So who are geologists? Why are songs sung about them?

Geology? What is it?

Yes, what does it mean, geo-logy? Geology is a Greek word: Geo means Earth, the planet we live on; and logy is Greek for knowledge, or science. So have you worked out what GEOLOGY is? It is the science of the Earth.

Geology is one of the oldest sciences. When cave-men looked for hard stones for their axes, they were being geologists. In this distant time, of course, people only used what they found on the surface of the Earth. It was many thousands of years later before they learnt to use the riches hidden under the Earth’s surface.

What are these riches? Why do we need them? I’ll tell you…

Look around…

Look at the things around you. There’s a hammer and pincers, and a box of nails. They are all made of metal. There’s the kettle and your mothers iron, the frying-pan and the gas-stove. They are also made of metal.

Look out the window. There are cars on the road, and up in the sky there is an aeroplane. These, too, are made of metal.

Wooden chairs, glass beakers, books and all your cloths – trousers and shoes, shirt and socks – these are not, of course, made of metal, but they could not have been made without metal.

To make these things we need tools and machinery. And tools and machinery are made of iron and steel and other metals.

So where do we get metal from?

  • Metal is smelted from ores. And ores are found by geologists.
  • An inter-planetary spacecraft hurtles through the open expanses of the universe.
  • A powerful cross-country vehicle travels over land where there are no roads.
  • A tractor pulls a heavy plough behind it.

And all these machines need fuel to keep them moving. And finding this fuel is the work of geologists.

If you move into a new house, or go down into a station of the underground, remember that it is geologists who decide where to build.

They study the ground and say: “You can build a house here,” or “You can lay your underground tracks here.” In a different place they say: “No, you can’t build here, the ground won’t hold, everything will collapse.”

You can’t start building without geologists, and there would be no factories, no aeroplane or cars. Nor would there be any of the thousands of machines and other things which surround us and which are so necessary to us.

So that is the sort of science geology is! We can’t even live without it.

Reference: GEOLOGY IN PICTURES, Anatoli Chelenov, Raduga Publishers


Sm. Mahua Ganguly M.Sc (Head of the Department) Associate Professor
Dr. Abhijit Chakraborty M.Sc., M.Phil (Env. Sci.), Ph.D. Associate Professor
Sri. Bhaskar Ghosh M.Sc  Assistant Professor
Sri. Kaushik K Ghosh M.Sc Assistant Professor
Dr. Chandrabali Mukhopadhyay M.Sc, Ph.D Lecturer – Part Time
Sm. Keya Bandyopadhyay M.Sc. Lecturer – Part Time
Sm Ashima Kar M.Sc. Guest Lecturer