What Does A Geologist Do And Their Task Description

Richard Atang
Richard Atang April 17, 2023
Updated 2023/04/26 at 3:50 PM
What do Geologists do

An Earth Scientist, also known as a Geologist, is responsible for examining the natural formations and processes of the Earth to encourage the conservation of the environment and secure land development.

They have various responsibilities such as gathering mineral samples in the field, producing maps of geographical landmarks, and assessing the natural engineering of rock formations for construction purposes.

Geologists direct hands-on work, gather and dissect tests, and utilize different apparatuses and strategies to concentrate on the World’s geography.

They may likewise utilize remote detecting innovations, like satellite symbolism or geophysical overviews, to research the World’s subsurface and map land highlights.

What Do Geologists Do?                                                                

Geologists have the opportunity to work in various industries such as mining, engineering, government, natural gas processing, and higher education.

They perform fieldwork and research to provide valuable advice on how to safely interact and make use of rock formations.

Geologists analyze data collected from laboratory experiments and work sites.

They use mapping software to create visual representations of the rock formations and other natural features in an area.

They also assess the stability of these formations and determine possible changes due to erosion.

What Various Types Of Geologists Are There?

Environmental Geologists:

Environmental geologists have the task of finding answers to environmental issues that pertain to flooding, erosion, earthquakes, pollution, and other natural disasters.

Their primary focus is on the interaction between the earth and humans, and they work towards predicting potential geological issues and environmental impacts caused by urban and industrial growth.

Their efforts are essential in finding effective strategies to minimize the harmful effects of such expansion.

 Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of environmental geologists include tasks such as gathering samples of soil, sediment, rock, and core, performing surveys, studying the effects of erosion and sedimentation, and documenting information obtained from reports, geochemical surveys, maps, and imagery.

Engineering Geologists:

Engineering geologists possess the expertise to provide guidance and recommendations to both private and public enterprises regarding geological and environmental issues related to real estate development.

 Their primary responsibility is to evaluate the stability and safety of the ground rock to determine if it is suitable for construction.

 They examine the physical and chemical properties of rocks and soil and use this information to facilitate the construction of bridges, dams, structures, roads, and tunnels in areas that are structurally safe and cost-effective.

Additionally, familiarity with civil engineering is beneficial for the city planning component of their work.

Marine Geologists:

Geologists who specialize in marine studies examine the geological activities beneath the ocean surface, including the ocean floor, beaches, estuaries, some coastal river areas, large lakes, and the shallow slopes/shelves surrounding the continents.

 Unlike other geologists, their focus is on the outcomes of geological activities, rather than their causes.

Marine geologists work in collaboration with oceanographers and marine biologists to explore the uncharted depths of the ocean floor.

They also play a vital role in preserving the health of our coastal and offshore resources, as there is a vast amount of natural gas and oil reserves beneath the ocean surface.

Responsibilities:

In this regard, marine geologists bring new skills and technologies to the table, which are crucial as we surpass peak oil.

Economic Geologists:

Economic geology is a branch of geology that deals with the extraction and formation of earth materials.

 These materials include precious metals, nonmetallic minerals, petroleum minerals, coal, construction-grade stone, and water, which have economic or industrial value in society.

Mineral resources, such as minerals, gas, oil, and ore deposits, are materials that have present or potential value.

Many of the modern conveniences that we use, such as computers and plastics, rely on natural resources that were once raw materials. As the world’s population is expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050, there will be an increased demand for natural resources.

 Responsibilities:

 The primary goal of economic geologists is to identify profitable oil, gas, and mineral deposits and to devise methods to extract them.

They also strive to expand and define existing mineral resources.

Geophysicist:

Geophysicists utilize a variety of techniques such as gravity, magnetic, electrical, and seismic methods to examine the Earth.

Their research may involve studying the internal structure of the planet, seismic activity, the ocean, and other physical characteristics.

 In addition to this, some geophysicists may apply their knowledge to assess the potential environmental hazards and suitability of certain areas for construction purposes.

 Responsibilities:

Geophysicists investigate the physical and fluid properties of the Earth’s materials, with a focus on understanding the formation of continents and related processes, including earthquakes.

They also search for mineral deposits such as oil, iron, copper, and others, which are formed due to the Earth’s movement and compression of materials.

Petroleum Geologists:

A petroleum geologist’s job involves identifying possible oil deposits and facilitating oil production.

They study sediment deposits in oceans, rock folds, and faults to determine where to drill and locate potential oil traps.

This is a laborious task that requires specialized equipment to analyze sedimentary and structural aspects to identify potential oil traps.

 Responsibilities:

Petroleum geologists evaluate the feasibility of a prospect by examining a source rock that can produce hydrocarbons, porous rock reservoirs, and traps that can collect hydrocarbons in a specific geological sequence.

They also consider the cracking of organic matter into gas and oil under heat and pressure and the movement of gas and oil from a source rock to a reservoir rock to a trap.

Geophysical surveys and data analysis by mudloggers are used to gather information on drill cuttings and rock formation thicknesses.

Duties And Responsibilities Of  Geologists

What do Geologists Do

Field Mapping:

Field mapping involves creating a geological map through the analysis of different types of rocks, geological structures, and their interrelationships.

On the other hand, geotechnical mapping is concerned with assessing the characteristics and stability of rock formations to determine their suitability for any form of construction or alteration, such as the construction of a tunnel.

Logging:

Rock core logging, which is also called rock chip logging, is utilized by mining and exploration firms.

 Meanwhile, mud logging is employed in the exploration of oil and gas. Geotechnical logging, on the other hand, is employed to evaluate the durability or fragility of rocks and to identify any fractures.

Laboratory Work:            

Geology heavily relies on laboratory work, and some geoscientists work for commercial laboratories that provide data analysis services to various industries such as mining, oil and gas, engineering, and environmental companies.

 The laboratory work involves three main types of analysis: microscopic analysis to examine the small details of rocks and fossils, geochemical analysis to uncover information about sample quality and metal content, and geomechanical analysis to test and evaluate the strength of rocks.

Programming:

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have made it possible for geologists to create a digital record of field data, enabling them to conduct computerized field mapping.

 In recent years, modeling programs have become essential tools for geologists, serving both the research and commercial sectors.

These programs are used for modeling geological processes, creating 3D models of oil fields, mineral deposits, and aquifers, as well as for simulating the underground geology that will be impacted by engineering projects.

Reporting:

Geological reports can vary in size and content, from short daily site updates to lengthy documents of several hundred pages that provide information on economic evaluations and the environmental effects of potential exploration projects.

Where Do Geologists Work?

It is essential for geologists to be able to adapt to changing weather conditions and different terrains due to the significant amount of fieldwork involved in their work.

Geologists and geo-technologists can be employed by mining, oil, and gas exploration companies, as well as civil engineering firms involved in city planning.

Government agencies may also require the services of geologists in areas such as geoscience, education, water management, and forestry. Geologists may work with a range of organizations during their careers, including non-profit organizations, universities, natural reserve companies, or as consultants.

Education And Training Requirements For Geologists:

To work as a Geologist, a minimum education requirement is a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as environmental science, mineralogy, engineering, or earth science.

However, some Geologist jobs may require a master’s degree.

Aspiring Geologists can gain practical experience through on-the-job training, internships, or fieldwork. Certification in Geology is available in 31 states in the US, and although not mandatory for all Geologist roles, it is required for those who provide public services.

Experience Requirements for Geologists

Many Geologist employers require field experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree.

Employers may opt to train a new geology graduate in-house, while others may prefer a more seasoned Geologist to lead the team and carry out research.

The level of experience required for a candidate will be determined by the organization’s needs.

Conclusion:

Each branch of geology offers valuable insights into the earth and its inhabitants. Geologists, based on their area of expertise, may examine and chart rock formations, gather fossils and rock specimens, or assess the earth’s physical characteristics. Through these investigations, geologists can decipher the ongoing geological phenomena that have occurred over millions of years.

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