The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Earth science:

Diagram of the structure of the Earth including its atmosphere

Earth science – all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth.[1] It is also known as geoscience, the geosciences or the Earthquake sciences, and is arguably a special case in planetary science, the Earth being the only known life-bearing planet.

Earth science is a branch of the physical sciences which is a part of the natural sciences. It in turn has many branches.

Earth's spheres

A false-color composite of global oceanic and terrestrial photoautotroph abundance from September 1997 to August 2000, showing Earth's biosphere. Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and ORBIMAGE.

Ecosphere[2][3] – there are many subsystems that make up the natural environment (the planetary ecosystem or "ecosphere") of the Earth. Many of the subsystems are characterized as "spheres", coinciding with the shape of the planet. The four spheres (for which most of the other spheres are a subtype of) are the atmosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere and the geosphere. Earth's ecosphere lies it self within the heliosphere (the Sun's astrosphere).[4] Listed roughly from outermost to innermost the named spheres of the Earth are:

Branches of Earth science

Atmospheric science

Atmospheric sciences – The study of the atmosphere, its processes, and interactions with other systems



Geography – The science that studies the terrestrial surface, the societies that inhabit it and the territories, landscapes, places or regions that form it.


Oceanography – The study of the physical and biological aspects of the ocean

Planetary science

Planetary science – The study of planets (including Earth), moons, and planetary systems (in particular those of the Solar System) and the processes that form them.

History of Earth science

History of Earth science – history of the all-embracing sciences related to the planet Earth. Earth science, and all of its branches, are branches of physical science.

Earth science programs

Earth science organizations

Earth science journals

People influential in Earth science

See also


  1. ^ "WordNet Search - 3.1".
  2. ^ "A Lexicon of the Spheres" (PDF). Oregon State University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  3. ^ "ESO 2 Science 11: The Ecosphere and the Ecosystems". Science Helpdesk.
  4. ^ Sterken, Veerle J.; Baalmann, Lennart R.; Draine, Bruce T.; Godenko, Egor; Herbst, Konstantin; Hsu, Hsiang-Wen; Hunziker, Silvan; Izmodenov, Vladislav; Lallement, Rosine; Slavin, Jonathan D. (2022). "Dust in and Around the Heliosphere and Astrospheres". Space Science Reviews. 218 (8). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1007/s11214-022-00939-7. hdl:20.500.11850/585419. ISSN 0038-6308.