What Are the Four Major Branches of Earth Science?

The four main branches of earth science are geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy. Studying the four branches of earth science helps researchers understand the Earth's complex systems and how the systems connect to each other.

Geologists study Earth's solid material and the natural processes that create and destroy that material, including rock composition and the processes that created landforms. Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth's surface, and oceanography is the study of everything in the oceans. Meteorologists study weather patterns using radar and satellites. Climatology is a sub-branch of meteorology, and climatologists study the atmosphere. Astronomers study other physical bodies in outer space using telescopes and satellites.