ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Geology & Atmospheric Science

Marine geology, a relatively new and interesting study field in marine science!

Updated on March 15, 2015

Around 10 years ago I decided to quit my job in health care and searched for a new education that would interest me. My choice was Earth Science with Marine Geology as a main study field. And I can say that those precious years studying marine science where the most interesting years of my life and I loved every day of it! I was constantly stunned, amazed, intrigued, surprised and the more I learned the more I felt awe for our beautiful planet; The Earth! Beside knowledge and a degree it gave me perspective on time and on the tiny role human’s plays on Earth.

So, here is some basic information and short information about one of the hidden and mostly unknown areas on Earth!

You will have a vast study area in Marine Geology!
You will have a vast study area in Marine Geology! | Source
The sediments on the ocean floor as well as along the coastline can tell us so much!
The sediments on the ocean floor as well as along the coastline can tell us so much!

What is marine Geology?

One simple way to describe marine geology is: Marine geology is the science of the character and history of those parts of the earth that is or have been covered with seawater!

That’s about it, and you will be amazed over how much there is to know about these vast and mostly hidden areas on our blue planet!

When people ask me about my studies, and I answer that I have study marine geology most of them say something like; oh, that sounds interesting, there is so many interesting animals in the sea! And I totally agree, there is an amazing fauna in the oceans but marine geology hasn’t got so much to do with the animals now living in the oceans; that is more the science field for a marine biologist! I suppose this misunderstanding is because marine geology is a relatively young study area compared to the other.

What is the aim with marine geology?

The aim with Marine geology is to gain knowledge of the earth beneath the oceans and develop an understanding of how the earth beneath the oceans got its structure and which processes that created those areas. In order to understand there is need for knowledge about historic global geology as well as knowledge of oceanic history. That is the case for both the earth beneath the present oceans and for the land areas that was covered with water in the past. It’s the same as always; the past is the key to the future! Through this knowledge marine geology can help out in the understanding of current and future climate change. This is very important today with the ongoing climate changes. Another important area of marine geology is the applied marine geology that concerns the knowledge of prospecting the natural assets in the oceans floors, like gas, oil and rare minerals.

Source
There is much more to see than the surface of the oceans!
There is much more to see than the surface of the oceans!

The study field!

The study field for a marine geologist is interesting, very exiting and also enormous! The geology of the ocean floor includes about 71 % of the earth’s area. Since the major part of the working field is hidden beneath seawater the study is a little bit more difficult than for a geologist on land. As you all are aware of, because of the sea water marine geologists are unable to walk directly on the surface that are surveyed and to take samples often requires some kind of equipment such as vessels and methods developed for submarine sampling. Another major difficulty is that the study area is on a considerable depth.

Most of the knowledge in marine geology has been gained during the last 6 decades though the foundations for the oceanic exploration were begun around 1831 when Charles Darwin did observations about the evolution of life in earth’s history. Another important event was the Challenger expedition (1872-1876), a global study of the deep ocean, under the direction of Charles Wyville Thomson. From that expedition a solid foundation for marine geology was formed with basic knowledge about different types of marine sediment. But back then they still believed that the ocean floor was a tranquil place with constant sediment deposition. Because of the difficulties to study the ocean floor there wasn’t so much research done in the beginning and the oceans were mostly a study area for the biologists.

The Challenger expedition and Oceanic Geology

Nowadays we know that the ocean floor isn’t at all the tranquil flat area. Instead we know that is has a very interesting topography with deep graves and high mountains. We also know that there is constant activity occurring in the ocean floor.

I will give you some example;

  • The most prominent mountain ranges on earth aren’t located on land but can instead be found on the ocean basins, the oceanic ridge system!
  • The Mariana Trench is the world’s deepest point in the Earths crust at 10 911meter below sea level.
  • The boundary between the oceans and the continents isn’t the present shoreline that you see. The boundary between ocean and continents is on most places on Earth at the gently sloping platform that is called the continental shelf that extends seaward from the shore.
  • New oceanic crust is formed at the mid-ocean-ridges through volcanic activity that is a vital part in the Plate tectonic.
  • Ocean crust is destroyed at the subduction zones where oceanic crust is forced under either continental crust or oceanic crust.

So, the ocean floor is everything but tranquil, it can be more dramatic than any area on land!

The hidden area on Earth!

A tour down to the Mariana Trench!

The main study fields in marine geology!

A marine geologist study different ocean environments and sediments on the ocean floor such as the deep sea, the more ground sea and the different shorelines. The things that are studied are climate, ocean circulation and the sea currents, both in present and historic. The research is carried out on ocean environments and sediments on seabed but it also involves research on old oceanic sediment that today can be found on land. A common way to summarize and define marine geology is that it involves geophysical, (the Earth´s physical features) geochemical (the Earths chemical composition), sedimentological (how sediments on Earth is deposited) and paleontological (the science of prehistoric life on Earth) investigations of the ocean floor and the coastal margins.

What does a marine geologist do?

As a marine geologist you have a vast and relatively young study field. And the study field is also vast in time since it concerns both the Earth’s history as well as the future of our planet. This means that there is much more to know and to find out. If research isn’t what you like to do there is also the applied marine geology that involves mapping the sediments on the ocean floor, investigation of the spreading of environmental pollution, industrial development of natural recourses as oil, gas and other minerals. One very interesting area is the study of tectonic activity on the ocean floor and the ocean floor spreading. Another practical work is to study the ocean floor in connections with laying out cables on the ocean floor, building bridges, pipelines, harbour construction, wind power stations and other things that are attached to the ocean floor. This vast study area also means that you can work all over the world.

I hope I have inspired some of you to know more about this great topic or even to choose a career in marine geology. So, if there is someone out there who is interested in this study field; Go for it, and do it right now! You won’t regret it! You will have several years a head of you filled with pure joy and great beauty!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Harshit Pandey profile image

      Harshit Pandey 3 years ago from Varanasi

      I know that. Its my pleasure.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 3 years ago from Sweden

      Hi Harshit Pandey and thanks for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. Marine geology is amazing!

    • Harshit Pandey profile image

      Harshit Pandey 3 years ago from Varanasi

      Very detailed information on marine geology. It made me remember my project at National Institute of Oceanography, Goa. Many thanks :)

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      Vocalcoach, It is easy to be good on the things we are passionate about and I become more intrigued the more I learn about Earth and the oceans. Your comment is fantastic and I feel humble by your support and your kind words! I can tell that you see the beauty in this field, just like I do. Thanks for the votes and for sharing, I appreciate you!

      Tina

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Tina - You are one highly intelligent woman. I'm so impressed with what you have written here. I feel that I was "drawn" to your hub on Marine Geology for my passion I carry with me for this field. I've learned so much and enjoyed this completely. Learning about the ocean's crust was mezmerizing. And the vidoes are captivating. I will certainly share this and a huge thanks to you!

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      Hi iamaudraleigh! I am glad that I could share some of the passion and interest I have for our planet and for the marine environment in particular. There is so much more to learn and to study! Thanks Audra for reading, I appreciate the support!

      Tina

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Your career is pretty fascinating! I bet you enjoy the continuous learning of such a field! I am intrigued! You wrote a great article I could undestand. Mariana Trench was pretty interesting in the video. Nice job with your presentation!

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      priya, I am so glad to hear that and I hope you will enjoy the studies as much as I did! There is so much fascinating facts to learn and there are also so much that we don't know yet. You will have great time and I wish you good luck with your studies! Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment!

    • profile image

      priya 5 years ago

      this is an excellent information regarding marine geology. it is much useful to those who are interested in this field. i am much fascinated by this field of science. as a msc. geology student i assure that it should be very fabilous. i want too become a marine geologist. this information site improved my interest in this subject. thanku very much.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Ingenira, it really is a hidden and mysterious area and there is so much more to learn and to understand. I read that we have better knowledge and maps of the moon than we have of the ocean floor! So there is much more amazing things down there to explore. Thanks for the encouraging comment and for reading! It is good to see you in my corner!

      Tina

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Amazing facts ! Marine geology has always been a mystery and interesting area for me to know more. Excellent write up !

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Eiddwen, from reading your stories of your experiences by the sea I know that you also have a special love for this area of Earth. It is great to know you enjoyed reading this! Thanks for the voting Eiddwen:)

      Tina

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Yes it really is a fascinating subject Movie master, and I still feel the same excitement and awe for nature. I am glad that I can share it with you.

      Getting a new education after passing 35 years of age was absolutely right and so interesting. It gave me a total different view of life and our planet. I love science! It suits my way of thinking. And I do think we must transfer our focus from ourselves and take better care of this planet that is our home.

      Thanks for the voting!

      Tina

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub Tina and I vote up/useful/interesting here.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a fascinating subject, a very educating and interesting hub.

      This was a whole new direction you took 10 years ago, it sounds as though you don't regret it!

      Thank you so much for sharing, voting up.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Hi Lyn Stewart, it is very nice to meet you! Yes I love the oceans and our planet as well as the science, it can teach us so much about our selves and about Earth. It fills me with awe. Thanks for your great comment and I am glad you liked it!

      Tina

    • Lyn.Stewart profile image

      Lyn.Stewart 6 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      very educational and interesting hub ... I love how you have presented this information.

      You obviously love this topic and it shows. Thank you for teaching me something new.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Prasetio, I am honored to be your teacher! There are so many beautiful and amazing places on Earth and the ocean floor is one of them! Marine geology really is interesting and the science also put humans in perspective. We take so much for granted and treat the Earth as if it exists only for our sake. Million thanks for your vote and pressing:)

      Take care and I hope your weekend is great!

      Tina

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Scribinet, I know what you mean, the more we know, the more interesting it gets? I plan on writing more about marine geology, the difficult part is to choose what to tell first! The ocean floor contains so many interesting things. Thanks for your visit, it is always great to see you!

      Tina

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love this lesson. I always love with something what happen on the earth and this was so naturally. I know that most of part of this world is ocean. Marine geology is a new subject for me. But it looks so interesting, because of you...Tina. You are my teacher now. Thanks for put all the pictures and videos above. I really enjoy this hub. VOTE and VOTE. I'll press all buttons here, except funny. Have a nice weekend!

      Prasetio

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Tina, Very interesting. Last week I just happened on some older National Geographic magazine "maps" which included the mountain ranges under the ocean as well as the fissures and other details. It brought up a lot of interesting questions in my mind, so your Hub is very timely. I look forward to learning more about the ocean floor! Thanks!

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Alastar, you are so welcome! To start a new education was a decision that came gradually and was decided when I felt anxiety over the thought of me doing the same job working in health care until retirement. I had to do a major change or I would have been one of those persons that are not suited to take care of sick people! It was a great time studying this interesting science and it is something I can recommend for everyone that is interested in marine geology and have the opportunity to study. There is so much more to discover and that makes it even more interesting and a fascinating research area to follow. Thank you so much for reading and as always leaving a great comment!

      Tina

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Many thanks for this fine and most interesting article Tina. Am so impressed that you took yourself in this needed and fascinating direction. I've read quite a number of new things reading here. The Ocean's depths have always intrigued me and there surely must be a great many new discovery's to be made. Who knows? One or more of those may be made by you. Tack sa mycket. Your right about the English computer. No way to put the mark above sa!

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      acaetnna, good to see you again:) We all have so much to share with each other, that's the beauty of it! I look forward to a visit in your corner soon:) Take care,

      Tina

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Susan, I am so happy to hear that and I am grateful too? Marine geology is a very big subject so it is a bit hard to describe an overview in just one hub. Good to know you found it educational because that was my purpose! Thanks for your awesome comment and I hope your cousin likes it too!

      Tina

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      D.A.L. oh, I am happy to share some knowledge with you! It is a very fascinating subject and I plan to write more hubs about marine science now and then. There are so many more things to tell. Thanks for your encouragement and it is so nice to see you here!

      Best wishes to you

      Tina

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Martie, Yes it was a great time really and I must say that I wouldn’t mind getting more knowledge and continue to graduate. But for now I need to have a job and a monthly income so I take shorter courses studying at a distance on subjects that interest me and is useful in my work.

      It is so sad when young people are not enthusiastic about learning but there is so much else going on in their mind and they have no choice but to go to school. Hopefully they will feel more enthusiastic when they study at the University since they do a personal choice and study something they are interested in. You have a good point about the Biblical mysteries and I think you are right in saying there is natural explanations to many things mentioned in the Bible. Nature is fantastic and there are many things left to explore about the marine areas on Earth. It I always good to see you Martie, your smiling avatar is contagious:) Take care,

      Tina

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Hi Larry Fields, marine geology is very fascinating and the more I learn the more humble I get towards our beautiful planet! It is fundamental knowledge that should be an ordinary subject in school in my opinion. It is so important to get the background to our world and to know that we can´t take it for granted and also realise that our planet would not be like this forever.

      I know what you mean since there is so many things that I will never forget from my education too and the mid-oceanic ridge is one of them?. Thanks for your interesting comment!

      Tina

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

      Incredible. You are amazing and so full of information.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Tina, I am so glad I stopped by as I found your hub very educational. Awesome write! I am going to share this on Facebook as I have a cousin who would be very interesting in reading this.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you Peter! Marine geology and everything about the history of Earth is interesting. There are endless things to be amazed over and I thought this would be a good beginning:)

      Tina

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 6 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Tina what a fantastic informative hub written brilliantly. I have been taught a great deal here about your fascinating subject. Best wishes to you.

      Rated up

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Tina, Marine Geology is indeed a very interesting topic. Is it not wonderful to be stunned, amazed, intrigued and surprised while one is obtaining knowledge? So sad people – especially while we are children and obliged to study – are not enthusiastic scholars. I remember when I took up new studies in my 30’s (or rather research) I was constantly stunned. Knowledge about the tectonic plates explains many Biblical mysteries such as the burning broom bush, smoke moving on the ground, fissure eruptions, etc. I can imagine the mountains and valleys under sea level, and different climates as well – desert, tropical, savanna - just like it is on earth. Thanks for sharing this interesting information about Marine Geology.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 6 years ago from Northern California

      Many years ago, I took Geology 101 as part of my General Ed requirement. At that time, Continental Drift was finally getting the acceptance that it deserved.

      The evidence that stuck in my mind was the volcanic mid-oceanic ridge, together with the periodic magnetic reversals in the basalt on the ocean floor, as one traveled outward from the ridge.

      Fascinating stuff!

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Good presentation of a really interesting field.

      Peter