Geosciences, which include Geology and Geophysics, are an integral part of the basic science education in most colleges and universities worldwide. Realizing their importance in the development and advancement of Saudi Arabia, KFUPM established the Department of Geology in 1963. With the addition of a Geophysics option in 1976, the name was changed to the Department of Earth Sciences.
The scope of Earth Sciences is quite broad and diverse, beginning with the ground we walk on, extending inward to the center of the earth, and outward to the other planets in the solar system. While the scope of Geology and Geophysics is closely related, there are some major differences. Geologists study the composition, structure and history of the earth’s crust. Geophysicists use the principles of physics and mathematics to study not only the earth’s surface but its interior as well as its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational fields. Both, however, commonly apply their skills to solve environmental problems and to search for natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, minerals, and groundwater.