Geology is

Geology is omnipresent. Our daily grind is cross-linked with its geological base in different ways. In fact, how we perceive geology varies as much as the many aspects of this science which deals with the origin and structure of the Earth.

Position of Austria is shown
A raised relief globe is exposed in the foyer of the Geological Survey of Austria.
© Geological Survey of Austria / Lois Lammerhuber
Different minerals
Minerals are exposed in the foyer of the Geological Survey of Austria.
© Geological Survey of Austria / Lois Lammerhuber
Sample containers
Water samples are analysed in the geochemical laboratory.
© Geological Survey of Austria / Lois Lammerhuber

Rocks, minerals and fossils are research objects of the geological sciences and their manifold disciplines such as petrology, mineralogy or palaeontology. Rocks convey the feeling of continuity even though they often have a dramatic history as seen from a geological point of view. Crystals shine like magic, fossils are witnesses of evolution and show step by step how life evolved.

A wide variety of rocks, ores and minerals form the basis of our civilization. Our day-to-day environment is mostly made of geological material. We live in stone houses, the steel of the cars we drive comes from ores, the plastic casing of our mobile phones is made of oil and we add salt to our soup and hope that all these resources – just like the water we drink – will never be depleted.

In Austria, the highest mountain, Großglockner, reaching 3,798 m above sea level, and the deepest borehole, Zistersdorf ÜT2a, reaching 8,553 m below ground, are geological benchmarks. In the “land of mountains” geology is of special significance. Important chapters of geological history were written in the Alps where the beauty of the landscape is closely related to natural hazards. Geology as a science has depth, it is literally a fundamental science.