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Answered 2008-07-06 10:45:22

Earth Science, also known as 'Geoscience' is a term that all encompasses the science related to the planet Earth. Within Earth Science there are four major disciplines; Geography - The study of the Earth and its features, inhabitants and related phenomena. Geology - The study of the solid matter that constitutes the Earth Geophysics - This is the study of the Earth using quantitative physical methods, such as seismic, electromagnetic and radioactivity using maths, physics and computer science as tools Geodesy - This is a branch of Earth Sciences that deals with the measurement and representation of the Earth in a three-dimensional time-varying space. Within all these four major disciplines of Earth Science the use of the major classic science fields; Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Chronology and Mathematics, are all used to understand the individual areas or spheres within the Earth system. These broad areas or spheres of the Earth system are the; Hydrosphere - Describes the collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of the planet Biosphere - This relates to the part of the Earth, including air, water, land and surface rocks in which life occurs and biotic processes alter and transform Lithosphere - This describes the outermost carapace or shell of a rocky planet (in this instance the Earth). On Earth this included the crust and uppermost mantle. Atmosphere - This relates to the layer of gasses that surround the Earth, retained by the force Gravity. This thin layer of gasses protects life on Earth by absorbing ultra violet rays from the sun and helps to regulate the day and night temperatures on the Earth's surface by trapping heat *However there are other models of the Earth that include other additional spheres such as the; Pedosphere, Geosphere, Anthroposphere, Cryosphere and Noosphere.

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