Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald
Institute for Geography and Geology
Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Str. 17A
D-17487 Greifswald

L.N. Warr. Tel. ++49(0)3834 86 4578. E-mail:
G. Grathoff. Tel. ++49(0)3834 86 4584. E-mail: Secretary. Tel. ++49(0)3834 86 4570. E-mail:


Why study economic geology?
Knowledge of mineral and rock resources are fundamental to our existance. They form the basic materials from which roads and houses are built, provide the bulk of our energy needs, and bear the diverse range of mineral, metals and other elements used in developing industry and technology.

Cobbled streets of German towns and the Brandenburger Tor, Berlin


Rock and mineral commodities (2006)


Global energy sources (2005)

The graph above shows the top 10 global rock and mineral commodities expressed in million ton per year for 2006 (compiled from various internet sources).

The amounts are listed as follows:

  • Aggregates 21350 Mt
  • Coal 6743 Mt
  • Crude oil 3600 Mt
  • Portland cement 2250 Mt
  • Steel 1251 Mt
  • Clay 400 Mt
  • Salt 250 Mt
  • Phosphate 144 Mt tons
  • Gypsum 125 Mt s
  • Silica 123 Mt

This shows the main source of global energy used in 2005. Note the strong dependance in fossil fuels compared to nuclear and renewable sources (compiled from various internet sources).

The amounts are listed as follows:

  • Crude oil 34%
  • Coal 27%
  • Natural gas 21%
  • Nuclear 5%
  • Renewable 13% (hydropower, biomass, photovoltaic, solar thermal, winds and geothermal)

Fossil fuels account for 82% of our current energy needs. mounts are listed as fo


Environmental issues
One of the major challenges of ultizing Earth resources is to do so with minimal harm to the natural environment. This involves thorough knowledge of ecosystems, proper treatment of any toxic waste or environmentally harmful substances, adequate monitoring of operations and restoration of the original landscape.

Today, a major global challenge is to reduce the concentration of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere: a green house gas held responsible for current global warming. Ond possible solution is store CO2 undergound in geological reservoirs. This is part of a process referred to as carbon capture and storage (CCS), which is currently been investigated worldwide and also here in northeast germany (see project BALTICCO2RE).


Recommended links and literature