Friday, August 20, 2010

Geology for Future Leaders and Decision Makers

Cairo August 2010

Geology for Future Leaders and Decision Makers

By Dr. Mohamed El Gazzar

I- Abstract

Realizing the importance of geology & its related branches in making many serious decisions taken by World leaders, most but all countries of the world had established a geological survey agency to help in making their decisions.

In the past, Geography was the only tool that was used by leaders to do so; in fact it was classified under "Geopolitics" (Geography/Politics)

But nowadays Geology and off course in addition to geography; Geopolitics should be related to the Geology rather than Geography alone.

To point out this, we have to define what are geology and geography and its relation to human and earth development.

The definitions of Geology and geography have been handled by many authors. However, all of them have the same meaning and because of that meaning and content, we selected to mention here the Britannica definition…

"Geology" is the scientific study of the Earth, including its composition, structure, physical properties, and history. Geology is commonly divided into sub disciplines concerned with the chemical makeup of the Earth, including the study of minerals (mineralogy) and rocks (petrology); the structure of the Earth (structural geology) and volcanic phenomena (volcanology); landforms and the processes that produce them (geomorphology and glaciology); geologic history, including the study of fossils (paleontology), the development of sedimentary strata (stratigraphy), and the evolution of planetary bodies and their satellites (astrogeology); and economic geology and its various branches, such as mining geology and petroleum geology. Some major fields closely allied to geology are geodesy, geophysics, and geochemistry.

"Geography" is Science of the Earth's surface, which describes and analyzes the spatial variations in physical, biological, and human phenomena that occur on the surface of the globe and treats their interrelationships and their significant regional patterns. Once associated entirely with mapping and the exploration of the Earth, the field today is wide-ranging, and geographers use a variety of methods and techniques drawn from numerous disciplines. Subfields of geography include physical, human, and regional geography, which may range in scale from worldwide to a continent, a country, or a city.

Generally, in the past the geographic borders were the only target of every country leader. But nowadays, the geological borders are considered the prime target to all leaders.

As Geography is dealing with the surface borders, however the geological studies can reveal both the ground and underground borders.

As mentioned before, every nation established its own Geological Survey Agency to assist their leaders in taking the proper and right political decisions.

The term "Geological Survey Agency" can be used to describe both the conduct of a survey for geological purposes and an institution holding geological information.

A geological survey is the systematic investigation of the subsurface of a given piece of ground for the purpose of creating a geological map or model. A geological survey employs techniques from the traditional walk-over survey, studying outcrops and landforms, to intrusive methods, such as hand augering and machine driven boreholes, to the use of geophysical techniques and remote sensing methods, such as aerial photography and satellite imagery.

A Geological Survey can also be a national or federal institution employed to maintain the geological inventory and advance the knowledge of geosciences for the benefit of the wealth and health of the nation.

We are listing here below some of these nations' agencies and their tasks…

Geoscience Australia - known from 1992 to 2001 as the Australian Geological Survey Organization (AGSO)

- Geological Survey of Canada

- Geological Survey of India

- Saudi Geological Survey

- British Geological Survey

- United States Geological Survey

Individual states or provinces may also have a geological survey. Examples include:

- Alberta Geological Survey

- Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador

- Pennsylvania Geological Survey

- Utah Geological Survey

A Complete List Is Available on Request…

Regardless the fact that The Egyptian Geological Survey Agency was established on the year 1896 as the fourth agency worldwide after USA, UK, and France, It is Recently shrinking with a very limited function and lost its original name, while presently there is over 170 Geological Survey Agencies Belonging to 170 Countries.

On May 2007, I was unhappy to write the following Article about Geological Survey of Egypt…


May 14, 2007

Geological Survey of Egypt

During the last decade, I was always enthusiastic to write about the Geological Survey of Egypt, as it the occasion of its first centennial celebration.

Amazing enough it was almost the same time of establishing the Stella Bear Co. in Egypt. The Geological Survey of Egypt had been established on the 8th of March in 1896 by Khedwi Abbas Helmy II. At this time it was a division of the Ministry of Labor headed by Col.Lyons followed by Dr.W. F.Hume and O.H.Little until 1949. After that Mr. Mahmoud I. Attia was appointed as the first Egyptian director till 1956. It is worth to mention that the Egyptian Geological Survey was the first of its type in Africa and the Middle East and the fourth one all over the world, and was founded about sixteen years after the Geological Survey of the United States.

USGS had been established initially on March 1879, while on July 1st , 1879 federal government established the agency "The United States Geological Survey", placing in the department and of interior and charging it with a unique combination of responsibilities "Classification of the public lands and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources and products of the national domain."

In order to point out the importance of the Geological Survey to any country, I have to mention that nowadays almost every country has its own geological agency under the name of Geological Survey which represents its backbone and belongs to the highest level of authority in the country.

No one can ignore efforts and achievements of the Geological Survey of Egypt in the field of the natural resources. However we should admit that such achievements are considered poor if compared with the other countries which started a long time after Egypt.

Not to mention, the U.S. has 20 main agencies in California State and 6 more agencies, in addition to the existence of one agency in every state (more than 50 agencies).

Any U.S. scientist considers the United States Survey as the backbone and the treasure of the country not a part of any organization but should have its own identity.

Now the question is, why am I writing about the Egyptian Geological Survey (EGS)??

To start with, my career is in the field of Geology and natural resources.

Second, I found out that E.G.S. for about 110 years and after… It became homeless without identity or role, treated as a running fugitive, changing its name from time to time and has been added to any governmental structure if it is accepted.

Finally and after more than 110 years it is of no use any more and should be forgotten forever.

"And now the end is near and so I reach the final curtain"

Sorry for using song words!! E.G.S. is demolishing?? Is there any hope of rejuvenation?? In my opinion, the answer is No, simply because old scholars do not exist anymore and the new world geopolitics will stand against building up a new E.G.S.

Egypt was classified by I.G. Simmons (in his book the ecology of natural resources (1981), studied by AUC as type D… "The Egyptian type which he designated as the most unfortunate group".

"Not only the deficiency of appropriate technology but the population presses strongly on the resources make them struggle for food…Etc."

To prove their point and assure negligence to E.G.S. (Egypt Geological Survey) the ministry of culture and antiquities planed to import some 24000 sq m of Rock Stone from abroad (Japan, Turkey, China etc.) to decorate the entrance of the new Egyptian museum at the pyramids area, ignoring Dr.W.F. Hume's book which was published over 100 years ago about different types of Decorating rocks in Egypt.

I wonder why E.G.S. is vanishing and the Bear industry is flourishing (more than four Co's).

As this name is demolished completely and the agency working under another title I can say farewell to "Egypt Geological Survey"

End Quote

1 comment:

  1. I believe we should begin to question Egypt's usage of available arable land..? Does the fact that reliance on cultivation around the Nile Delta mean that this is the only arable land available, or should we begin to question the extent to which Egypt has studied other areas. I belive theres a large underutilization taking place