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The solid part of the Earth is made of rocks that can be collected directly from the Earth’s surface or that can be extracted from mines and by deep drilling both on dry land and on the ocean floors. The rocks can be those forming the mountain we climb up, and can also be formed by deposits created by a large number of fragments, cemented together, that we walk upon every day. Rocks are formed from the combination of a number of minerals, solid substances defined by a precise chemical formula that can be found in nature. Consequently the study and analysis of rocks and minerals is very important because it enables us to define the structure and the composition not only of the Earth’s surface by also what lies inside the Earth.
Hydrocarbons are a particular type of sedimentary rock, present in nature in the solid, liquid and gaseous form, as bitumen, oil (petroleum) and gas respectively. Since a long time, man has learnt to exploit these resources. In particular, in the energy section, we shall examine in detail how these deposits are utilized and how important they are.
The mineral resources are important for industrial development. These consist of minerals or rocks whose concentration is suited for extraction and utilization by man for various purposes.
In the subsoil we do not only find rocks and minerals, but also another resource that is very important: water, that is concentrated mainly in the layer that is no more than 750 metres deep. As it is one of the principal resources that has enabled the development of life on the Earth, we have dedicated it a special section, which you can refer to for more detailed information.

subjects dealt with in Subsoil

terra_400x225_0008_rocce e minerali

Rocks and minerals

Minerals are solid substances that are present in nature and can be made of one element or more elements combined…

terra_400x225_0006_terremoti

Earthquakes

An earthquake, as the word itself describes, is a quake or a movement of the Earth, also known as seism…

terra_400x225_0009_il sottosuolo una risorsa

Subsoil: a resource

Easily pliable limestones, sandstones and igneus rocks are often used for some specific constructions, like frames, building fronts, columns and…

terra_400x225_0010_i giacimenti del sottosuolo

Mineral deposits

Modern industrial society consumes high quantities of energy for heating, transport and industries. The main energy sources are natural fuels,…

special reports

  • terremotol

    20 March 2011 / Earth

    The earthquake in Japan

    In-depth on the earthquake in Japan Japan is one of the countries in which earthquakes occur most frequently. The reason…

    van_alllen

    16 July 2013 / Earth

    Van Allen belts

    The spectacular phenomenon of polar auroras The Van Allen belts are responsible for polar auroras, one of the most fascinating…

    Tsunami_Maldive

    5 January 2005 / Earth

    Tsunami in the Maldives

    The tsunami On the 26th December 2004, an earthquake that took place 300 km west of the Island of Sumatra…

  • magneti

    8 November 2013 / Earth

    Magnets and superconductors

    The phenomenon of magnetism Which one of us has not played at attracting small pieces of iron with a magnet?…

    shalegas

    10 January 2012 / Energy

    Shale gas

    The golden age of gas The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an international organisation that represents one of the points…

    giacimentisottoighiacci

    6 September 2009 / Energy

    Oil fields beneath the ice

    New borders As global warming is causing the ocean ice to disappear, the Arctic Sea bottom has become the object…

  • Natural gas flame

    15 September 2008 / Energy

    Natural gas

    Natural gas Natural gas has been the last fossil fuel to assert itself on a global scale. For over a…

    dieci_anni_di_domanda_di_petrolio

    10 March 2015 / Energy

    Ten years of oil demand

    World oil demand Eni has recently published the thirteenth edition of the 2014 World Oil and Gas Review, the annual…

    piccoli_passi

    13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

  • terremotol

    20 March 2011 / Earth

    The earthquake in Japan

    In-depth on the earthquake in Japan Japan is one of the countries in which earthquakes occur most frequently. The reason…

    van_alllen

    16 July 2013 / Earth

    Van Allen belts

    The spectacular phenomenon of polar auroras The Van Allen belts are responsible for polar auroras, one of the most fascinating…

  • Tsunami_Maldive

    5 January 2005 / Earth

    Tsunami in the Maldives

    The tsunami On the 26th December 2004, an earthquake that took place 300 km west of the Island of Sumatra…

    magneti

    8 November 2013 / Earth

    Magnets and superconductors

    The phenomenon of magnetism Which one of us has not played at attracting small pieces of iron with a magnet?…

  • shalegas

    10 January 2012 / Energy

    Shale gas

    The golden age of gas The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an international organisation that represents one of the points…

    giacimentisottoighiacci

    6 September 2009 / Energy

    Oil fields beneath the ice

    New borders As global warming is causing the ocean ice to disappear, the Arctic Sea bottom has become the object…

  • terremotol

    20 March 2011 / Earth

    The earthquake in Japan

    In-depth on the earthquake in Japan Japan is one of the countries in which earthquakes occur most frequently. The reason…

  • van_alllen

    16 July 2013 / Earth

    Van Allen belts

    The spectacular phenomenon of polar auroras The Van Allen belts are responsible for polar auroras, one of the most fascinating…

  • Tsunami_Maldive

    5 January 2005 / Earth

    Tsunami in the Maldives

    The tsunami On the 26th December 2004, an earthquake that took place 300 km west of the Island of Sumatra…

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