Where do the Earth’s riches come from? main content.

Where do the Earth’s riches come from?

Part of Hall of Planet Earth.

Where Do Earth's Riches Come From? AMNH/D.Finnin

Exhibition Text

The Earth’s resources — everything from oil and gas to metal ores to fresh water — are the basis of modern civilization. One of the most important processes in the formation of these resources is the flow of fluids through rock. Flowing hot water dissolves metals and concentrates them in ore deposits. Decayed organic matter flows through cracks and pores in rocks to accumulate in oil reservoirs. Water flowing underground collects in porous rocks and forms aquifers, which are tapped for fresh water.

For Educators

Topic: Earth Science

Subtopic: Minerals and Resources

Keywords: Petroleum reserves, Natural resources, Hydrogeology, ore deposits, groundwater

Audience: General