Transcript for Wrestling with Uncertainty, segment 04 of 16

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They ran about knappin' on the stones with hammers. They say 'tis to discover how the world was made.

Like Robert Burns, most geologists are storytellers at heart. We piece together a tale of how the world works from clues we read in rocks like these, and when these rocks are covered by trees or water or lie below the surface, we use techniques such as seismology to gain a view of what is hidden. We interpret the clues we see by observing what is happening on the surface today. Forty to fifty million years from now these beach sands may well become a reservoir rock for oil, and by understanding the processes by which these deposits form and comparing it to ancient rocks, we begin to develop a history for the outer shell of the Earth. This reconstruction of past events is the critical element in finding oil and gas, and it's also the foundation for the National Assessment.

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