Right now our "What topics can I ask about" page is bland and not too informative. It basically says "go look around and figure out what is on-topic". I'm looking for proposals of content to include on that page. In particular it would be helpful to include cases where specific requirements are in place, e.g:

Overall we should flesh out some text for what is specifically on-topic (geology, meteorology, planetary science, etc), any cases with requirements for posting (identification, homework) and things that are specifically off-topic perhaps with pointers on where to go ask those type of questions.

Include any text proposals in the answers below and I'll combine them in a CW answer below:

  • $\begingroup$ All I hope is that we can somehow signal that questions starting with "Creationists claim..." or mentioning Noah are almost never (ever?) on topic. Other off-topic stuff seems to get dealt with fairly swiftly AFAICT. $\endgroup$
    – kwinkunks
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ @kwinkunks I put some proposed text in a CW answer below. If you want to write up a note about those kind of questions you can stick it in the text I wrote as a bullet point below the rock-id notes. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 14:29

2 Answers 2


This text is now alive at help/on-topic with the text of revision 5. This is, however, a living text and can be continually improved. If you make edits to this text, ping me in the comments and we can update the help-center text.

What topics can I ask about here?

The Earth Science Stack Exchange is for questions related to earth science disciplines.

If your question is about:

  • meteorology
  • geophysics
  • geology
  • climatology
  • oceanography
  • geochemistry
  • hydrology

then you are in the right place. The above list is not exhaustive, so if you feel your question is about earth science, go ahead and post it. You can also ask about these topics in reference to other planets that fall under the umbrella of planetary science. You are also welcome to ask questions about techniques or data sources related to these disciplines.

We welcome questions at different levels of expertise, but we expect that all questions are precise and answerable in the stack exchange Q&A format. Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

Some notes:

  • If your are posting an identification request question, please provide as much detail as possible with pictures and reply to comments on your question. For rock identification requests see the rock identification guidelines before posting your question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Earth Science Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site (e.g. Physics, Chemistry). If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area51.


This Q&A is for questions related to earth science disciplines like meteorology, geophysics, geology, oceanography, geochemistry, hydrology etc.

Questions can be about the subject of theses disciplines but also about related techniques or data sources.

We welcome questions at different levels of expertise, but we expect that all questions are precise and answerable in a Q&A format.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the input. I've written up a bit of text and included your suggestion in a CW answer below. Take a look at it and feel free to edit if you want. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ Your post pretty much reflects my understanding but leaves out the "related techniques or data sources" idea. $\endgroup$
    – BHF
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I put that part in, not sure where it went in my original copy/paste. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 18:47

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