The geological studies in the university date back to the middle of the nineteenth century when Colonel Sir Proby Cautley (who was responsible for establishing the Thomason Engineering College) was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, London, for his pioneering work on the vertebrate fossils of the Shivalik Ranges. Later Henry Benedict Medlicot, who was also admitted as the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1877, occupied the Chair in Geology and Experimental Sciences at Thomason College.
The Department of Earth Sciences, formerly the Department of Geology and Geophysics, was established in 1960. During the span of six decades, the department has become one of the foremost centres of research, post graduate training and consultancy in the field of Earth Sciences. The department has been the recipient of financial aid under the prestigious Special Assistance and COSIST programmes of UGC (Ministry of Human Resources and development, Govt. of India).
The faculty is engaged in a number of research projects sponsored by the Govt. of India agencies like Min. of Earth Sciences, CSIR, DST, ONGC, etc, and the consultancy projects sponsored by various industries and government agencies. The department has Hamrock Society in which all faculty and students are members.