The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) is responsible for all specialized earth science works in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from the basic works on geologic mapping to the conduct of applied geoscientific studies, especially on mineral and groundwater explorations and the development of mineral resources, including the provisions of investment opportunities in the field of mining. According to the SGS Statute, the SGS administers the priority programs of the government that are focused on hydrogeological, environmental, and engineering geology studies and the monitoring of geologic hazards, seismic and volcanic activities. The SGS serves as the main source of scientific information in Saudi Arabia in the form of technical reports, geologic maps, mineral resources, and other relevant geologic data about the Kingdom.

In addition to the conduct of specialized works, the SGS now also carries out all of the surveys and exploration works that were previously mandated to be undertaken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources through its Deputy Ministry for Mineral Resources, its Deputy Ministry for Aerial Surveying as well as by the companies and missions that have been awarded with survey contracts by the Ministry.

Earth science in Saudi Arabia also finds its important applications in the domain of land use, which requires the twinning of social/economic and environmental concepts. The technological development and financial boom of industrial societies initially led to a failure to pay sufficient attention to this fact. This blatant disregard has resulted in the tangible destruction of the natural environment and its resources, along with the intensification of impacts of geological hazards and the vulnerabilities of man and his properties to natural disasters as well as the detrimental effects of increased urban and infrastructural developments.

Therefore, the SGS had to develop a strategy that regards the Earth’s surface as a real fourth dimension of space that constitutes a natural environment with unique characteristics and with significant potentials for comprehensive sustainable development. Represented in this dimension are the elements of space, ground, water, energy, air, Earth resources, humans, and human activities, all of which are important elements in the achievement of an ideal environment, where we want to live. The resources of this dimension are limited, non-renewable, and exhaustible, and have already been partially destroyed due to human activities. However, geology can play very important and crucial roles in optimizing the uses of these resources, if there are clearly defined objectives and policies that are established with regards to this very delicate balance between the natural environment and man.