It matters for many reasons! By seeing underneath the ground we learn more about how the North American continent was put together, and how it has changed through time. One practical example of this is learning more about geologic hazards, like earthquakes and volcanoes. Not all dangerous faults reach the earth’s surface, and EarthScope helps us to peer into the earth and better understand these faults and the threats that they might pose to cities and people. EarthScope also helps us understand why there are volcanoes in certain places, and lets scientists explore and understand the "plumbing" of volcanoes, including Yellowstone. In addition, we can study lots of smaller geologic mysteries – there could be an EarthScope project in your backyard! Check out our "Field Programs".