The loss of professional experience and expertise in the domain of the earth sciences may prove to be one of the most serious outcomes of the boom-and-bust cyclic nature of the volatile energy and mining industries. Promising new applications of powerful computer systems, known as "expert systems" or "knowledge-based systems", are predicted for use in the earth sciences. These systems have the potential capability to capture and preserve the invaluable knowledge bases essential to the evaluation of the Nation's energy and mineral resources.

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