What is Geology. Its main branches.

Geology is a Science which is devoted to the study of the Earth. It deals with all the features of earth’s surface, its origin, composition, structure, history, inhabitants and processes of change in its features. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.

What Does a Geologist Do?

Geologists all through the globe work to understand the history of our planet. The better they can understand Earth’s history, the better they can foresee how events and processes of the past might influence the future. Here are some examples:

Geologists study Earth processes:   Our Earth goes through many process like earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcanic action which can be hazardous to people. The work Geologists is to understand these processes well enough to avoid building important structures where they might be damaged. Keeping in view the past record of hazard of a specific region, a geologist can predict the future threats associated with that particular region. They can draw maps on the basis of past history of a region which can be used to guide the development of communities and determine where flood protection or flood insurance is needed.

Geologists study Earth materials:   Life is dependent on Earth and its material. Meeting the daily use needs people use earth material. We eat food, which is grown on the Earth surface. We use water, Earth is the only source of it. We build houses from rocks present on Earth. We use fuel which is extracted from the Earth. Even a precious stone used in an ornament is taken from the Earth. There are more than 120 known elements which are used as fundamental need of human being. None these elements is imported from any other planet. Geologists conduct studies that locate these useful materials that are important for us, plan the mines that produce them and the methods used to remove the metals from the rocks. They do similar work to locate and produce oil, natural gas, and groundwater.

Geologists study Earth history:   Climate change is the biggest concern of the today’s scientists. Upcoming climatic changes can well be studied in the light of past climatic history. Many geologists are working to learn about the past climates of Earth and how they have changed across time. This historical geology news information is valuable to understand how our current climate is changing and what the results might be.

Branches of Geology:

The field of geology is very vast. Studying the subject in a consolidated form is impossible for both learners and researchers. The subject is, therefore divided into many branches in order to create convenience. The most important branches of Geology are as under;

  • Physical Geology: Physical Geology deals with the work of natural processes which bring about changes upon the earth’s surface. For example earthquakes, volcanic eruption, land sliding, process of erosion, rains and storms etc.
  • Mineralogy: Minerology includes the study mineral composition, structure, appearance, stability, occurrence and associations.
  • Structural Geology: This branch of Geology concerns with structures of rocks present in earth’s crust.
  • Petrology: The discussion of different kinds of rocks, their occurrence, composition, process through which they came into existence and their structure is known as Petrology.
  • Geomorphology: The Branch of geology which focuses the study of the physical features of the surface of the earth and their relation to its geological structures.
  • Stratigraphy: Stratigraphy is a science of the description, correlation and classification of strata in sedimentary rocks including the interpretation of the depositional environment of those strata.
  • Paleontology: Science of fossils of ancient life form and their evolution is known as Paleontology.
  • Historical Geology: The combined study of Stratigraphy and Paleontology is known as Historical Geology. In this subject we study the history of sedimentary rocks and life form buried under those rocks.
  • Economic Geology: The economic geology deal with the economic importance of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and rock material.
  • Mining Geology: Application of geological studies to mining engineering is called Mining Geology.
  • Engineering Geology: It deals with the study of application of geology to civil engineering. For before building a bridge we need to study the geological features of that particular region. Constructing roads geological survey is a prerequisite.
  • Geochemistry: Geochemistry is the science that uses the tools and principles of chemistry to explain the mechanisms behind major geological systems such as the Earth’s crust and its oceans. Mainly chemical composition and chemical changes and effect of chemical activities on Earth’s material is studied in this branch.
  • Geophysics: Geophysics is a subject of natural science concerned with the physical processes and physical properties of the Earth and its surrounding space environment, and the use of quantitative methods for their analysis.
  • Spectral Geology:  It is the measurement and analysis of portions of the electromagnetic spectrum to identify spectrally distinct and physically significant features of different rock types and surface materials, their mineralogy and their alteration signatures.
  • Biogeology: In geology we study interaction between biosphere (where life is present) and lithosphere (rigid part of earth). In biogeology we study the dependence of life on lithospher and impact of living organisms on lithosphere.
  • Environmental Geology;  is the study of the interactions between humans and their geologic environment: rocks, water, air, soil, life. Environmental geology, like hydrogeology, is an applied science concerned with the practical application of the principles of geology in the solving of environmental problems. It is a multidisciplinary field that is closely related to engineering geology and, to a lesser extent, to environmental geography.
  • Geologic Modeling: Geologic modelling, geological modelling or geomodelling is the applied science of creating computerized representations of portions of the Earth’s crust based on geophysical and geological observations made on and below the Earth surface.
  • Hydrogeology: The distribution and movement of groundwater in the soil and rocks of the Earth’s crust is studied under the discipline of geology called Hydrology.
  • Marine Geology: Marine geology which is also called geological oceanography is the study of the history and structure of the ocean floor. It involves geophysical, geochemical, sedimentological and paleontological investigations of the ocean floor and coastal zone. Marine geology has strong ties to geophysics and to physical oceanography.
  • Volcanology: Study of volcanic eruption, lava, magma and related geological, geophysical and geochemical phenomena. The term volcanology is derived from the Latin word vulcan. Vulcan was the ancient Roman god of fire.
  • Petroleum Geology: Petroleum geology is the study of origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of hydrocarbon fuels i.e crude oil, natural gase and coal. It refers to the specific set of geological disciplines that are applied to the search for hydrocarbons.


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