Outline of geology

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to geology:

Geology – one of the Earth sciences – is the study of the Earth, with the general exclusion of present-day life, flow within the ocean, and the atmosphere. The field of geology encompasses the composition, structure, physical properties, and history of Earth's components, and the processes by which it is shaped. Geologists typically study rock, sediment, soil, rivers, and natural resources.

Branches of geology

Geology applies primarily to Earth, but can be applied to any planet or extraterrestrial body.

Geology of Earth

Subdisciplines of geology:

  • Biogeology – Study of the interactions between the Earth's biosphere and the lithosphere
  • Economic geology – Science concerned with earth materials of economic value
  • Engineering geology – Application of geology to engineering practice
  • Environmental geology – Science of the practical application of geology in environmental problems.
  • Geochemistry – Science that applies chemistry to analyze geological systems
  • Geologic modelling – Applied science of creating computerized representations of portions of the Earth's crust
  • Geomorphology – Scientific study of landforms
  • Geophysics – Physics of the Earth and its vicinity
  • Historical geology – Study of the geological history of Earth
  • Hydrogeology – Study of the distribution and movement of groundwater
  • Marine geology – Study of the history and structure of the ocean floor
  • Mineralogy – Scientific study of minerals and mineralised artifacts
  • Mining geology – Extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth
  • Paleontology – Study of life before 11,700 years ago
  • Petroleum geology – Study of the origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of hydrocarbon fuels
  • Petrology – Branch of geology that studies the formation, composition, distribution and structure of rocks
  • Sedimentology – Study of natural sediments and their formation processes
  • Stratigraphy – Study of rock layers and their formation
  • Structural geology – Science of the description and interpretation of deformation in the Earth's crust
  • Volcanology – Study of volcanoes, lava, magma and associated phenomena

Planetary geology

See also: Geology of solar terrestrial planets – Geology of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Ceres

Planetary geology – Geology of astronomical objects apparently in orbit around stellar objects

Principles of geology

Geological processes

History of geology

Geologic provinces

World geologic provinces
Oceanic crust
 0–20 Ma
 20–65 Ma
 >65 Ma
Geologic provinces
 Large igneous province
 Extended crust

Geologic province – Spatial entity with common geologic attributes

Geologic provinces based on origin:

  • Shield – Large stable area of exposed Precambrian crystalline rock
    • Platform – A continental area covered by relatively flat or gently tilted, mainly sedimentary strata
  • Orogen – Zone affected by mountain formation
    • Island arc – Arc-shaped archipelago formed by intense seismic activity of long chains of active volcanoes
    • Continental arc – Type of volcanic arc occurring along a continental margin
    • Forearc – The region between an oceanic trench and the associated volcanic arc
  • Oceanic basin – Geologic basin under the sea
    • Cratonic basin – Old and stable part of the continental lithosphere
    • Foreland basin, also known as foredeep basin – Structural basin that develops adjacent and parallel to a mountain belt
  • Large igneous province – Huge regional accumulation of igneous rocks
  • Extended crust – Outermost solid shell of astronomical bodies
    • Rift – Geological linear zone where the lithosphere is being pulled apart

Plate tectonics

Occupations in geology

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles lists the following occupations in Geology, which it describes as "concerned with the investigation of the composition, structure, and physical and biological history of the earth's crust and the application of this knowledge in such fields as archeology, mining, construction, and environmental impact":

  • Crystallographer – Scientific study of crystal structures
  • Geodesist – Notable geodesists
  • Geologist – Scientist who studies geology
  • Petroleum Geologist – Earth scientist who works in geological aspects of oil discovery and production
  • Geophysical Prospector – Systematic collection of geophysical data for spatial studies
  • Geophysicist – Physics of the Earth and its vicinity
  • Hydrologist – Science of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets
  • Mineralogist – Scientific study of minerals and mineralised artifacts
  • Paleontologist – Study of life before 11,700 years ago
  • Petrologist – Branch of geology that studies the formation, composition, distribution and structure of rocks
  • Seismologist – Scientific study of earthquakes and propagation of elastic waves through a planet
  • Stratigrapher – Study of rock layers and their formation
  • Volcanologist
  • Engineer, Soils
  • Geophysical-Laboratory Chief (Alternate Titles: Director, Geophysical)
  • Geological Aide (Petrol. & Gas)
  • Prospector – The physical search for minerals
  • Paleontological Helper – Study of life before 11,700 years ago
  • Laboratory Assistant (Petrol. & Gas) (Alternate Titles: Analyst, Geochemical Prospecting; Core Analyst; Laboratory Tester)

Influential geologists

Geology lists

See also

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