The Many Wonders of Geology

Table of Content


Chapter 1

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Geology is a very important subject in science and for the purpose of this study we would begin by looking at basic things in Geology. Let us first of all define Geology. Geology is the study of the Earth, its processes, its materials, its history, and its effect on humans and life in general.  Rocks, crystals, mountains, earthquakes, volcanoes, rivers, glaciers, landslides, floods, and many other subjects fall into this broad field of research.  Geologists perform a wide range of important services for our civilization: they determine the stability of building sites, find abundant supplies of clean water, search for valuable deposits of natural resources such as iron, coal, and oil, and they also try to minimize the threat to communities at risk from geologic hazards.

Let’s now look at some basic components in geology. As Geology is the study of the Earth, Its materials, its history, it would be important to look at; Minerals and what there are made of, Rocks and the rocks cycle, Earth layers and moving plates, fossils and earth history. So lets begin with Minerals and what there are made of Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. They are non-living, solid, and, like all matter, are made of atoms of elements there are many different types of minerals and each type is made of particular groups of atoms.

The atoms are arranged in a network called a crystal lattice. The lattice of atoms is what gives a mineral its crystal shape Different types of minerals have different crystal shapes. Most minerals can grow into crystal shapes if they have enough space as they grow. But there are often so many different crystals growing in the same little area that they all compete for space and none of the crystals is able to grow very large.

It would be important to look at types of geology.Hydrogelogy; the branch of geology that deals with the occurrence, distribution of ground water. Geophysics the study of the earth and its environment. Geochemistry the study of composition and alterations, of solid matter of the earth or a celestial body, the study of the chemical composition of the earth of the actual or possible changes, in the crust of the earth.Oceonography the exploration and the scientific study of oceans and its phenomena. Paleontology the study of the forms of life and its existing prehistoric or geologic times as represented by fossils of plants animals and other organisms. Petrology is the branch of geology that deals with origin, composition and structure of rocks. Petroleum geology is the economic branch of geology that deals with the occurrence and exploitation of oil and gas. Sedimentary geology is the branch of geology relating to rocks and deposition of sediments. Structural geology is a branch of geology relating to the structure of rocks and other aspect of the earth crust.

It was however important to look at the various aspects of geology as this would give us a broad perspective about what geology is all about and its is important to know it even as it will make us understand how important and relevant this subject is. Geology a very important and interesting subject it is also a very wide subject and the knowledge of geology will help us prevent a lot of disasters and it will make us better prepared for the future. It is

 Important to know that without geology there is know future.

Chapter 2

Now for better understanding of these basic parts of geology let’s look at them individually beginning with Hydrology: Hydrology is the science that encompasses the occurrence, distribution, movement and properties of the waters of the earth and their relationship with the environment within each phase of the hydrologic cycle. The hydrologic cycle is a continuous process by which water is purified by evaporation and transported from the earth’s surface (including the oceans) to the atmosphere and back to the land and oceans. All of the physical, chemical and biological processes involving water as it travels it various path in the atmosphere, over and beneath the earth’s surface and through growing plants, are of interest to those who study the hydrologic cycle. There are many pathways the water may take in its continuous cycle of falling as rainfall or snowfall and returning to the atmosphere. It may be captured for millions of years in polar ice caps. It may flow to rivers and finally to the sea. It may soak into the soil to be evaporated directly from the soil surface as it dries or be transpired by growing plants. It may percolate through the soil to groundwater reservoirs (aquifers) to be stored or it may flow to wells or springs or back to streams by seepage. The cycle for water may be short, or it may take millions of years. People tap the water cycle for their own uses. Water is diverted temporarily from one part of the cycle by pumping it from the ground or drawing it from a river or lake. It is used for a variety of activities such as households, businesses and industries; for transporting wastes through sewers; for irrigation of farms and parklands; and for production of electric power.

Lets now look at geophysics in a broad perspective; as the name implies, geophysics involves the application of physical theories and measurements to discover the properties of the earth. The disciplines dates to antiquity, mainly as a scientific approach to earthquake prediction (A problem still unsolved), but major progress began in the late 1500s with initial work in such areas as magnetism and gravity. Tremendous improvements in instrumentation in the early years of the 20th century generated rapid progress in geophysics and ultimately led, in the 1960s, to the theory of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics, the study of the interior structure of the earth, and such related areas as global and regional processes are known collectively as solid earth geophysics. The sub discipline known as exploration geophysics involves the use of geophysical theory and instrumentation to locate petroleum and other mineral sources. Unlike solid earth geophysics, exploration geophysics generally concentrates on finding lateral heterogeneities in a relatively small part of the earth’s crust. Because we still have other topics to look at in geology lets go on and look at other components of geology. And its is important to understand that geophysics is a very wide subject but then for the purpose of this study we would cover as many topics in geology as possible and this would however give us a broad understanding and perspective about geology.

Let’s now look at Paleontology: paleontology is the study of what fossils tell us about the ecologies of the past, about evolution, and about our place, as humans, in the world. Paleontology incorporates knowledge from biology, geology, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, and even computer science to understand the processes that have led to the origination and eventual destruction of the different types of organisms since life arose. The exhibits that we have set up here are created by paleontogists. More than just an overview of the diversity that has existed through time on this planet, the exhibits also highlights some of the research that paleontologists are conducting at the Museum of Paleontology. Paleontology is traditionally divided into various sub disciplines: Micropaleontology: Study of generally microscopic fossils, regardless of the group to which they belong. Paleobotany: Study of fossil plants; traditionally includes the study of fossil algae and fungi in addition to land plants. Paleontology: Study of pollen and spores, both living and fossil, produced by land plants and protists. Invertebrate Paleontology: Study of invertebrate animal fossils, such as mollusks, echinoderms, and others. Vertebrate Paleontology: Study of vertebrate fossils, from primitive fishes to mammals. Human Paleontology (Paleoanthropology): The study of prehistoric human and proto-human fossils. Taphonomy: Study of the processes of decay, preservation, and the formation of fossils in general. Iconology: Study of fossil tracks, trails, and footprints. Pale ecology: Study of the ecology and climate of the past, as revealed both by fossils and by other methods.

Let’s look at Petrology and specifically organic petrology Organic Petrology is the branch of earth science dealing with the origin, occurrence, structure, and history of sedimentary organic matter (OM). Petrology is broader in scope than petrography, which is concerned mostly with the description and classification of sedimentary OM. Thus, organic petrology, broadly defined, includes virtually all aspects of OM-bearing rocks, and encompasses all possible analytical methods. The fields of organic petrology and organic geochemistry are covered in these general reference works the great complexity, heterogeneity, and non-crystalline nature of sedimentary OM poses difficult analytical challenges to organic petrologists. Investigation of such complex materials both requires effective classification system(s) and a diverse “grab bag “of analytical techniques. Historically, the optical microscope has provided one of the most useful tools in this effort, as it takes advantage of the remarkable ability of the human eye to recognize systematic patterns in complex systems; but emphasis in recent years has shifted more toward geochemical analysis methods, including solvent extraction, various pyrolysis methods, gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. One of the important functions of TSOP is to keep its members apprised of new developments in these diverse areas of specialization relating to organic petrology and to ensure that researchers around the world are “speaking the same language” and using reproducible methodologies in their investigations

Chapter 3

Let’s now look at Geology and other types of study in geology. What is geology?  What is a geologist?

GEO earth or of the earth, logy – science or study of

Geologist – a person that studies the earth

Types of studies?

Fossils – paleontology

Earthquakes – seismology

Water – hydrology

Volcanoes – volcano logy

Minerals – mineralogy

Oil and gas – petroleum geology

Landforms – petrography

Mapping – cartography

 What other sciences does geology encompass?

Engineering, architecture, paleontology, hydrology, forestry, biology, botany, chemistry, archeology, history, entomology, mining, metallurgy, agriculture, astronomy, geophysics, construction

 What do geologists make?

Maybe maps, studies.  But it’s what’s made from the things geologists find. What do they find?

Minerals, oil, gas, water, rock.  Examples – car-metal, glass, plastics, ceramics, gasoline, oil, grease.

Metals, gemstone, oil, water, coal, natural gas, asphalt, cement

Jewelry – gold/silver/platinum/turquoise/topaz/diamond/emerald

Fertilizer – potash, potassium,

Medicines – talc, borax

building – gypsum, iron/steel, aluminum, wiring, walls, posts, nails, beams, screws, pipe, siding, windows, doors, roofs, stone

Buildings, dams, homes, space, moon, planets, other solar systems

Food – eat tums, salt

Fuel – coal, natural gas, oil, gasoline, uranium,

Metal – iron, tin, zinc, and lead, copper, nickel, silver,

Get metals by refining and smelting Rocks on earth

Igneous – extrusive or intrusive, no fossils, crystalline, cooling of magma or lava, magma is hot molten material that does not reach the surface. Volcanoes, dikes, lava flows.  Basalt, granite, obsidian

sedimentary – erosion or chemical, history of source rock, gravel, sand, clay, soil, lime, fossils, sand to , clay to shale, lime to limestone, rocks and gravel to conglomerates.

metamorphic – temperature and pressure, deformation, crystalline “changed form” like a caterpillar to a butterfly, limestone to marble, ss to quartzite, igneous to gneiss What changes rocks?

Time, depth, heat of the earth, weathering – water/cold/heat of the sun/wind, plants, animals, chemicals, man How old is the earth? HO

4.5 BYOHow do we know? HO

Age dating, rates of earth processes like cooling, erosion, deposition, tying rocks with age dating, radioactive isotopes, meteorites

Earth history

Most of earth’s history it was a hot molten mass, cooling by loss of heat to space and degassing from volcanoes and surface magma created an atmosphere,

Gravity captured light matter in form of gas, liquid in mainly form of water, solids not heavy metals created surface, heavy metals to center and still molten

But carbon on our planet is interesting. Carbon is able to form bonds with other carbon i long chains.  Eventually a carbon molecule was created in the seas that could reproduce itself.  On our planet that molecule was deoxyribonucleic acid and became the building block for all life on earth.

 Solids in form of plates were created.  Silica a light element formed a thin crusty surface called the lithosphere.  But this surface easily crashed under the stresses and movement of the earth core like the egg of an eggshell.

Creating cracks where the molten core could come up and this created a slightly heavier plate from the heavier metals in the earth and are commonly associated with the sea as oceanic plates. Volcanoes/geysers

Volcanoes – where magma reaches the surface usually under great pressure and explosive, lava flows

Can be formed when two plates converge

Geyser – where water reaches molten magma core, it steams and builds up like in a kettle then erupts,


Most happen along plate boundaries, but many can happen anywhere.  No place is there an unbroken plate of crust.  We live near a very large fracture zone and those fractures can still move today, and are still moving

California – san Andres


Crustal uplift, volcanic action, erosion of surrounding rock.

 Where can you find rocks?

Well, everywhere.  Quarries, road cuts, buildings, mines, caves, outcrops, road gravel

What rock are some buildings made of here? Limestone, just like the pyramids

Who should you go with?

A knowledgeable adult with proper gear.

 What type of gear?

Hard hat, lens, picks, hammers, safety glasses, sample bags, gloves, maps, notebook, pens, rulers, brunt on compass, compass, walking stick (bear story) etc

 Safety animals – bear, wolf, coyote, deer, cougar/puma/mountain lion, and rattlesnakes (story) Bugs – scorpions, spiders, wasps, bees (killer bees), ants (fire ants), ticks, mosquitoes/flies/gnats

Nature – loose rocks, cliffs (story), caves/mines never go in one or create your own-falling stuff

Trenches, pits, holes, shafts (story), trees

Plants – poison ivy/oak, berries, mushrooms

Rocks and minerals in the field

Color – on scratch plate

Luster – reflected light dully, shiny or greasy

Cleavage – how it breaks up, layers/along minerals/powders

Limestone – drop HCl on it

Hardness – Mohs.

In conclusion geology is a very wide topic and we can discuss every thing about it even in a year but this is contained in this study covers virtually every thing in geology and this is more like a summary of the length and breathe of geology.


1.Mark Andrew Peter, Geology in Broad Perspective,1988,..Dannok Publishing House.


Cite this page

The Many Wonders of Geology. (2017, Jan 22). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront