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  The 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
  • 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  The scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them
  • Geophysics  physics of the Earth and its vicinity
  • Historical geology  The study of the geological history of Earth
  • Hydrogeology  Study of the distribution and movement of groundwater
  • Marine geology  The study of the history and structure of the ocean floor
  • Mineralogy  Scientific study of minerals and mineralised artifacts
  • Mining geology  The extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth
  • Paleontology  The scientific study of life prior to roughly 11,700 years ago
  • Petroleum geology  The study of the origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of hydrocarbon fuels
  • Petrology  The branch of geology that studies the origin, composition, distribution and structure of rocks
  • Sedimentology  The study of natural sediments and of the processes by which they are formed
  • Stratigraphy  The study of rock layers and their formation
  • Structural geology  Science of the description and interpretation of deformation in the Earth's crust
  • Volcanology  The 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  The 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
    • 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  Large geologic basins that are below sea level
    • 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  The outermost solid shell of a rocky planet, dwarf planet, or natural satellite
    • Rift  A linear zone where the Earth's crust is being pulled apart, and is an example of extensional tectonics

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":[1]

Influential geologists

Geology lists

See also