Geology is an earth science that provides first-hand evidence for the evolution of life, plate tectonics, and the Earth’s past climates. This article focuses in some detail on the significant concepts of geology.
Researchers also study natural satellites such as the Moon and Mars under geological sciences. Modern geology, however, overlaps several other earth sciences, including atmospheric science and hydrology.
The basic geology concepts are plate tectonics, Earth’s systems, geologic time, Earth’s minerals, Earth’s structure, fossils, weathering and erosion, processes that shape the Earth, radioactivity, and rock composition rock cycle. Let’s look at some of these concepts in detail.
This concept describes the extensive interval of time that the history of the Earth occupies. The geologic time divides all the time in the Earth’s history into named units in descending order of duration – eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages.
The earth system integrates material ad energy interactions between the Earth’s sub-systems’ cycles, processes, and spheres. The major components of the earth system are the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Below is an overview of these four features of the study of geology.
This is the part of the earth system that consists of rock and minerals. Majorly, it is the solid crust of the Earth, the molten mantle, and the liquid and substantial parts of the core. The geosphere is responsible for soil formation through which the various minerals become available to living organisms. It, therefore, forms a habitat for many forms of life. Besides, it is subject to the processes of weathering, erosion, tectonic forces, and volcanic activity. These processes contribute to the landforms such as valleys.
This is the gaseous layer that surrounds the geosphere. It is held by the Earth’s gravity. Besides, the atmosphere receives energy from solar radiation and redistributes heat and moisture across the Earth’s surface.
This is the part of the earth system majorly composed of water either in liquid, gaseous, or solid form. It includes oceans and seas of the Earth, sea ice and glaciers, ice sheets, lakes, rivers and streams, areas of permafrost, and atmospheric moisture and ice crystals. It also includes both saltwater and freshwater systems, soil water, and groundwater.
This system composes of all the living organisms. The biosphere is intimately related to all the other methods as all the living organisms require water from the hydrosphere, gases from the atmosphere, and nutrients and minerals from the geosphere. Besides, all the organisms require and are adapted to specific habitats such as soils, air, or water, which are part of the geosphere, atmosphere, or geosphere, respectively.
According to the plate tectonic theory, the Earth’s solid outer crust, also known as the lithosphere, occurs in the form of separate plates that move over the molten upper mantle known as the asthenosphere. This theory means that both the continental and oceanic plates spread apart, come together, and interact at boundaries all over the planet.
This concept of geology is a significant contributor to earth sciences. It provided the uniform context for understanding earth formation processes such as mountain building, earthquakes, volcanoes, and the construction of continents and oceans.
In addition, plate tectonics may sometimes result in the formation of boudinage structures in geology. This will, however, majorly occur where the surrounding systems are less competent or have a lower degree of resistance to deformation.
Summarily, geology is studying the Earth, the materials making up the Earth, the structure and composition of the materials, and the earth processes that affect them. As an earth science, it was naturally more concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks, and their dynamics.