2. The science which includes the structure and mineral constitution of the globe; structural geology.
3. The study or science of the earth, its history, and its life as recorded in the rocks; includes the study of geologic features of an area; such as, the geometry of rock formations, weathering and erosion, and sedimentation.
They include the plotting of the orientation of such structural features as faults, joints, cleavage, small folds, and the attitude of beds with respect to three-dimensional space.
A common objective is to interpret the structure at some depth below the surface of the earth.
It is possible to determine, with some degree of accuracy, the structure beneath the surface by using information available at the surface of the earth.
They are analyzed in order to determine their structure, composition, and interrelationships and are examined for remains of past life.
Historical geology includes paleontology, the systematic study of past life forms; stratigraphy, of layered rocks and their interrelationships; as well as, the locations of ancient land masses and their boundaries; and geologic mapping, the superimposing of geologic information upon existing topographic maps.
Its scope of study is vast, ranging from submicroscopic lattice defects in crystals to fault structures and fold systems of the earth’s crust.
Methods of structural geology
Small-scale structural features may be studied using the same general techniques that are employed in petrology, in which sections of rock mounted on glass slides are ground very thin and are then examined with polarizing microscopes.
On a larger scale, the techniques of field geology are used which include plotting the orientation of such structural features as faults, joints, cleavage, and small folds.
In most cases, the objective is to interpret the structure beneath the surface by using information available at the surface.
Where mountains, continents, ocean basins, and other large-scale features are involved, the methods employed are chiefly those of geophysics and include the use of seismological, magnetic, and gravitational techniques.
It is divided into such branches as: mineralogy (the minerals of the earth), petrology (rocks), stratigraphy (the deposition of successive beds of sedimentary rocks), paleontology (fossils), and tectonics (the deformation and movement of the earth's crust).
- Almanac of Geography by National Geographic; Washington, D.C.; 2005.
- Introduction to Historical Geology; by Raymond C. Moore; McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.; New York; 1958.
- Physical Geology by Anatole Dolgoff; Houghton Mifflin Company; Boston, Massachusetts; 1998.
- Volcanoes and Earthquakes by Jon Erickson; Tab Books, Inc.; Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania; 1987.
- World Explorers and Discoverers; Edited by Richard E. Bohlander; MacMillan Publishing Company; New York; 1992.