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Branches of Geology

Learn about the various branches of Geology such as Physical Geology, Historical Geology, etc.
Submitted by Devyani Nagare, on February 25, 2022

Geology signifies the study of the Earth and enfolds the multi-disciplinary of science and the study of Earth. Geology help to understand the structure of the Earth and its features. Enables us to learn the Earth’s fascinating history and the transformation that earth has taken. Geology is subject that covers a vast array of topics. It includes the different branches, in addition to its core branches, the recent advancement in geology has led the specialized sciences like geophysics, geochemistry, seismology, oceanography, and remote sensing.

The three major subdivisions of geology are physical geology, historical geology, and environmental geology. Whereas there are over 100+ sub-branches in Geology. In the past, Geology was divided into two comprehensive areas; physical geology and historical geology.

Let's take a look at this both divisions in detail:

1) Physical Geology

This subject of geology deals with the fundamental study of the earth's components like rocks, minerals, and soils, their origination, and their geological processes. The physical changes on Earth form continuous change. Including the movement of great mountains erosion, deposition, and so on with various shape features on Earth's surface. Physical geology involves the study of the Solar system, the  Earth's origin, weathering,  geological work of river, lake, glacier, wind, sea, and groundwater. It also involves the study of natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, and more. The overall study of engineering geology involves the interactions of the earth's crust and human-made structures.

Physical geology delivers the foundation for all other earth science branches.

2) Historical Geology

The earth has experienced several transformations over years. This subject covers the overall Historical geology that focuses on the origin and evolution of Earth's life. Just not history but it involves the sequential changes that evolved during the past billions of years on the planet.

The historical records are conserved and studied from the layered rocks of the crust. Historical geology is also known as Stratigraphical Geology.

Geology is considered a historical science. The subjects covered by physical geology are much more similar to historical geology. Historical geology outstretches physical geology into the past with certain processes. Entangles the different Branches of Geology like Paleontology, petrology, structural geology, and more.

There are many more different methods used to determine the history:

  • Stratigraphy
  • Structural geology
  • Paleontology
  • Sedimentology
  • Relative dating
  • Absolute dating

The field of geology is very large and it is divided into several branches. So, we will discuss several branches of geology.

It is easier to categorize the Geology branches to focus on the specific area. The first category that we are going to cover is the Geology branch that focuses on Natural resources.

Natural Resources:

The natural resource of the earth is abundant, and rocks are available in large amounts and types. In this branch of geology, the study of rocks, terrain, and material is carried out. 

To make the study better, the natural resource is divided into different branches of geology. 

  • Petrology: The study of how the formation of a type of rocks that are igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary in their atmosphere takes place. 
  • Soil sciences: Study of soil as a natural resource including its classification, physical, chemical, and fertility properties.
  • Agronomy, Edaphology, and Pedology are precisely related to soil science.
  • Pedology: Involves the classification of soil based on its biological, physical, and chemical properties.
  • Edaphology: Study of soil's impact on plant growth and living things.
  • Agronomy or Agrology: Study of involvement of agriculture filed in the science like crop production, biotechnology, and soil science. Both the branches are accountable for the food study. 
  • Mineralogy: This branch of geology involves the study of minerals. Examining chemical and crystalline structures in minerals. The scientific study of crystal structure, chemistry, and physical properties of minerals.  
  • Gemology: Study of both the natural and artificial gems.
  • Crystallography: The study of crystals includes the experimental science of determining atom arrangement and bonds in crystalline solids. Studying the properties and inner structures of crystals. 
  • Hydrogeology: Study of groundwater, its transportation, and distribution in soil, rock, and Earth’s crust.
  • Pomology: Study of fruits growth and cultivation.
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