The word Geology has been derived from the Greek words ‘Ge’ meaning the earth and ‘logos’ meaning science. Thus, geology is the scientific study of the earth.
The study of geology mainly concerns itself with the study of the earth’s constitution, structure and history of development as well as the outer solid shell of the earth composed of rocks, which is known as lithosphere.
Geology is a science of many facets and includes the study of:
1. Physical Geology
It deals with the endogenous (internal) and exogenous (external) agencies and the processes that bring about changes on the earth’s surface. James Hutton is regarded as the father of physical geology.
2. Geo Tectonics
It concerns with the movements of the earth’s crust and the deformations caused by them.
3. Structural Geology
It deals with the configuration of the rocks in the earth’s crust produced due to a number of forces generated both exogenously and endogenously.
It deals with the study of landforms.
It is the study of the external forms and internal atomic structure of the crystalline minerals.
It deals with the minerals, their composition, characteristics, modes of occurrence and origin.
It deals with the origin, structure, texture, mineralogical composition etc. of the different types of rocks.
It deals with the strata of sedimentary rocks, their succession, thickness, age, variations and correlations, Thus it is the study of strata as a record of geological history.
(Greek-‘Palaios’ meaning ancient and ‘Ontos’ meaning being). It is the study of fossils of plants and animals that are found in the rocks of past geological periods. They indicate the climate, age and environment of deposition of the rock unit in which they are found.
10. Economic Geology
It deals with the study of mineral deposits, their modes of formation, modes of occurrence, distribution etc.
11. Engineering Geology
It deals with the application of geological knowledge in the field of engineering for the construction of dams, bridges, tunnels, buildings, roads along hill slopes etc.
It deals with the hydrological properties of rocks and the occurrences of ground water, its movement and action.
It is a branch of geology with the application of physics which includes geodesy, seismology, meteorology, oceanography and terrestrial magnetism.
It deals with the chemical constitution of earth, the distribution and migration of various elements in various pans of the earth.
15. Mining Geology
It deals with the application of geology in the mining and extraction of minerals.
The knowledge of geology is of exceptionally great practical value. The mineral resources of the earth have been used to a certain extent since pre-historic time.
Modern civilization is largely dependent on minerals and mineral products. Mining has already become one of the leading industries in the world.
The ores are exhausted with continuous mining and in order to extract the ores man is compelled to prospect new areas to find unexploited minerals. Geology forms the theoretical basis for prospecting and for the exploration and working of all mineral deposits without exception.
The location of suitable sites for dams, buildings, tunnel construction, roads as well as the protection of coastal areas from erosion, flood control measures, exploration of ground water etc. are only successful with the application of geological knowledge.
Geological knowledge concerning soils, erosion, drainage and mineral fertilizers has wide application in the field of agriculture also.
Thus the study of geology has too much utilitarian significance in the present day civilization