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Geosciences LibreTexts

1: Science of Geology

  • Page ID
    2467
  • Learning Objectives

    Define geology as a science and identify methods used in its study.

    • Define the science of geology.
    • Identify and use scientific processes and the scientific methods as used by geologists and with other related scientific disciplines.
    • List tools and concepts commonly used by geologists.

    Geology is the study of the solid Earth. Geologists study how rocks and minerals form. The way mountains rise up is part of geology. The way mountains erode away is another part. Geologists also study fossils and Earth’s history. There are many other branches of geology. There is so much to know about our home planet that most geologists become specialists in one area. For example, a mineralogist studies minerals.

    • 1.1: Why It Matters
    • 1.2: What is Geology?
    • 1.3: The Science of Geology
      Geology is the study of the solid Earth. Geologists study how rocks and minerals form. The way mountains rise up is part of geology. The way mountains erode away is another part. Geologists also study fossils and Earth’s history. There are many other branches of geology. There is so much to know about our home planet that most geologists become specialists in one area.
    • 1.4: Scientific Processes in Geology
    • 1.5: The Nature of Science
      The best way to answer questions about the natural world is by using science. Scientists ask questions every day, and then use a set of steps to answer those questions. The steps are known as the scientific method. By following the scientific method, scientists come up with the best information about the natural world.
    • 1.6: Putting it Together

    Thumbnail: The Permian through Jurassic stratigraphy of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah is an example of both original horizontality and the law of superposition. Image used with permission (CC SA-BY 3.0; Qfl247).

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