Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.
The word was first used in 1778 in the work of Jean Andrea de Luc (a Swiss-born scientist who lived at Windsor for much of his life as adviser to Queen Charlotte) and at much the same time in the work of Swiss Chemist, S.B. Saucer.
Geology is a fascinating subject .
Geology feels the pulse of the earth.
Geologists contribute their part to the nation through the discovery of new deposits of rocks and minerals of economic value.A student should know what lies beneath the crust and how long back the earth came into existence.
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 tectonic
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.
Importance of Geology
i. Geology provides a systematic knowledge of construction materials, their structure and properties.
ii. The knowledge of Erosion, Transportation and Deposition (ETD) by surface water helps in soil conservation, river control, coastal and harbour works.
iii. The knowledge about the nature of the rocks is very necessary in tunneling, constructing roads and in determining the stability of cuts and slopes. Thus, geology helps in civil engineering.
iv. The foundation problems of dams, bridges and buildings are directly related with geology of the area where they are to be built.
v. The knowledge of ground water is necessary in connection with excavation works, water supply, irrigation and many other purposes.
vi. Geological maps and sections help considerably in planning many engineering projects.
vii. If the geological features like faults, joints, beds, folds, solution channels are found, they have to be suitably treated. Hence, the stability of the structure is greatly increased.
viii. Pre-geological survey of the area concerned reduces the cost of engineering.