Physical geology is the science concerned with examining the true properties of Earth and analyzing it in a way that allows scientists to become more familiar with the planet. Unlike other geological studies, physical geology focuses solely on the materials Earth is made of and the process that bring these materials into fruition.
Physical geology is a foundational science for learning the way that Earth works in accordance with different environmental factors. Physical geologists study Earth by looking at the processes by which the materials function in different environments within the planet. Rocks, minerals, oceans, plates and tectonics are often looked at in this branch of geology. These rocks are identified and listed in order of their importance to the functioning of the planet.
Students of physical geology learn about how the Earth's plates move together to form mountains, valleys and even oceans. Physical geology provides students with an introduction to the way that the plates move, contract and work together to create masses of land. It also helps students better understand the reasons behind natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Numerous government agencies employ physical geologists, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Land Management, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.Learn More
Most caves are made in a specific landscape known as karst. Gypsum rocks, limestone and dolomite are dissolved by acidic rain to form caves. It takes more than 100,000 years for most caves to become large enough to accommodate humans. Many caves exist in a system of interconnected underground pathways.Full Answer >
Yellow gold is gold in its purest form. The purest yellow gold at 99.9 percent, 24 karats, is very soft and can be easily dented or scratched. Therefore, 22k, 14k, and 18k gold is infused with alloys to make the metal more durable.Full Answer >
Some important characteristics of minerals are color, hardness, streak, cleavage, fracture and luster. These characteristics do not require any complicated equipment to determine and are useful in identifying specific minerals.Full Answer >
Zinc belongs to the transition metal family. Transition metals all share certain characteristics, notably the ability to conduct electricity and heat. Transition metals are also ductile, meaning one can stretch them into wire.Full Answer >