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What is physical geology?

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Quick Answer

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.

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What is physical geology?
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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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the study of rocks called?

    A:

    The study of rocks is known as geology. Scientists who study rocks are known as geologists. There are several subdivisions of geology, with different designations for researchers who study the individual disciplines.

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  • Q:

    How is an isthmus formed?

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    Isthmuses, which are narrow strips of land connecting two land masses and separating two bodies of water, are formed in various ways, depending on the geology of the areas in which they occur. These geological changes to form isthmuses may involve the movement of tectonic plates, the drowning of landmass due to fault structures, volcanic activity, and the movement of waves and tides.

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  • Q:

    What is a polymorph in geology?

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    In geology, polymorphs occur when two compounds of the same composition have different crystalline structures. An example of a polymorph is quartz that is subjected to high temperatures, transforming to trydimite and then crystobalite. Trydimite and crystobalite are considered polymorphs of quartz.

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  • Q:

    How many types of rocks are there?

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    There are three basic rock types that make up the geology of the Earth. They are igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks. The rock type is defined by the way the rocks were created.

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