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Introduction

Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ("earth") and -λoγία, -logia, ("study of", "discourse")) is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also refer to the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science.

Geology describes the structure of the Earth beneath its surface, and the processes that have shaped that structure. It also provides tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of rocks found in a given location, and also to describe the histories of those rocks. By combining these tools, geologists are able to chronicle the geological history of the Earth as a whole, and also to demonstrate the age of the Earth. Geology provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and the Earth's past climates.

Selected branches of geology

Selected geologic principles and processes

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In the news

26 November 2018 – Exploration of Mars
The NASA robotic lander InSight lands safely on the Elysium Planitia plain of Mars to study the geology of the red planet. (NASA)

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