Carbon dating geology
Earthquake seismology has largely been responsible for defining the location of major plate boundaries and of the dip of subduction zones down to depths of about 700 kilometres at those boundaries.
Weathering is the alteration and breakdown of rocks at the Earth’s surface caused by local atmospheric conditions, while erosion is the process by which the weathering products are removed by water, ice, and wind.Unmanned space probes have yielded significant data on the surface features of many of the planets and their satellites.Since the 1970s even such distant planetary systems as those of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus have been explored by probes.The combination of weathering and erosion leads to the wearing down or denudation of mountains and continents, with the erosion products being deposited in rivers, internal drainage basins, and the oceans. The unconsolidated accumulated sediments are transformed by the process of diagenesis and lithification into sedimentary rocks, thereby completing a full cycle of the transfer of matter from an old continent to a young ocean and ultimately to the formation of new sedimentary rocks.Knowledge of the processes of interaction of the atmosphere and the hydrosphere with the surface rocks and soils of the Earth’s crust is important for an understanding not only of the development of landscapes but also (and perhaps more importantly) of the ways in which sediments are created.Stratigraphers still use the two main principles established by the late 18th-century English engineer and surveyor William Smith, regarded as the father of stratigraphy: (1) that younger beds rest upon older ones and (2) different sedimentary beds contain different and distinctive fossils, enabling beds with similar fossils to be correlated over large distances.
Today biostratigraphy uses fossils to characterize successive intervals of geologic time, but as relatively precise time markers only to the beginning of the Cambrian Period, about 540,000,000 years ago.
As a discipline, mineralogy has had close historical ties with geology.
Minerals as basic constituents of rocks and ore deposits are obviously an integral aspect of geology.
The geologist is responsible for the discovery of minerals (such as lead, chromium, nickel, and tin), oil, gas, and coal, which are the main economic resources of the Earth; for the application of knowledge of subsurface structures and geologic conditions to the building industry; and for the prevention of natural hazards or at least providing early warning of their occurrence.
(For further examples, Moon, for example, provided scientists with firsthand information on lunar geology, including observations on such features as meteorite craters that are relatively rare on Earth.
Paleontology is the study of fossils and is concerned not only with their description and classification but also with an analysis of the evolution of the organisms involved.