Geology (from the Greek γῆ, gê, "earth" and λόγος, logos, "study") is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change. Geology can also refer generally to the study of the solid features of any celestial body (such as the geology of the Moon or Mars).
Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates. In modern times, geology is commercially important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation and for evaluating water resources. It is publicly important for the prediction and understanding of natural hazards, the remediation of environmental problems, and for providing insights into past climate change. Geology plays a role in geotechnical engineering and is a major academic discipline (Wikipedia).
HistoryThe study of the physical material of the Earth dates back at least to ancient Greece when Theophrastus (372-287 BCE) wrote the work Peri Lithon (On Stones). In the Roman period, Pliny the Elder wrote in detail of the many minerals and metals then in practical use, and correctly noted the origin of amber(Wikipedia).
Some modern scholars, such as Fielding H. Garrison, are of the opinion that modern geology began in the medieval Islamic world. Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni (973–1048 CE) was one of the earliest Muslim geologists, whose works included the earliest writings on the geology of India, hypothesizing that the Indian subcontinent was once a sea. Islamic Scholar Ibn Sina (Avicenna, 981–1037) proposed detailed explanations for the formation of mountains, the origin of earthquakes, and other topics central to modern Geology, which provided an essential foundation for the later development of the science. In China, the polymath Shen Kuo (1031–1095) formulated a hypothesis for the process of land formation: based on his observation of fossil animal shells in a geological stratum in a mountain hundreds of miles from the ocean, he inferred that the land was formed by erosion of the mountains and by deposition of silt(Wikipedia).
The word geology was first used by Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603, then by Jean-André Deluc in 1778 and introduced as a fixed term by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure in 1779. The word is derived from the Greek γῆ, gê, meaning "earth" and λόγος, logos, meaning "speech". But according to another source, the word "Geology" comes from the Norwegian, Mikkel Pedersøn Escholt (1600–1699), who was a priest and scholar. Escholt first used the definition in his book titled, Geologica Norvegica (1657)(Wikipedia).
The most significant advances in 20th century geology have been the development of the theory of plate tectonics in the 1960s, and the refinement of estimates of the planet's age. Plate tectonic theory arose out of two separate geological observations: seafloor spreading and continental drift. The theory revolutionized the Earth sciences. Today the Earth is known to be approximately 4.5 billion years old(Wikipedia).