Chapter 1. Introduction to Geology


Learning Objectives

After carefully reading this chapter, completing the exercises within it, and answering the questions at the end, you should be able to:

  • Explain what geology is, how it incorporates the other sciences, and how it is different from the other sciences
  • Discuss why we study Earth and what type of work geologists do
  • Gain an appreciation for the vastness of geological time, and describe how very slow geological processes can have enormous impacts over time
  • Explain how the principle of uniformitarianism allows us to translate observations about Earth today into knowledge about how Earth worked in the past
  • Summarize the main idea behind plate tectonics, and explain why the development of this theory was so important for how we do geology today