Geology is a branch of the Earth sciences which focuses on the solid Earth and its rocks. The discipline studies the solid aspects of the planet Earth and outlines the structure of the planet beneath its surface. Additionally, it focuses on the phenomena which have shaped its structure.
Geologists adopt specific tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of the rocks in a specific area. By adopting these tools, these scientists are able to provide a geological history of the Earth.
Different are the methodologies used by geologists to understand the structure and evolution of the planet. Usually, these methods include field work, rock description, chemical analysis, geophysical techniques, physical experiments and numerical modelling.
The materials examined by this discipline are divided into two categories: rocks and unconsolidated materials.
The majority of studies focus on rocks which can be igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. However, geologists concentrate also on unconsolidated materials which come from more recent deposits.
The lithosphere is the rigid external part of the planet Earth. This shell includes both the crust and the uppermost mantle and is segmented into tectonic plates. The uppermost part of the lithosphere is called pedosphere. Instead, the underlain section, which is part of the upper mantle, is known as asthenosphere. This part is harder, deeper and hotter than the pedosphere.
There are two types of lithosphere: oceanic lithosphere and continental lithosphere. The oceanic lithosphere is associated with the oceanic crust. Instead, the continental lithosphere is correlated with the continental crust.
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