The disciplines of Geology

Applied geology

The branch of geology that studies the application of geology knowledge to different human activities, specially to development: agriculture, resources, geotechnics.


The branch of geography that studies and classifies climates.


The branch of mineralogy that deals with crystalline matter, forms, structures and properties of the crystals and their classification.


Science between geology and biology that studies soil formation, classification and dynamics.


The branch of geology that studies the several chemical elements and isotopes distribution in different places of the Earth, layers, sediments, etc., as well as the reactions that take place.


The branch of geology that studies and applies rock dating methods. It has two branches: relative and absolute dating.


The branch of geology that deals with geologic processes, actions and results of relief modification caused by both external geologic agents (wind, precipitation…) or internal (volcanism, seismicity, orogeny. ) It is divided into two branches: external and internal geodynamics.


Science that studies Earth’s composition, structure, morphology, dynamics and age. It is structured in several branches: mineralogy, crystallography, petrology, external and internal geodynamics, geochemistry, tectonics, stratigraphy, sedimentology, geomorphology, palaeontology, historical geology and applied geology.


The branch of geophysics that studies terrestrial magnetism and its application in Earth’s structure study, continental drift, resources research, etc.


The branch of geology that studies Earth relief, both continental and oceanic and infers the causes that have originated it and its development. There are different branches according to the studied areas and methods (arid, climatic, dynamics, etc. geomorphology.)


The branch of geology that applying physical methods (gravity, magnetism) studies the Earth from the inner layers (earth structure) to the outer ones (winds, tides, etc.)


The branch of geophysics that applies this knowledge to the solutions of civil engineering problems (construction of bridges, dams, etc.)


The branch of geophysics that looks into the study of Earth’s inner heat and temperature, heat sources and thermic properties of materials.


The branch of geophysics that looks into the study of terrestrial gravity field anomalies and explains its causes associating it to mineral deposits, etc.


The branch of applied geology that studies ground waters and their relationship with surface ones and precipitation and applies it to water supply and overexploitation and contamination derived problems.


The branch of geology that studies mineral formation and properties and establishes their classification as well as crystallographic structure.


Geology (and biology) branch that studies past living beings (essentially their fossils), their morphology and way of life. It also establishes their phylogeny and classification. Palaeontology, at the same time, is an important tool for rock dating on the basis of their fossil content.


The branch of geology that discusses rock description and classification. It is a branch of petrology (that looks into their study in all of the aspects.)


The branch of geology that studies rocks, describes them, investigates their origin and establishes a classification, as well as their development through time. This term is broader than petrography.


The branch of geophysics that studies earthquakes and their effects as well as the ways of propagation of waves as a tool to study Earth’s inner structure. By extension it studies as well any artificial vibratory phenomenon (for geophysics prospects.)


The branch of geology that studies, explains, etc. sedimentary rocks with regard to the adjacent ones with respect to their temporal relationship and correlation with other close or distant units.

Structural geology

The branch of geology that deals with rock disposition and internal structure. In fact, it is very similar to tectonics but the latter discusses it in a regional sense and structural geology at small scale.


The branch of geology that looks into the study of crust structure, i.e. the whole of deformations that suffer surface rocks, their origin and development. Tectonics discusses structures in a very broad way while structural geology does it in a more detailed way. However, they can be considered as synonyms.