Key Difference – Geology vs Petrology
Geology and petrology are two branches in the field of earth science that are concerned with the composition, structure and origin of the earth. Geology is the scientific study of the structure and composition of the earth whereas petrology is a branch of geology that is concerned with the structure, composition, and distribution of rocks. This is the key difference between geology and petrology.
What is Geology?
Geology is the scientific study of the earth, its history, composition, structure, physical properties, and the processes that act on it. Geology belongs to the field of Earth Science. Geologists are the scientists or researchers in the field of geology. They are mainly interested in the physical structure and substance of the earth, the processes which create and act on it and its history. The evolutionary history of life, plate tectonics, and past climates are some of the key areas in geology.
Geological information is useful for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration, evaluation of water resources, understanding of natural hazards (e.g. volcanos, landslides), and solution of environmental problems. Most of the geological information is derived from the study of solid materials found on Earth, including rocks and unconsolidated material.
Although geology can be divided into many branches, they can be classified into two main categories: physical and historical geology.
Physical geology includes fields such as mineralogy (the study of structure and composition of minerals), petrology (the study of rocks), geomorphology (the study of the origin of landforms and their modification), and geochemistry.
Historical geology, which is concerned with the historical development of the earth, includes fields such as paleontology ( the study of past life forms) and stratigraphy (the study of layered rocks and their interrelationships).
What is Petrology?
Petrology is a branch of geology that focuses on the study of rock – the origins, texture, composition, structure and distribution of rocks. Petrology has three sub-branches which correspond to the three main types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. The field of petrology typically uses other related fields such as mineralogy, optical mineralogy, petrography, and chemical analysis to study the structure and distribution of rocks. Geochemistry and geophysics are two other modern fields that can be used for petrological studies.
Petrology can help us learn many things about rocks as well as the earth. The composition of rocks provides us important information about the composition of the Earth’s crust. The age of rocks can help scientists to put together a time sequence of geological events. Scientists also gain information about tectonic processes by studying the structure and distribution of rocks.
What is the difference between Geology and Petrology?
Geology: Geology is the scientific study of the physical structure of the earth.
Petrology: Petrology is the study of the origins, composition, structure and distribution of rocks.
Geology: Geology is a sub-field of Earth Science.
Petrology: Petrology is a branch of Geology.
Geology: Geologists gather data from rocks as well as other material on earth.
Petrology: Petrology is only interested in rocks and the information that can be gathered from them.
Geology: There are many branches in geology including mineralogy, geomorphology, petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, paleogeography, etc.
Petrology: There are three main branches in petrology which correspond to the types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.
“Petrology.” New World Encyclopedia, . 17 Apr 2015, 19:02 UTC. 10 Jan 2017, 04:51 <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Petrology&oldid=987365>.
“Geologic Clock with events and periods” By WoudloperDerivative work: Hardwigg – File:Geologic_clock.jpg (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia