To understand the concept of physical and historical geology, you need to learn what is Geology? Usually, the people say that Geology is the study of Earth and its phenomena. Somehow it is true. Geology is the name of the study of the function and structure of the Earth. Geology includes the study of all natural phenomena existing on the Earth such as mountains, rocks, oceans, deserts, and all other phenomena. In the same way, a Geologist is a person who examines and explains the physical processes of the Earth and its causes. He studies earthquake, volcano, erosion and rock formation, etc.
It is a branch of Geology. We study the current changes and happenings on Earth. The physical Geology explains the rock formation, the constituents of minerals, current erosions in the surface of Earth, Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Physical Geology also examines the land use and different forms of pollutions. The search for different natural resources is also included in Physical Geology. In short, it is the branch of Geology that deals with the current happenings and environmental monitoring.
It is also a branch of Geology, but it involves the study of Geological events happened in the past. It involves the study of fossils, rock strata and ancient events that took place on Earth and changed the environment, etc.
Basic Differences Between Physical & Historical Geology
Physical Geology studies the current presence geological factors whereas; Historical Geology deals with the geological events occurred in the past.
- Physical Geology deals with the study of earth’s current surface and the formation of crust, rock cycle, and their formation whereas; Historical Geology deals with the origin of the earth, the changes in its structure over a particular time period or from the origin. It also deals with the evolution of life that has been changed through a particular duration.
- The Geologists study the rock cycle and their formation in Physical Geology. They explore different types of rocks, material, formation, shapes, and different structure while the Geologists in Historical Geology explore the change in the rock structures and the formation of new rocks, the disappearance of ancient rocks over the time.
- The Physical Geology deals with the ocean cycle, the deposition, superposition, transgression and regression processes of natural phenomena whereas; the Historical Geology deals with the comparison of ocean cycles in the past and now. It also explores the answers to the questions why, when and how the natural phenomena like rain, wind, and water contributed to change the structure of Earth over time.
- In Physical Geology, we study the volcano and lavas that are changing the structure of the Earth while in Historical Geology, we observe the previously occurred volcano and the formation of lava million years ago.
- Same as above, the Physical Geology stresses upon the facts regarding the deserts, their structure, formation, natural factors contributing to changing the desert structures currently. However, in Historical Geology, we are particularly concerned with the historical events that took part in the appearance and disappearance of deserts on the surface of Earth.
Let me explain in the context of the Sahara desert. In Physical Geology, the geologists will argue the constituents, the rocks of Sahara and the phenomena that take part in changing the atmosphere of Sahara. In Historical Geology, the geologists will try to explore how it appeared to the surface of Earth. It can be done by examining the fossils found from Sahara. They will argue, what were the factors that made it appear on Earth and when and how it came into existence.
So, Physical and Historical Geology are the two main branches of Geology. But they deal with Geology in a totally different way. The area of research in both branches is different. Physical Geology is concerned with the current time Geo structure and the geologists examine the current structure of natural phenomena such as rocks, erosion, earthquake, tectonic plates, oceans, wind and crust of the earth. But Historical Geology is the study of the history of Geo structure over time and the geologists examine the fossils of the animals and other natural aspects to know their origin and history.