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Advances in seismology, computer modeling, and mineralogy and crystallography at high temperatures and pressures give insights into the internal composition and structure of the Earth.
Seismologists can use the arrival times of seismic waves in reverse to image the interior of the Earth.
It can then be turned into a metamorphic rock by heat and pressure that change its mineral content, resulting in a characteristic fabric.
All three types may melt again, and when this happens, new magma is formed, from which an igneous rock may once more crystallize.
Geology, a major academic discipline, also plays a role in geotechnical engineering.
The majority of research in geology is associated with the study of rock, as rock provides the primary record of the majority of the geologic history of the Earth.
By combining these tools, geologists are able to chronicle the geological history of the Earth as a whole, and also to demonstrate the age of the Earth.
Geology provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and the Earth's past climates.
At the later end of the scale, it is marked by the present day (in the Holocene epoch).Geology describes the structure of the Earth beneath its surface, and the processes that have shaped that structure.It also provides tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of rocks found in a given location, and also to describe the histories of those rocks.There is an intimate coupling between the movement of the plates on the surface and the convection of the mantle (that is, the heat transfer caused by bulk movement of molecules within fluids).
Thus, oceanic plates and the adjoining mantle convection currents always move in the same direction — because the oceanic lithosphere is actually the rigid upper thermal boundary layer of the convecting mantle.
Geologists use a wide variety of methods to understand the Earth's structure and evolution, including field work, rock description, geophysical techniques, chemical analysis, physical experiments, and numerical modelling.