Skip to main content

petrology

petrology, branch of geology specifically concerned with the origin, composition, structure, and properties of rocks, primarily igneous and metamorphic, and secondarily sedimentary. It includes petrography, the systematic description and classification of rocks using microscopic examination of rock in thin sections; and petrogenesis, which deals with the origin and formation of the various kinds of rock. Petrology is also concerned with the laboratory simulation of rock-forming processes and the application of principles of physical chemistry to natural environments. Petrologic analyses of oceanic rocks have given insights into plate tectonic processes, especially rock from mid-oceanic ridges, which may be formed from magma derived from deep in the mantle. Lunar rocks returned by Apollo astronauts were studied with petrographic techniques providing a wealth of information on the makeup and origin of the moon.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"petrology." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"petrology." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/petrology

"petrology." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/petrology

petrology

pe·trol·o·gy / pəˈträləjē/ • n. the branch of science concerned with the origin, small-scale structure, and composition of rocks. Compare with lithology, petrography. DERIVATIVES: pet·ro·log·ic / ˌpetrəˈläjik/ adj. pet·ro·log·i·cal / ˌpetrəˈläjikəl/ adj. pe·trol·o·gist / -jist/ n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"petrology." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"petrology." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/petrology

"petrology." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/petrology

petrology

petrology Study of rocks, including their origin, chemical composition, and location. Formation of the three classes of rocks – igneous (of volcanic origin); sedimentary (deposited by water); and metamorphic (either of the other two changed by temperature and pressure) – is studied.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"petrology." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"petrology." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/petrology

"petrology." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/petrology

petrology

petrology The study of rocks in general, including their occurrence, field relations, structure, origins and history (petrogenesis), and their mineralogy and textures (petrography). It may usefully be qualified as ‘igneous petrology’, or ‘sedimentary petrology’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"petrology." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"petrology." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/petrology

"petrology." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved April 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/petrology