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Geologic maps are essential components to resolving the geologic story (and history) of a region, and serve many useful purposes for society including uses in urban planning, agriculture, health and public safety, mineral resource management, water resources, and much more.The surface of the Earth is shaped by processes moving materials underground and by processes occurring on the surface under the influence of atmospheric, hydrologic, and oceanographic processes.Earth science is founded on basic principles that are useful for making many useful observations about the world around us.This chapter presents a mix of information that is essential (fundamental) to all following chapters.Geologists use geochronology — the study of the age of rocks, using both absolute dating methods and relative dating methods.The second half of this chapter focuses on maps and the display of geographic and geologic information in two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats.It took centuries for the scientific community to compile information about the age of different regions in the planet through the study of rocks, the fossils they contain, and the chronology of events in Earth's history (such as the formation of mountain ranges, changes in coastlines, and the evolution of life).One of the products of this collective investigation over time is the geologic time scale (Figure 3-2).

Figure 3-4 also illustrates the rock cycle—but includes more detail about both rocks and earth materials, and selected geologic features associated with geologic processes. Pathways to rock origins may go several routes—rocks of any kind can be changed in different ways into a variety of other rocks types.This chapter expands on the concepts focused on the solid earth (geology).We begin with a discussion on geologic time and the rock cycle — a graphic and conceptual model to illustrate common rocks and earth materials and the processes that form or change them, over time.Examples of igneous rocks include granite, gabbro, and basalt.Rocks of igneous origin are discussed in Chapter 9.

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