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Everything around us is made of chemical compounds that have testable and identifying characteristics, allowing them to be classified, and their age determined.
Because members of faunas can be distinguished from one another through time and because of the wide geographic distribution of organisms on the Earth, strata from different geographic areas can be correlated with each other and dated.Rapid rock formation can be seen happening such as lava cooling from a volcanic eruption in places like Hawaii or Iceland.However, most rocks we see around us form very slowly in settings that are not visible on the land surface.Stone is another common term used to describe rock. Figure 2-2 shows how minerals can be combined to form different kinds of rocks that form under different environmental conditions.
The mineral composition of a rock reflects the physical environment and geologic history where a rock formed.
The science of geology is founded on basic principles that are useful for making observations about the world around us.