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What differences are there between geology, petrology, and lithology?

If I were to get into any of those fields, what exactly would I be studying?

Also, are petrology and lithology just branches of geology?

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The basic differences are:

Geology

  1. study of rocks and minerals: the study of the structure of the Earth or another planet, especially its rocks, soil, and minerals, and its history and origins
  2. structure of area: the rocks, minerals, and physical structure of a specific area

Petrology

  1. study of rocks: the study of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks with respect to their occurrence, structure, origin, history, and mineral content

Lithology

  1. description of the physical characteristics of a rock unit or rock formation, and actually not a scientific discipline as the two above
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    $\begingroup$ Lithology refers to a type of rock or a rock unit (I never heard that it is a scientific branch). $\endgroup$ – tobias47n9e Apr 17 '14 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, Lithology is a scientific study, and considered as a separate branch of geology. $\endgroup$ – Ben A. Noone Apr 17 '14 at 14:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Spießbürger - It's not your english. I've never heard "lithology" referred to as a branch of geology. Someone who studies the details of lithology calls themselves a "petrologist", not a "lithologist". $\endgroup$ – Joe Kington Apr 17 '14 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Joe Kington It might be a really old definition, because OED also has it: oed.com/view/Entry/109165?redirectedFrom=lithology#eid $\endgroup$ – tobias47n9e Apr 17 '14 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'm with Joe — I've never heard "lithology" used that way. I suggest editing the answer. $\endgroup$ – kwinkunks Apr 18 '14 at 1:28

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