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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.

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The blue blob in the cutaway section is the seismically imaged Farallon Plate, which is subducting beneath North America.

The remnants of this plate on the surface of the Earth are the Juan de Fuca Plate and Explorer Plate, both in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada, and the Cocos Plate on the west coast of Mexico.

Transform boundaries, such as the San Andreas Fault system, resulted in widespread powerful earthquakes.

Plate tectonics also has provided a mechanism for Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift, in which the continents move across the surface of the Earth over geologic time.

(4.54 billion years), which is the beginning of the informally recognized Hadean eon – a division of geologic time.

At the later end of the scale, it is marked by the present day (in the Holocene epoch).The specimens can be tested for: In the 1960s, it was discovered that the Earth's lithosphere, which includes the crust and rigid uppermost portion of the upper mantle, is separated into tectonic plates that move across the plastically deforming, solid, upper mantle, which is called the asthenosphere.This theory is supported by several types of observations, including seafloor spreading and the global distribution of mountain terrain and seismicity.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.There are three major types of rock: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

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