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Fundamentals of geology

Which disciplines belong to geology? Who deals with the deep subsurface, with the structure and history of the Earth? Where are physical or chemical properties, surface processes or the interaction with the environment of importance?

Hammer, field book and hand specimens of rock
The geologists’ traditional tools of the trade: hammer, field book and hand specimens of rock
© Greg van der Bleeken

Gain an overview: Here you will find the basic information about geophysics, through to hydrogeology and paleontology. Learn more about the goals, issues and working methods of the various disciplines. And if you want to know more: we also provide databases and contact addresses for you on our website.

Tectonics / Structural geology

Enormous forces have always been at work inside our Earth. They continuously deform the Earth’s crust and affect its structural composition. Tectonic maps show how Switzerland is geologically...

Geotechnics & engineering geology

Geotechnical engineering combines elements of earth science, construction and mining. Tunneling projects, slope stabilization or site investigations are typical areas of application.

3D Geology

3D geological models provide a key solutions approach for infrastructure, urban and landscape planning. Spatial representation offers many advantages.

Geological cartography

Geological maps display a multitude of geologically relevant information in a concise manner. They are an important basis for geotechnical and environmental decisions. .


Geophysics deals with all of the Earth’s relevant physical phenomena. It includes various fields and can be subdivided according to research methods and their relevant applications.

Quaternary geology

The Quaternary is the most recent period in the Earth’s history: the last 2.6 million years. It is marked by the appearance of man as well as repeated glacial/interglacial cycles, which strongly...


Boreholes provide information about the composition of the ground. They also serve a particular purpose: for example, for the production of natural gas or as preparation for construction methods.


As a geological discipline, stratigraphy deals with the spatial location and temporal sequence of rock bodies. By means of stratigraphy, bodies of rock are dated and correlated with each other.

Fundamentals of Geology