Dynamic Geology

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Geology, Dynamic


physical geology, an area of geology that studies the geological processes that occur in the earth’s crust and on its surface. Dynamic geology analyzes the development pattern of these processes, examines the causes of the processes, and studies the results of their effect on the structure of the earth’s crust and the landforms of the surface. The most important means for solving the problems of dynamic geology are observing the course of modern geological processes and modeling them under laboratory conditions. Research on dynamic geology is possible within any geological discipline, and for this reason it is not an independent and separate branch of geology. Dynamic geology is devoted to a study of endogenic and exogenic geological processes; the study of some of them has developed into independent branches of geology (tectonics, volcanology, seismology, geomorphology, and so forth).

In studying magmatism, dynamic geology is concerned with the processes controlling the movements of magma, the genesis and development of volcanoes, and the processes leading to the formation of intrusive bodies and rock.

The section devoted to metamorphism examines the processes arising under the effect of the high pressure and temperature deep in the earth and leading to changes in the composition and structure of sedimentary and igneous rock and to their transition to the category of metamorphic rock.

The part of dynamic geology that encompasses the exogenic processes examines the processes of physical, chemical, and biological weathering leading to the decomposition of rock; the geological activity of the wind (wind erosion, the transportation and deposition of small rock particles by the wind, the formation of eolian landforms); the geological activity of surface running water, mainly rivers; the activity of swamps and lakes; the genesis and particular features of water-filled depressions; the geological activities of seas and oceans (destructive, transportive, and accumulating); the composition, facies, and distribution of marine sediments; the activities of snow and ice; and the processes related to the formation of permafrost rock.

In studying the endogenic processes, dynamic geology relies on the data of geophysics, geochemistry, and other sciences. The various forms of the manifestation of exogenic processes are studied by dynamic geology along with geomorphology, glaciology, and lithology, with which it is closely tied. Dynamic geology is of great methodological importance since it shows without a doubt that all the objects on the earth, from a rock to mountain system, are continually developing and are closely tied to the environment as well as interrelated.

Dynamic geology as a science arose in the 19th century owing to the work of C. Lyell, E. Suess, and others. The development of dynamic geology in Russia and the USSR is linked with the games of K. I. Bogdanovich, I. V. Mushketov, A. A. Inostrantsev, I. D. Lukashevich, V. N. Veber, and V. A. Obruchev.

Dynamic geology is of important practical significance since a knowledge of the concrete geological situation that is related to the endogenic and exogenic processes of any region is important for mineral exploration and evaluation, as well as for building industrial and civil projects.


Kurs obshchei geologii. Moscow, 1960.
Zhukov, M. M., V. I. Slavin, and N. N. Dunaeva. Osnovy geologii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.
Lakushova, A. F. Dinamicheskaia geologiia. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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