San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[BRCC San Diego Natural History Museum: Paleontology]



Field Guide

Michael Wall, Ph.D.
Director of the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias

Geology of the San Diego Region

Geology is the scientific study of Earth. The natural world around us is dependent on and shaped by geologic history.

Core specialties within the geological sciences focus on:

  • the chemical composition of Earth (e.g., mineralogy, the study of minerals, and petrology, study of rocks);
  • the structure of Earth (structural geology);
  • landforms and the processes that produce them (geomorphology);
  • geologic history, including the study of fossils (paleontology), and the development of sedimentary strata (stratigraphy).

Knowledge generated by geologists is essential to our understanding of the living systems in our environment. The Museum research focus is on the flora, fauna and ecology of our region, both past and present, incorporating the geologic knowledge produced by researchers elsewhere. The articles and references provided here are selected for their focus on our particular region, within the broader geologic picture.