The rocks which make up the earth’ s crust are the principal documents of geological history. Every aspect of these rocks, their composition and physical properties as well as their distribution and mutual relationships, is indicative of their origin and it is the function of the geologist to establish from observation a basis for the interpretation of earth history. The crust as a whole has been changing since the earliest geological times and its present-day make-up is only intelligible when examined in relation to its past evolution. The historical approach, the distinctive trait in geological thinking, is therefore fundamental to the understanding of the earth sciences.
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