The face of the surface of the earth has been constantly changing ever since the planet first evolved. This is due to plate tectonics, the structure of the earth’s crust, which has repeatedly moved the location of the continents throughout the history of the earth. Spectacular volcanic eruptions and devastating earthquakes are the consequences of these tectonic shifts. Volcanoes not only testify to the dynamic nature of the earth but also afford insight into depths otherwise inaccessible to researchers, revealing how geological processes shape the entire surface of the earth.
Rocks make up the solid part of the earth’s crust, and age determinations have shown that the oldest were formed some 4.2 billion years ago. Packed full of evidence that tells us ever more about the history of the planet, rocks have also been pivotal in shaping the earth’s landscapes and topography. Additionally, they contain minerals which, under specific conditions, come together to form magnificent crystals. Depending on pressure and temperature, these are formed from different elements.