1.7 Geological fieldwork
Although much can be learned from samples of rocks in the laboratory or at home, the ‘natural habitat’ of rocks is outdoors. Here the distribution and layout of different rocks is visible wherever rocks are exposed in places such as stream beds, cliffs, rocky shorelines, quarries, or road cuttings. The exposed rocks can be studied in just the same detail as individual laboratory samples, and geological fieldwork allows the size and extent of each rock unit to be seen and the relationships between them to be observed. This gives us more information from which to deduce the conditions under which the suite of exposed rocks may have formed.