Geological Phenomena

There are numerous types of geological phenomena that can be found both on Earth and other planets. These events or formations are generally related to the following: rocks or rock formations, water features such as waterfalls and lakes, plate activity or phenomena resulting from plate activity including earthquakes and volcanoes, and events related to erosion.

There are several definitions that more precisely classify an event or formation as a geological phenomena. Wikipedia defines geological phenomena as phenomena that can be explained by or expand knowledge on the science of geology. Another definition states that geological phenomena are any naturally occurring phenomena that involve the structure, content, consistency or composition or the Earth.

1. Cave

Caves form when water that has dissolved large amounts of rock disappears. After the water vanishes, large tunnels and vast caverns are sometimes left behind.

2. Earthquake

Earthquakes occur when there is friction between two of the major or minor tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust. This friction is often caused by the tectonic plates rising above or sliding underneath each other, and can result in massive amounts of damage and also fatalities.


3. Fjord

Deep waterways that were forged by glaciers and extend inland from the sea. Fjords have steep cliffs on the sides and are located near the arctic circles.


4. Geyser

Underground springs of water that eject water and steam from the Earth’s surface.


5. Glacier

Massive sheets of thick ice that move extremely slowly over time.

6. Hot Spring

Pools of naturally and geologically heated water that have been used for relaxational and medicinal purposes.

Hot Spring

7. Landslide

These geological events sometimes result in extensive damage and occur when rock, mud or dirt become loosened at a higher elevation and fall or slide to a lower elevation.


8. Moraine

Moraines are soil, rock and debris that are left behind as glaciers retreat. Moraines can form as ridges, circular ‘kettles’ or other features.


9. Mountain

Rising high above the Earth, mountains form or formed where tectonic plates meet or once met. They almost always occur in groups or ranges, and the tallest of them can have elevations over 6 miles above the Earth.


10. Volcano

These features are typically present along fault lines, where pressure that has built up in Earth’s mantle can be more easily released. As the pressure releases, it brings hot magma from the mantle to the Earth’s surface, which cools and forms volcanic structures.


11. Waterfall

There are several different ways that waterfalls can form, and several different types of waterfalls. Learn about some of the most magnificent geological phenomena here.