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Petrology is a section of geology which involves the study of rockss and the conditions by which they form. There are three branches of petrology, corresponding to the three types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.

In modern usage, the terms petrology and geochemistry are often used interchangeably; however, petrologists (those studying petrology) tend to place a greater emphasis on petrographic (thin section) mineral and textural studies, while geochemists tend to focus on geochemical analyses of rocks and whole earth geochemical cycles.