Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.
Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.
Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.
Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
"A sweeping rip-roaring yarn of immense scope, from the birth of the elements in the stars to meditations on the future habitability of our world." -Science
"A fascinating story." -Bill McKibben
Interweaving physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology, this sweeping account tells Earth’s complete story, from the synthesis of chemical elements in stars, to the formation of the Solar System, to the evolution of a habitable climate on Earth, to the origin of life and humankind. The book also addresses the search for other habitable worlds in the Milky Way and contemplates whether Earth will remain habitable as our influence on global climate grows. It concludes by considering the ways in which humankind can sustain Earth’s habitability and perhaps even participate in further planetary evolution.
Like no other book, How to Build a Habitable Planet provides an understanding of Earth in its broadest context, as well as a greater appreciation of its possibly rare ability to sustain life over geologic time.
Leading schools that have ordered, recommended for reading, or adopted this book for course use:
Arizona State University Brooklyn College CUNY Columbia University Cornell University ETH Zurich Georgia Institute of Technology Harvard University Johns Hopkins University Luther College Northwestern University Ohio State University Oxford Brookes University Pan American University Rutgers University State University of New York at Binghamton Texas A&M University Trinity College Dublin University of Bristol University of California-Los Angeles University of Cambridge University Of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Glasgow University of Leicester University of Maine, Farmington University of Michigan University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Georgia University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Oxford University of Portsmouth University of Southampton University of Ulster University of Victoria University of Wyoming Western Kentucky University Yale University
Geology is the study of the earth's history as well as thephysical and chemical processes that continue to shape the earthtoday. Jobs in the geosciences are expected to increase over thenext decade, which will increase geology-related jobs well aboveaverage projection for all occupations in the coming years.
Geology For Dummies is the most accessible book on themarket for anyone who needs to get a handle on the subject, whetheryou?re looking to supplement classroom learning or are simplyinterested in earth sciences. Presented in a straightforward,trusted format, it features a thorough introduction to the study ofthe earth, its materials, and its processes.Tracks to a typical college-level introductory geologycourseAn 8-page color insert includes photos of rocks, minerals, andgeologic marvelsCovers geological processes; rock records and geologic times;matter, minerals, and rock; and more
Geology For Dummies is an excellent classroom supplementfor all students who enroll in introductory geology courses, fromgeology majors to those who choose earth science courses aselectives.
In the bestselling tradition of Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm, The Great Quake is a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in North American recorded history -- the 1964 Alaska earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and swept away the island village of Chenega -- and the geologist who hunted for clues to explain how and why it took place.
At 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964, a magnitude 9.2. earthquake – the second most powerful in world history – struck the young state of Alaska. The violent shaking, followed by massive tsunamis, devastated the southern half of the state and killed more than 130 people. A day later, George Plafker, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, arrived to investigate. His fascinating scientific detective work in the months that followed helped confirm the then-controversial theory of plate tectonics.
In a compelling tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, New York Times science journalist Henry Fountain combines history and science to bring the quake and its aftermath to life in vivid detail. With deep, on-the-ground reporting from Alaska, often in the company of George Plafker, Fountain shows how the earthquake left its mark on the land and its people -- and on science.
The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.
Geochemistry is essential reading for all earth sciencestudents, as well as for researchers and appliedscientists who require an introduction to the essentialtheory of geochemistry, and a survey of its applications in theearth and environmental sciences.
Additional resources can be found at: ahref="http://www.wiley.com/go/white/geochemistry"www.wiley.com/go/white/geochemistry/a
Beginning with Mt. Vesuvius, whose eruption in Roman times helped spark the science of geology, and ending in a lab in the West of England where mathematical models and lab experiments replace direct observation, Richard Fortey tells us what the present says about ancient geologic processes. He shows how plate tectonics came to rule the geophysical landscape and how the evidence is written in the hills and in the stones. And in the process, he takes us on a wonderful journey around the globe to visit some of the most fascinating and intriguing spots on the planet.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
That tantalizing swirl of dye confirmed speculations that were to tempt more than 650 cavers over half a century with the thrill of being the first to make human passage of the cave connection. Roger Brucker and Richard Watson tell not only of their own twenty-year effort to complete the link but the stories of many others who worked their way through mud-choked crawlways less than a foot high only to find impenetrable blockages.
Floyd Collins died a grisly death in nearby Sand Cave in 1925, after being trapped there for 15 days. The wide press coverage of the rescue efforts stirred the imagination of the public and his body was on macabre display in a glass-topped coffin in Crystal Cave into the 1940s. Agents of a rival cave owner once even stole his corpse, which was recovered and still is in a coffin in the cave. Modern cavers still have a word with Floyd as they start their downward treks.
Brucker and Watson joined the parade of cavers who propelled themselves by wiggling kneecaps, elbows, and toes through quarter-mile long crawlways, clinging by fingertips and boot toes across mud-slick walls, over bottomless pits, into gurgling streams beneath stone ceilings that descend to water level, down crumbling crevices and up mountainous rockfalls, into wondrous domed halls, and straight ahead into a blackness intensified rather than dispelled by the carbide lamps on their helmets.
Over two decades they explored the passages with others who sought the final connection as vigorously as themselves. Pat Crowther, a young mother of two, joined them and because of her thinness became the member of the crew to go first into places no human had ever gone before. In that role, in July 1972, she wiggled her way through the Tight Spot and found the route that would link the Flint Ridge and Mammoth Cave systems into one cave extending 144.4 miles through the Kentucky limestone.
In a new afterword to this edition the authors summarize the subsequent explorations that have more than doubled the established length of the cave system. Based upon geological evidence, the authors predict that new discoveries will add another 200 miles to the length of the world’ s longest cave, making it over 500 miles long.
Aerial Geology is an up-in-the-sky exploration of North America’s 100 most spectacular geological formations. Crisscrossing the continent from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to the Great Salt Lake in Utah and to the Chicxulub Crater in Mexico, Mary Caperton Morton brings you on a fantastic tour, sharing aerial and satellite photography, explanations on how each site was formed, and details on what makes each landform noteworthy. Maps and diagrams help illustrate the geological processes and clarify scientific concepts.
Fact-filled, curious, and way more fun than the geology you remember from grade school, Aerial Geology is a must-have for the insatiably curious, armchair geologists, million-mile travelers, and anyone who has stared out the window of a plane and wondered what was below.
Rather than broadly discussing a variety of environmental problems, the author focuses on principles throughout the text, leading students to understand processes and how knowledge of those processes can be applied to environmental problem solving. A wide variety of case studies and quantitative problems accompany each chapter, giving each instructor the flexibility to tailor the material to his/her course. Many problems have no single correct answer, illustrating the analytical nature of solving real-world environmental problems.
It’s a geological structure that spans almost the entire length of California. Dozens of major highways and interstates cross it. Scores of housing developments have been built over it. And its name has become so familiar that it’s now synonymous with the very concept of an earthquake.
Yet, to many of those who are affected by it, the San Andreas Fault is practically invisible and shrouded in mystery. For decades, scientists have warned that the fault is primed for a colossal quake. According to geophysicist John Dvorak, such a sudden shift of the Earth’s crust is inevitable—and may be a geologic necessity.
In Earthquake Storms, Dvorak explains the science behind the San Andreas Fault, a transient, evolving system that’s key to our understanding of worldwide seismic activity. He traces it from the redwood forests to the east edge of the Salton Sea, through two of the largest urban areas of the country: San Francisco and Los Angeles. Its network of subsidiary faults runs through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica, and the Hayward Fault slices the football stadium at the University of California in half. As he warns of peril, Dvorak lays out the worst-case scenario, which he believes is coming: an awakening of the fault leading to years of volatile “earthquake storms.”
Hailed by Booklist as “a fascinating look at what could be in store,” Dvorak’s comprehensive and accessible study will change the way you see the ground beneath your feet.
Suitable for lab courses in structural geology as well as field geology work, Spencer describes representative examples of features found on geologic maps and outlines procedures for interpretation and projection. Geometric techniques are explained using a step-by-step approach. Coverage of mapping methods includes tools that provide necessary data, such as Google Earth, GPS, GIS, LiDAR maps, drones, and aerial photographs. Challenging and engaging exercises throughout the text involve students in the mapping process and stimulate an appreciation of the extent and precision of information presented in geologic maps.
Regional geology is an important component of lab and field mapping projects. As such, the Third Edition includes new maps of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain, Rocky Mountain Front Range, Yellowstone region, Moab, Utah, Shenandoah National Park, and Hawai’i. A new chapter devoted to tectonic maps also broadens students’ exposure. Ed Spencer brings over 45 years of teaching experience to the text along with valuable insight and clarity into the interpretation and preparation of geologic maps.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This book tells the story of nine such epic volcanic events, explaining the related geology for the general reader and exploring the myriad ways in which the earth's volcanism has affected human history. Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders describe in depth how volcanic activity has had long-lasting effects on societies, cultures, and the environment. After introducing the origins and mechanisms of volcanism, the authors draw on ancient as well as modern accounts--from folklore to poetry and from philosophy to literature. Beginning with the Bronze Age eruption that caused the demise of Minoan Crete, the book tells the human and geological stories of eruptions of such volcanoes as Vesuvius, Krakatau, Mount Pelée, and Tristan da Cunha. Along the way, it shows how volcanism shaped religion in Hawaii, permeated Icelandic mythology and literature, caused widespread population migrations, and spurred scientific discovery.
From the prodigious eruption of Thera more than 3,600 years ago to the relative burp of Mount St. Helens in 1980, the results of volcanism attest to the enduring connections between geology and human destiny.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.