The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet [NOOK Book]

Overview


From the scorching center of Earth's core to the outer limits of its atmosphere, from the gradual process of erosion that carved the Grand Canyon to the earth-shaking fury of volcanoes and earthquakes, this fascinating book -- inspired by the award-winning Hall of Planet Earth at New York City's American Museum of Natural History -- tells the story of the evolution of our planet and of the science that makes it work. With the same exuberance and expertise they brought to the creation of the Hall of Planet Earth,...

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The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet

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Overview


From the scorching center of Earth's core to the outer limits of its atmosphere, from the gradual process of erosion that carved the Grand Canyon to the earth-shaking fury of volcanoes and earthquakes, this fascinating book -- inspired by the award-winning Hall of Planet Earth at New York City's American Museum of Natural History -- tells the story of the evolution of our planet and of the science that makes it work. With the same exuberance and expertise they brought to the creation of the Hall of Planet Earth, co-curators Edmond A. Mathez and James D. Webster offer a guided tour of Earth's dynamic, 4.6-billion-year history.

Including numerous full-color photographs of the innovative exhibit and helpful, easy-to-understand illustrations, the authors explore the major factors in our planet's evolution: how Earth emerged from the swirling dusts of a nascent solar system; how an oxygen-rich, life-sustaining atmosphere developed; how continents, mountain ranges, and oceans formed; and how earthquakes and volcanic eruptions alter Earth's surface. Traversing geologic time and delving into the depths of the planet- -- beginning with meteorites containing minuscule particles that are the solar system's oldest known objects, and concluding with the unusual microbial life that lives on the chemical and thermal energy produced by sulfide vents in the ocean floor -- The Earth Machine provides an up-to-date overview of the central theories and discoveries in earth science today. By incorporating stories of real-life fieldwork, Mathez and Webster explain how Earth is capable of supporting life, how even the smallest rocks can hold the key to explaining the formation of mountains, and how scientists have learned to read nature's subtle clues and interpret Earth's ever-evolving narrative.

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Editorial Reviews

Science Editor - Beth Norton

A thorough and yet easy-to-understand account of the origins of Earth... The authors definitely know their stuff... But true to their vocations as educators, as well as scientists, they do more than just educate in this volume; they also thoroughly entertain.

Choice - T. L. T. Gross

This book...is outstanding among the many fine books on the subject available today...A book of unusually widespread appeal. Highly recommended.

Science Editor
A thorough and yet easy-to-understand account of the origins of Earth... The authors definitely know their stuff... But true to their vocations as educators, as well as scientists, they do more than just educate in this volume; they also thoroughly entertain.

— Beth Norton

New Scientist - Simon Lamb

A handsome and well-written book, in full colour and jammed full of geological information about the earth.... I commend the authors for the thoroughness, accuracy and detail they give to so many parts of the Earth Sciences.New Scientist

Choice - T.L.T. Gross
This book...is outstanding among the many fine books on the subject available today...A book of unusually widespread appeal. Highly recommended.
New Scientist
A handsome and well-written book, in full colour and jammed full of geological information about the earth.... I commend the authors for the thoroughness, accuracy and detail they give to so many parts of the Earth Sciences.

— Simon Lamb

Natural History

This book is your engaging and scientific tour guide.

Rotunda

This informative book... explores the major forces and factors that shaped and continue to shape our planet.

Bookwatch

A highly recommended text for any who would wonder what climates were like in past times.

Choice
This book...is outstanding among the many fine books on the subject available today...A book of unusually widespread appeal. Highly recommended.

— T. L. T. Gross

Science Books & Films

By means of well-chosen examples taken from nature as we find it, they provide the best of contemporary approaches to, and conclusions about, the major issues.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231500876
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/5/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 378
  • Sales rank: 1,164,263
  • File size: 46 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author


Edmond A. Mathez is curator of petrology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was chief curator of the Hall of Planet Earth. He is the editor of Earth: Inside and Out and The Encyclopedia of Gemstones and Minerals.

James D. Webster is curator of mineral deposits in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was associate curator of the Hall of Planet Earth.

Edmond A. Mathez is curator of petrology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was chief curator of the Hall of Planet Earth. He edited Earth: Inside and Out and The Encyclopedia of Gemstones and Minerals.

James D. Webster is curator of mineral deposits in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was associate curator of the Hall of Planet Earth.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I How has earth evolved? 1
1 The birth of planet earth 3
2 Learning the age of earth 13
3 The evolution of the continents 23
4 Life and conditions on early earth 36
5 Reading rocks : the story of the Grand Canyon 49
Pt. II Why are there ocean basins, continents and mountains? 63
6 Internal earth 65
7 Plate tectonics 84
8 Lavas from the depths of earth 99
9 Great explosive volcanoes 116
10 Earthquakes 137
11 Mountains 156
12 The alps 172
Pt. III What causes earth's climate and climate change? 183
13 The atmosphere 185
14 The world ocean 197
15 The geological record of climate change 209
Pt. IV Why is earth habitable? 227
16 Conditions for life 229
17 Black smokers from the deep 242
18 Some natural resources and how they form 255
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