Earth Materials / Edition 1

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Minerals and rocks form the foundation of geologic studies. This new textbook has been written to address the needs of students at the increasing number of universities that have compressed separate mineralogy and petrology courses into a one- or two-semester Earth materials course.

Key features of this book include:

  • equal coverage of mineralogy, sedimentary petrology, igneous petrology and metamorphic petrology;
  • copious field examples and regional relationships with graphics that illustrate the concepts discussed;
  • numerous case studies to show the uses of earth materials as resources and their fundamental role in our lives and the global economy, and their relation to natural and human-induced hazards;
  • the integration of earth materials into a cohesive process-based earth systems framework;
  • two color thoughout with 48 pages of four color.

Readership: students taking an earth materials, or combined mineralogy and petrology course in an earth science degree program. It will also be useful for environmental scientists, engineering geologists, and physical geographers who need to learn about minerals, rocks, soil and water in a comprehensive framework.

A companion website for this book is available at:

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In recent years an increasing number of geoscience departments have elected to combine their introductory mineralogy and petrology courses into a single, one-term "earth materials" course. As a result there has been a need for a textbook that integrates both topics, and this is the niche that Hefferan and O’Brien seek to fill with Earth Materials. Their book provides a clearly written and well-illustrated overview of mineralogy and petrology that is suitable for an undergraduate audience." (Jeffrey H. Tepper, American Mineralogist, Volume 97, 2012)

"There is a pressing need for a single book that compresses the most significant aspects of material previously presented in multiple standard rigorous courses to meet the generally less demanding requirements of much of today's job market.  Hefferan and O'Brien have accomplished this task with Earth Materials.  This work should fill an important niche for lower- to intermediate- level earth and/or environmental science courses." (CHOICE, January 2011)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444334609
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 658,387
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Hefferan was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ to parents originating from Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland. Kevin received his geologic training at New Jersey City State University, Bryn Mawr College and Duke University. Kevin is married to Sherri (Cramer) Hefferan and is the proud father of Kaeli, Patrick, Sierra, Keegan and Quin of Stevens Point, WI.

Married (Anita, 40 years) with two sons (Tyler, 30 and Owen, 26). Born (10 Dec., 1941) in Seattle, Washington, raised there and in Ohio and southern California. Parents were teachers, so summers were spent with family travelling throughout the west, imbuing me with a passion for the natural world. Discovered a passion for working with students as a teaching assistant at Miami University (Ohio) and combined the two passions in a career teaching geological sciences at New Jersey City University. A sedimentologist by training, I took over responsibility for mineralogy, petrology and structure courses when a colleague departed. The Earth Materials text is in part the result of that serendipitous occurrence.

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Table of Contents



1. Earth materials and the geosphere.

2. Atoms, elements, bonds and coordination polyhedra.

3 Atomic substitution, phase diagrams and isotopes.

4. Crystallography.

5. Mineral properties and rock-forming minerals.

6. Optical identification of minerals.

7. Classification of igneous rocks.

8. Magma and intrusive structures.

9. Volcanic features and landforms.

10. Igneous rock associations.

11. The sedimentary cycle: erosion, transportation, deposition and sedimentary structures.

12. Weathering, sediment production and soils.

13. Detrital sediments and sedimentary rocks.

14. Biochemical sedimentary rocks.

15. Metamorphism.

16. Metamorphism: stress, deformation and structures.

17. Texture and classification of metamorphic rocks.

18. Metamorphic zones, facies and facies series.

19. Mineral resources and hazards.



Periodic table.

List of elements.

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