Earth: Portrait of a Planet / Edition 4

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 08/01/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $45.60
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 69%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (75) from $45.60   
  • New (7) from $89.99   
  • Used (68) from $45.60   


The Fourth Edition of Earth: Portrait of a Planet provides the perfect balance between an authoritative, yet accessible text and a stunning narrative art program. This makes it the book of choice for instructors and students, who all have their own diverse styles of both teaching and learning. The Fourth Edition of this best-selling text constitutes a major revision, packed with recent updates and new features such as beautiful and innovative narrative figures, stimulating inquiry-based pedagogy, a tightened core narrative, hundreds of new photographs, and coverage of hot topics, like the March 2011 earthquake/tsunami that devastated Japan, the rare element crisis, the shifting price of oil, and the recent tornado outbreaks.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393935189
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/17/2011
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 819
  • Sales rank: 70,959
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Marshak is Professor of Geology and Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, an M.S. from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. from Cornell University. He has served as Chair of the Division of Structural Geology and Tectonics of the Geological Society of America. Dr. Marshak has written numerous research articles on topics in structural geology and tectonics, and has authored or co-authored three other books: Basic Methods of Structural Geology; Earth Structure: An Introduction to Structural Geology and Tectonics; and Essentials of Geology.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prelude: And Just What Is Geology? 3
Pt. I Our Island in Space
Ch. 1 Cosmology and the Birth of Earth 15
Ch. 2 Journey to the Center of the Earth 35
Ch. 3 Drifting Continents and Spreading Seas 51
Ch. 4 The Way the Earth Works: Plate Tectonics 77
Pt. II Earth Materials
Ch. 5 Patterns in Nature: Minerals 109
Interlude A: Rock Groups 129
Ch. 6 Up from the Inferno: Magnia and Igneous Rocks 137
Ch. 7 A Surface Veneer: Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks 163
Ch. 8 Change in the Solid State: Metamorphic Rocks 203
Interlude B: The Rock Cycle 227
Pt. III Tectonic Activity of a Dynamic Planet
Ch. 9 The Wrath of Vulcan: Volcanic Eruptions 237
Ch. 10 A Violent Pulse: Earthquakes 269
Interlude C: Seeing Inside the Earth 308
Ch. 11 Crags, Cracks, and Crumples: Crustal Deformation and Mountain Building 319
Pt. IV History Before History
Interlude D: Memories of Past Life: Fossils and Evolution 352
Ch. 12 Deep Time: How Old Is Old? 365
Ch. 13 A Biography of Earth 395
Pt. V Earth Resources
Ch. 14 Squeezing Power from a Stone: Energy Resources 427
Ch. 15 Riches in Rock: Mineral Resources 453
Pt. VI Processes and Problems at the Earth's Surface
Interlude E: Ever-Changing Landscapes and the Hydrologic Cycle 472
Ch. 16 Unsafe Ground: Landslides and Other Mass Movements 481
Ch. 17 Streams and Floods: The Geology of Running Water 507
Ch. 18 Restless Realm: Oceans and Coasts 545
Ch. 19 A Hidden Reserve: Groundwater 581
Ch. 20 An Envelope of Gas: Earth's Atmosphere and Climate 611
Ch. 21 Dry Regions: The Geology of Deserts 645
Ch. 22 Amazing Ice: Glaciers and Ice Ages 667
Ch. 23 Global Change in the Earth System 707
Metric Conversion Chart 736
App. A Scientific Background: Matter and Energy
App. B Flow Charts for Identifying Minerals
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    Great service

    Great service

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)