"Encyclopedia of Earth Science is a contribution to the scientific literature, articulated at a level and presented in a format ideal for high school and college students and general readers. In addition to the broad subdisciplines of Earth science - such as oceanography, structural geology, weather, climate, and geomorphology - the book also provides information on concepts, theories, and hypotheses, places and events, and the major periods of geological time, as well as technology and instruments, people who have made significant contributions to the field, occupations and careers, organizations, and field locations." With approximately 700 cross-referenced entries, most of which conclude with sources for further reading, the encyclopedia features 1900 prose essays, interspersed throughout the text, that discuss the formation of Earth and the solar system, life on Mars, coping with the sea level rise in coastal cities, earthquake warning systems, and other topical issues. Enhanced by more than 200 black-and-white illustrations, photographs, and charts.
As a discipline, earth science is relatively new, and an up-to-date reference keeps readers abreast of the latest developments. Count on Facts On File to provide broad coverage in language that can be equally appreciated by professionals and lay readers. Kusky (earth & atmospheric sciences, St. Louis Univ.) provides detailed definitions for about 700 cross-referenced terms, from "aa lava" to "zircon" and includes 19 feature essays, among them "Age of the Earth," "Is There Life on Mars?" and "History of Ocean Exploration." Entries cover subdisciplines in earth science while also discussing concepts, theories, technology, and people significant to the field. Color would have been a nice addition to the photos and illustrations, though they are clear enough in black and white. The appendixes include a periodic table of the elements and a geologic time line. Bottom Line Although this volume is considerably pricier than the paperback McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Earth Science (2004), its durable format and usability are important considerations. While there are some good standbys, such as Springer's "Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences" series, this work covers the bases while cluing readers into such topics of current interest as "Tsunami Hazards," "Earthquake Warning Systems," and "Is Your Home Safe from Radon?" High school, public, and academic libraries will all find this volume a fine addition to their science reference collections.-Denise Dayton, Main Street Sch., Exeter, NH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.