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The goal of the book is to articulate how matter, stars, and the solar system evolved; how the Earth acquired its shape and surface; the structure of the Earth's crust; the major forms of igneous rock and the processes by which all rocks are created; the relationship between soil and rock erosion and the flow of rivers; and the effect of ice and wind on the Earth's surface. Updated and expanded, this new edition concludes with two new chapters-one that explains how technology enables planet scientists to measure the behavior of Earth's complex systems in real time and the other on notable scientists whose research and discoveries have advanced the field of geology. An extensive list of significant geological museums and collections, Web sites, and associations is also included. Featuring more than 750 two-color maps, charts, and other illustrations-more than 200 new to this edition-the book is a fine primer in geological science for readers who wish to understand the course of the Earth's evolution.