The Field Guide to Geology / Edition 1

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The Field Guide to Geology, New Edition recounts the fascinating story of the Earth in a vivid, engaging fashion. Written by a team of eminent geologists and educators, the book is a concise, comprehensive overview of the processes that forged the planet and the technologies that have revolutionized the way that scientists investigate Earth's systems.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Reprint of The Cambridge guide to the earth, CUP, 1988. A book of rudiments for young adults. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816038404
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1988
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.19 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Sizing Up Earth
Introduction     12
Earth in space     14
How everything began     16
Birth of the solar system     18
Our layered planet     20
Earth's size and shape     22
Earth's building blocks 1     24
Earth's building blocks 2     26
Energy and Earth     28
Earth as a magnet     30
Chapter 2: The Restless Crust
Introduction     32
Earth's changing surface     34
The ocean floor     36
Oceanic crust     38
Seafloor spreading     40
How seafloor disappears     42
The continental crust     44
Clues to continental drift     46
How continents evolve     48
Mountain building     50
Rocks recycled     52
Chapter 3: Fiery Rocks
Introduction     54
Rocks from magma     56
Fiery rocks formed underground     58
Volcanic rocks     60
Anatomy of a volcano     62
Volcanic landforms     64
Volcanic products     66
Hot water, gas, and mud     68
Fiery rocks of other worlds     70
Chapter 4: Rocks From Scraps
Introduction     72
Rocks from sediments     74
Rocks from fragments 1     76
Rocks from fragments 2     78
Rocks from chemicals     80
Rocks from living things     82
Chapter 5: Deformed and Altered Rocks
Introduction     84
Rising and sinking rocks     86
Tilting and folding rocks     88
Breaking rocks: joints and faults     90
Earthquakes     92
Bombs from space     94
Rocks remade 1     96
Rocks remade 2     98
Chapter 6: Crumbling Rocks
Introduction     100
Rocks attacked by weather 1     102
Rocks attacked by weather 2     104
Soil from rock     106
Types of soil     108
Mass movement     110
Slopes     112
Chapter 7: How Rivers Shape the Land
Introduction     114
Running water     116
Water comes and goes     118
How river valleys form 1     120
How river valleys form 2     122
Where rivers shed their loads     124
Rivers revived     126
Rivers underground     128
Drainage patterns     130
Plateaus and ridges     132
How lakes form     134
Vanishing lakes     136
Chapter 8: The Work of the Sea
Introduction     138
The sea in action     140
Sea attacks the land     142
Drowned coastlines     144
How sea builds land     146
Shores risen from the sea     148
Where coral grows     150
Chapter 9: The Work of Ice and Air
Introduction     152
Glaciers and ice sheets     154
How ice attacks the land     156
Debris dumped by ice 1     158
Debris dumped by ice 2     160
Around an ice sheet's rim     162
Wind the eroder     164
Windblown deposits     166
Lands shaped by wind and water     168
Chapter 10: Change Through the Ages
Introduction     170
Relative dating: using rocks     172
Relative dating: fossils 1     174
Relative dating: fossils 2     176
Clocks in rocks     178
The geological column     180
Early times     182
The Age of Former Life      184
Chapter 11: The Last 543 Million Years
Introduction     186
The Age of Visible Life     188
Cambrian period     190
Ordovician period     192
Silurian period     194
Devonian period     196
Carboniferous period     198
Permian period     200
Triassic period     202
Jurassic period     204
Cretaceous period     206
Paleogene period     208
Neogene period     210
Quaternary period     212
Tomorrow's world     214
Chapter 12: Rocks and Man
Introduction     216
Mapping rocks     218
Finding minerals and fossils     220
Extracting and displaying finds     222
Useful minerals     224
Gemstones     226
Oil and gas     228
Geological prospecting     230
Mining     232
Working with rocks     234
Man-made rocks     236
Chapter 13: Monitoring Earth
Introduction     238
Remote sensing 1     240
Remote sensing 2     242
Landsat     244
Global positioning system      246
Mapping the surface     248
Ice cover     250
Volcanoes     252
Earth's gravity field     254
Earth's magnetic field     256
Faults and earthquakes     258
Seismic monitoring     260
Satellite laser ranging     262
Prospecting     264
Ocean surface topography     266
Seafloor profiling     268
Ocean flow     270
The Ring of Fire     272
Acoustic monitoring     274
Submersibles     276
Monitoring the atmosphere     278
Ozone mapping     280
Future developments     282
Chapter 14: Who and Where?
Introduction     284
Great geologists 1     286
Great geologists 2     288
Museums, collections, societies 1     290
Museums, collections, societies 2     292
Web sites 1     294
Web sites 2     296
Index     298
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