The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks?

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Overview

Jan Zalasiewicz shows how scientists put together clues from the rocks to understand the past, its landscapes and climate, and the nature of the creatures that inhabited it. A thin layer of silt here, a trace formed by a crawling worm there - the clues are often subtle and difficult to read. But by such clues would future geologists - whether hyper-evolved rat or alien visitor - work out our story. Zalasiewicz explores which of our structures are likely to leave traces, and what future explorers might make of us and the impact we made on our environment.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"What fragments of our cities, dams and factories may be detectable in, say, 100 million years' time? It is a simple but intriguing thought experiment that is explored in this neat little geological entertainment."--The Observer

"It is sobering to consider what sort of legacy we're bequeathing our planet and in this regard The Earth After Us is a thoroughly inspirational book. At all levels, it provides a fantastic introduction to the world about us taken from a highly original angle."--Nature

"The central premise of The Earth After Us is in discussing what traces might remain 100 million years in the future of our species and the civilisation we have built if we were to fall extinct. In answering this question, Jan Zalasiewicz provides an engaging and broad sweep of the science of geology, different signals preserved in the rocks, and the important inferences that can be drawn from them."--The Astrobiology Society of Britain

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199214976
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Zalasiewicz is a Lecturer in Geology at the University of Leicester, before that working at the British Geological Survey. A field geologist, palaeontologist and stratigrapher, he teaches various aspects of geology and Earth history to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is a researcher into fossil ecosystems and environments across over half a billion years of geological time. He has published over a hundred papers in scientific journals.

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Table of Contents

Geological timeline

1 Perspective 1

2 100 Million Years AD 7

3 The Strata Machine 13

4 Tectonic Escalator 37

5 High Water, Low Water 59

6 Dynasties 87

7 Echoes 119

8 Traces 159

9 Body of Evidence 191

10 Meeting the People 219

Further Reading 243

Index 247

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