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

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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

"[A] powerful introduction to the idea of the Anthropocene." —Asian Review of World Histories

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199214983
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.60 (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

1. Perspective
2. 100 Million Years AD
3. The Strata Machine
4. Tectonic Escalator
5. High Water, Low Water
6. Dynasties
7. Echoes
8. Traces
9. Body of Evidence
10. Meeting the People
Further reading

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014


    I responded to the banner which appeared on the cover of The Earth After Us--a work in which I was absorbed. I lent the book to my brother-in-law by typing in his e-address in the box provided on the lending form. I believed he would receive a separate electronic copy of The Earth After Us; I was not aware that I would simultaneously be locked out of the one I viewed. My brother-in-law never received a message. He has never seen the book. He could not REJECT what he was not offered, so I couldn't get my book back. When I surrendered and tried to purchase a replacement copy for my own use, I was informed that The Earth After Us is already in my library, and I may not purchase a duplicate copy so that I can finish my reading. I have spoken on the telephone to B & N booksellers twice and visited the local B & N once trying to sort this out, but there is no useful response. I am very disappointed, and I am very angry. By now not very concerned with the success of the various NOOK projects or the continued prosperity of the Barnes & Noble. Possibly they deserve to fail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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