Taking advantage of recent advances throughout the sciences, Matthew Hedman brings the distant past closer to us than it has ever been. Here, he shows how scientists have determined the age of everything from the colonization of the New World over 13,000 years ago to the origin of the universe nearly fourteen billion years ago.
Hedman details, for example, how interdisciplinary studies of the Great Pyramids of Egypt can determine exactly when and how these incredible structures were built. He shows how the remains of humble trees can illuminate how the surface of the sun has changed over the past ten millennia. And he also explores how the origins of the earth, solar system, and universe are being discerned with help from rocks that fall from the sky, the light from distant stars, and even the static seen on television sets.
Covering a wide range of time scales, from the Big Bang to human history, The Age of Everything is a provocative and far-ranging look at how science has determined the age of everything from modern mammals to the oldest stars, and will be indispensable for all armchair time travelers.
“We are used to being told confidently of an enormous, measurable past: that some collection of dusty bones is tens of thousands of years old, or that astronomical bodies have an age of some billions. But how exactly do scientists come to know these things? That is the subject of this quite fascinating book. . . . As told by Hedman, an astronomer, each story is a marvel of compressed exegesis that takes into account some of the most modern and intriguing hypotheses.”—Steven Poole, Guardian
“Hedman is worth reading because he is careful to present both the power and peril of trying to extract precise chronological data. These are all very active areas of study, and as you read Hedman you begin to see how researchers have to be both very careful and incredibly audacious, and how much of our understanding of ourselves—through history, through paleontology, through astronomy—depends on determining the age of everything.”—Anthony Doerr, BostonGlobe
The Gulf of California is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it is also important to earth and marine scientists who work far beyond the area. In text and an accompanying CD-ROM with stunning satellite images, this atlas captures the dynamics of natural cycles in the fertility of the Gulf of California that have been in near-continuous operation for more than five million years. The book is designed to answer key questions that link the health of coastal ecosystems with the region’s evolutionary history: What was the richness of “fossil” ecosystems in the Gulf of California? How has it changed over time? Which ecosystems are most amenable to conservation?
With an emphasis on the intricate workings of the Gulf, a team of scientists led by Markes E. Johnson and Jorge Ledesma-Vázquez explores how marine invertebrates such as corals and bivalves, as well as certain algae, contribute to the operation of a vast “organic engine” that acts as a significant carbon trap. The Atlas reveals that the role of these organisms in the ecology of the Gulf was greatly underestimated in the past. The organisms that live in these environments (or provide the sediments for beaches and dunes) are mass producers of calcium carbonate. Until now, no book has considered the centrality of calcium carbonate production as it functions today across multiple ecosystems and how it has evolved over time.
An important work of scholarship that also evokes the region’s natural splendor, the Atlas will be of interest to a wide range of scientists, including geologists, paleontologists, marine biologists, ecologists, and conservation biologists.
In 1650, Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh joined the long-running theological debate on the age of the earth by famously announcing that creation had occurred on October 23, 4004 B.C. Although widely challenged during the Enlightenment, this belief in a six-thousand-year-old planet was only laid to rest during a revolution of discovery in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In this relatively brief period, geologists reconstructed the immensely long history of the earth-and the relatively recent arrival of human life. Highlighting a discovery that radically altered existing perceptions of a human's place in the universe as much as the theories of Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud did, Bursting the Limits of Time is a herculean effort by one of the world's foremost experts on the history of geology and paleontology to sketch this historicization of the natural world in the age of revolution.
Addressing this intellectual revolution for the first time, Rudwick examines the ideas and practices of earth scientists throughout the Western world to show how the story of what we now call "deep time" was pieced together. He explores who was responsible for the discovery of the earth's history, refutes the concept of a rift between science and religion in dating the earth, and details how the study of the history of the earth helped define a new branch of science called geology. Rooting his analysis in a detailed study of primary sources, Rudwick emphasizes the lasting importance of field- and museum-based research of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Bursting the Limits of Time, the culmination of more than three decades of research, is the first detailed account of this monumental phase in the history of science.
Michael P. Ghiglieri University of Arizona Press, 1992 Library of Congress F788.G45 1992 | Dewey Decimal 917.91320453
Fasten your life jackets for a ride you'll never forget. Now the excitement of a raft trip through the Grand Canyon has been re-created by a seasoned whitewater guide with a passion to share one of the world's most fantastic journeys. Michael Ghiglieri, a professional river guide for more than 17 years, has written the first book to describe that trip from the modern boatman's point of view.
From Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek, Ghiglieri leads you down 226 miles of wild river and through some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth. Along the way, he navigates the Colorado River's dozens of notorious rapids—many of which drop fifteen feet or more—and shares the excitement of waves and boulders, thunder and foam. Recounting a real journey through this geological wonder, Canyon interweaves heart-pounding adventure with factual insights into the world of Grand Canyon. Between the rapids, Ghiglieri relates tales of river runners past and present, lessons in geology and wildlife, observations on the impact of Glen Canyon Dam, and stories of Native inhabitants, from Anasazi ancestors to Havasupai Rastafarians. This trip also offers more than its share of human drama for the passengers aboard, leaving them with tales of their own to tell.
"Running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon is to me the most impressive journey on our planet," writes Ghiglieri, "an adventure that leaves no traveler unchanged." For anyone who has ever shared or contemplated that adventure, Canyon recreates an unforgettable ride.
An easy-to-read geological history of the amazing red rock landscapes in southeastern Utah.
Towering red buttes, plunging canyon walls, domes, pinnacles, spires, ten thousand strangely carved forms—what visitor hasn’t marveled at the land of rock in southeastern Utah that is Canyonlands Country?
Canyonlands Country offers a unique geological history of this awesome landscape, in language understandable by the non-geologist. The story is as strange and fascinating as the land itself. Each exposed rock layer has a different geologic history: one is a stream deposit, another is an ancient field of dunes, another was deposited by shallow tropic seas. The Green and Colorado Rivers began carving canyons thirty million years ago, but to understand such relatively recent events Canyonlands Country takes us on a journey of two billion years.
Tours include Arches National Park, Island in the Sky, Needles District, The Maze and Elaterite Basin, Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons, Meander Canyon, and Cataract Canyon.
With this book, photographer Ken Tape sets changes in the landscape in stark relief, pairing decades-old photos of the arctic landscape of Alaska with photos of the same scenes taken in the present.
The resulting volume is a stunning reminder of inexorable change; divided into sections on vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, the images show the startling effects of climate change. In addition, each section presents a short biography of a pioneering scientist who was instrumental in both obtaining the antique photographs and advancing the study of arctic ecosystems, as well as interviews with scientists who have spent decades working in Alaska for the United States Geological Survey. The Changing Arctic Landscape is a profile of transformation—complex and not yet fully understood.
The Color of Rock: A Novel
Sandra Cavallo Miller University of Nevada Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3613.I55293C65 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
"Part Gray’s Anatomy, part modern western romance, Miller’s enjoyable story marries unexpected diagnoses with the promise of a happily-ever-after and will please fans of Jojo Moyes." —Publishers Weekly
A young physician, Dr. Abby Wilmore, attempts to escape her past by starting over at the Grand Canyon Clinic. Silently battling her own health issues, Abby struggles with adjusting to the demands of this unique rural location. She encounters everything from squirrel bites to suicides to an office plagued by strong personalities. While tending to unprepared tourists, underserved locals, and her own mental trials, Abby finds herself entangled in an unexpected romance and trapped amidst a danger even more treacherous than the foreboding desert landscape.
Sandra Cavallo Miller’s debut novel transports readers to the beautiful depths of Arizona and weaves an adventurous and heartwarming tale of the courage and strength it takes to overcome personal demons and to find love.
Why—against his mentor’s exhortations to publish—did Charles Darwin take twenty years to reveal his theory of evolution by natural selection? In Darwin’s Evolving Identity, Alistair Sponsel argues that Darwin adopted this cautious approach to atone for his provocative theorizing as a young author spurred by that mentor, the geologist Charles Lyell. While we might expect him to have been tormented by guilt about his private study of evolution, Darwin was most distressed by harsh reactions to his published work on coral reefs, volcanoes, and earthquakes, judging himself guilty of an authorial “sin of speculation.” It was the battle to defend himself against charges of overzealous theorizing as a geologist, rather than the prospect of broader public outcry over evolution, which made Darwin such a cautious author of Origin of Species.
Drawing on his own ambitious research in Darwin’s manuscripts and at the Beagle’s remotest ports of call, Sponsel takes us from the ocean to the Origin and beyond. He provides a vivid new picture of Darwin’s career as a voyaging naturalist and metropolitan author, and in doing so makes a bold argument about how we should understand the history of scientific theories.
Baja California: wild, desolate, and a treasure-house of geological wonders. Along its ancient shorelines, careful observers can learn much about how the Gulf of California came into existence and what the future of the Baja California peninsula might be. For those who wish to unlock the mysteries of Baja California, geologist Markes Johnson offers the key. He has taken a body of technical research on the geology and paleontology of the region and made it accessible in plain language for anyone who visits the peninsula, whether for study or recreation. His book teaches general concepts in coastal geomorphology and tectonics, as well as the basic geological and natural history of the Gulf of California, in a conversive, intellectually stimulating fashion. Johnson's guide takes the form of six day-long hikes in the area of Punta Chivato on the east coast of the southern Baja California peninsula. Punta Chivato is presented as a microcosm of the entire region; it can enable visitors to better understand major themes in the natural history of the Gulf of California and its geological past. All of the hikes begin at the southeast corner of the Punta Chivato promontory and loop out in different directions. Each circuit is designed to minimize overlap with adjacent hikes and to maximize the visitor's exposure to instructive variations in the landscape. Each chapter features additional reflections on a geologist of another time and place who has advanced the field in a way that elucidates the material covered in that chapter. Through these asides, readers will learn the basic lessons about how geologists read the secrets hidden in landscapes. Discovering the Geology of Baja California invites visitors to these shores to explore not only rocks and fossils but also the continuum of past ecosystems with the ecology of the present. It offers both an unparalleled guide to a remote area and a new understanding of life caught in an endless cycle of change.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, geology—and its claims that the earth had a long and colorful prehuman history—was widely dismissedasdangerous nonsense. But just fifty years later, it was the most celebrated of Victorian sciences. Ralph O’Connor tracks the astonishing growth of geology’s prestige in Britain, exploring how a new geohistory far more alluring than the standard six days of Creation was assembled and sold to the wider Bible-reading public.
Shrewd science-writers, O’Connor shows, marketed spectacular visions of past worlds, piquing the public imagination with glimpses of man-eating mammoths, talking dinosaurs, and sea-dragons spawned by Satan himself. These authors—including men of science, women, clergymen, biblical literalists, hack writers, blackmailers, and prophets—borrowed freely from the Bible, modern poetry, and the urban entertainment industry, creating new forms of literature in order to transport their readers into a vanished and alien past.
In exploring the use of poetry and spectacle in the promotion of popular science, O’Connor proves that geology’s success owed much to the literary techniques of its authors. An innovative blend of the history of science, literary criticism, book history, and visual culture, The Earth on Show rethinks the relationship between science and literature in the nineteenth century.
Earth has been witness to mammoths and dinosaurs, global ice ages, continents colliding or splitting apart, and comets and asteroids crashing catastrophically to the surface, as well as the birth of humans who are curious to understand it. But how was all this discovered? How was the evidence for it collected and interpreted? And what kinds of people have sought to reconstruct this past that no human witnessed or recorded? In this sweeping and accessible book, Martin J. S. Rudwick, the premier historian of the Earth sciences, tells the gripping human story of the gradual realization that the Earth’s history has not only been unimaginably long but also astonishingly eventful.
Rudwick begins in the seventeenth century with Archbishop James Ussher, who famously dated the creation of the cosmos to 4004 BC. His narrative later turns to the crucial period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when inquisitive intellectuals, who came to call themselves “geologists,” began to interpret rocks and fossils, mountains and volcanoes, as natural archives of Earth’s history. He then shows how this geological evidence was used—and is still being used—to reconstruct a history of the Earth that is as varied and unpredictable as human history itself. Along the way, Rudwick rejects the popular view of this story as a conflict between science and religion and shows how the modern scientific account of the Earth’s deep history retains strong roots in Judaeo-Christian ideas.
Extensively illustrated, Earth’s Deep History is an engaging and impressive capstone to Rudwick’s distinguished career. Though the story of the Earth is inconceivable in length, Rudwick moves with grace from the earliest imaginings of our planet’s deep past to today’s scientific discoveries, proving that this is a tale at once timeless and timely.
A companion to The Western San Juan Mountains (originally published in 1996), The Eastern San Juan Mountains details the physical environment, biological communities, human history, and points of interest in this rich and diverse mountain system.
A natural division between the eastern and western slopes of the San Juans is the north-south line that runs approximately through Lake City, south of the crossing of the Piedra River by US Highway 160. In this super guidebook, twenty-seven contributors--all experts in their fields--artfully bring the geology, hydrology, animal and plant life, human histories, and travel routes of these eastern slopes to life. Designed to inform researchers, educators, and students about the region's complex systems, The Eastern San Juan Mountains also serves as an informative guidebook to accompany visitors along their travels on the Silver Thread National Scenic Byway, which stretches between South Fork and Lake City.
The Eastern San Juan Mountains deserves a place next to The Western San Juan Mountains on the bookshelf of every naturalist, researcher, resident, educator, student, and tourist seeking a greater understanding of this marvelous place and its history.
Edited by Robert T. Pappalardo, William B. McKinnon, and Krishan Khurana University of Arizona Press, 2009 Library of Congress QB404.E97 2009 | Dewey Decimal 523.985
Few worlds are as tantalizing and enigmatic as Europa, whose complex icy surface intimates the presence of an ocean below. Europa beckons for our understanding and future exploration, enticing us with the possibilities of a water-rich environment and the potential for life beyond Earth. This volume in the Space Science Series, with more than 80 contributing authors, reveals the discovery and current understanding of Europa’s icy shell, subsurface ocean, presumably active interior, and myriad inherent interactions within the Jupiter environment. Europa is the foundation upon which the coming decades of scientific advancement and exploration of this world will be built, making it indispensable for researchers, students, and all who hold a passion for exploration.
How were the tropical Americas formed? This ambitious volume draws on extensive, multidisciplinary research to develop new views of the geological formation of the isthmus linking North and South America and of the major environmental changes that reshaped the Neotropics to create its present-day marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Recent discoveries show that dramatic changes in climate and ocean circulation can occur very quickly, and that ecological communities respond just as rapidly. Abrupt changes in the composition of fossil assemblages, formerly dismissed as artifacts of a poor fossil record, now are seen as accurate records of swift changes in the composition of ocean communities.
The twenty-four contributors use current work in paleontology, geology, oceanography, anthropology, ecology, and evolution to paint this challenging portrait of rapid environmental and evolutionary change. Their conclusions argue for a revision of existing interpretations of the fossil record and the processes—including invading Eurasian peoples—that have produced it.
The landscapes of Madagascar have long delighted zoologists, who have discovered, in and among the island’s baobab trees and thickets, a dizzying array of animals, including something approaching one hundred species of lemur. Madagascar’s mammal fauna, for example, is far more diverse, and more endemic, than early explorers and naturalists ever dreamed of. But in the past 2,500 or so years—a period associated with natural climatic shifts and ecological change, as well as partially coinciding with the arrival of the island’s first human settlers—a considerable proportion of Madagascar’s forests have disappeared; and in the wake of this loss, a number of species unique to Madagascar have vanished forever into extinction.
In Extinct Madagascar, noted scientists Steven M. Goodman and William L. Jungers explore the recent past of these land animal extinctions. Beginning with an introduction to the geologic and ecological history of Madagascar that provides context for the evolution, diversification, and, in some cases, rapid decline of the Malagasy fauna, Goodman and Jungers then seek to recapture these extinct mammals in their environs. Aided in their quest by artist Velizar Simeonovski’s beautiful and haunting digital paintings—images of both individual species and ecosystem assemblages reproduced here in full color—Goodman and Jungers reconstruct the lives of these lost animals and trace their relationships to those still living.
Published in conjunction with an exhibition of Simeonovski’s artwork set to open at the Field Museum, Chicago, in the fall of 2014, Goodman and Jungers’s awe-inspiring book will serve not only as a sobering reminder of the very real threat of extinction, but also as a stunning tribute to Madagascar’s biodiversity and a catalyst for further research and conservation.
This first-ever pictorial record of the people and methods of the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District from the 1900s to the 1990s covers early and modern means of extracting, hoisting, processing, and transporting the mineral from mine mouth to end user. Nearly one hundred images carefully selected by author Herbert K. Russell show early pick-and-shovel extraction and open-flame lighting as well as primitive drilling methods and transportation by barrels, buckets, barges, mule teams, and trams, in addition to the use of modern equipment and sophisticated refinement procedures such as froth flotation. Russell also provides an overview of the many industrial uses of fluorspar, from metal work by ancient Romans to the processing of uranium by scientists seeking to perfect the atomic bomb. Preserving what is known about the industry by miners, managers, and museums, this detailed and fascinating pictorial history looks both above and below ground at fluorspar mining.
The Steven C. Minkin (Union Chapel) Paleozoic Footprint Site ranks among the most important fossil sites in the world today, and Footprints in Stone recounts the accidental revelation of its existence and detailed findings about its fossil record.
Currently 2,500 miles from the equator and more than 250 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, the Minkin site was a swampy tropical forest adjacent to a tidal flat during the Coal Age or Carboniferous Period more than 300 million years ago. That fecund strand of sand and mud at the ocean’s edge teemed with the earth’s earliest reptiles as well as amphibians, fish, horseshoe crabs, spiders, jumping insects, and other fascinating organisms. Unlike dinosaurs and other large animals whose sturdy bodies left hard fossil records, most of these small, soft-bodied creatures left no concrete remains. But they did leave something else. Preserved in the site’s coal beds along with insect wings and beautifully textured patterns of primeval plants are their footprints, fossilized animal tracks from which modern paleontologists can glean many valuable insights about their physical anatomies and behaviors.
The paleontological examination of fossil tracks is now the cutting-edge of contemporary scholarship, and the Minkin site is the first and largest site of its kind in eastern North America. Discovered by a local high school science teacher, the site provides both professional and amateur paleontologists around the world with a wealth of fossil track samples along with an inspirational story for amateur explorers and collectors.
Authoritative and extensively illustrated, Footprints in Stone brings together the contributions of many geologists and paleontologists who photographed, documented, and analyzed the Minkin site’s fossil trackways. An engrossing tale of its serendipitous discovery and a detailed study of its fossil records, Footprints in Stone is a landmark publication in the history of paleontology.
The fossil record affords a fascinating glimpse at past environments and the kinds of plants and animals that inhabited them. Some sites, for instance, contain nearly complete preserved records of ancient life. Fourteen of these remarkable fossil depositories are found in North America, including Mistaken Point in Newfoundland, Mazon Creek in Illinois, and Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles.
Fossil Ecosystems of North America describes these and eleven other sites that range across the continent.
John R. Nudds and Paul A. Selden introduce each site and place the fossil findings in geologic and evolutionary context. They go on to describe the history of research at each site—the sedimentology, stratigraphy, biota, paleoecology—and offer comparisons to other localities of similar age or environment. Fossil Ecosystems of North America also includes an appendix of museums at which readers can see specimens from the sites and suggestions for visiting the sites in person. In some cases, new specimens can still be collected from these sites by professionals and amateurs alike.
Accessible and informative, this guide to Fossil-Lagerstätten will appeal to expert scientists and adventuresome lay paleontologists alike.
Approximately 99% of all life that has ever existed is extinct. Fortunately, these long dead species have left traces of their lives and interactions with other species in the rock record that paleoecologists use to understand how species and ecosystems have changed over time. This record of past life allows us to study the dynamic nature of the Earth and gives context to current and future ecological challenges.
This book brings together forty-four classic papers published between 1924 and 1999 that trace the origins and development of paleoecology. The articles cross taxonomic groups, habitat types, geographic areas, and time and have made substantial contributions to our knowledge of the evolution of life. Encompassing the full breadth of paleoecology, the book is divided into six parts: community and ecosystem dynamics, community reconstruction, diversity dynamics, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, species interaction, and taphonomy. Each paper is also introduced by a contemporary expert who gives context and explains its importance to ongoing paleoecological research. A comprehensive introduction to the field, Foundations of Paleoecology will be an essential reference for new students and established paleoecologists alike.
"A fine treatment of this critical time in geology's history. Although it goes against our standard histories of the field, Laudan defends her views convincingly. Her style is direct, with carefully reasoned personal opinions and interpretations clearly defined."—Jere H. Lipps, The Scientist
Despite mining's multidimensional role in the history of Utah since Euro-american settlement, there has never been a book that surveyed and contextualized its impact. From the Ground Up fill that gap with a collection of essays by leading Utah historians and geologists. Essays here address the geology of the state, the economic history of mining in Utah, and the lore of mines and miners. Additionally, the book reviews a handul of particularly significant mineral industries---saline, coal, uranium, and beryllium---and surveys important hard-rock mining regions of the state.
Gems are objects of wealth, icons of beauty, and emblems of the very best of everything. They are kept as signs of prestige or power. Given as tokens of love and affection, they also come in a kaleidoscopic array of hues and can be either mineral or organic. Gems can command a person’s gaze in the way they play with light and express rich color. And they can evoke feelings of passion, greed, mystery, and warmth.
For millennia, gems have played an important role in human culture: they have significant value, both financially and within folklore and mythology. But just what are gems, exactly? This lavishly illustrated volume—the most ambitious publication of its kind—provides a general introduction to gems and natural gemstones, conveying their timeless beauty and exploring similarities among different species and varieties. Gems and Gemstones features nearly 300 color images of the cut gems, precious and semiprecious stones, gem-quality mineral specimens, and fine jewelry to be unveiled in a new Grainger Hall of Gems at The Field Museum in Chicago this October. The book and exhibition’s overarching theme will be the relationship between finished gems and their natural origin: while beautiful as faceted and polished pieces of jewelry, gems are often just as lovely—or even more so—as gemstones in their natural state. For example, an aquamarine or emerald as originally found in a mine with its natural crystal faces can be as stunning as any cut and polished gem prepared for a ring, bracelet, or charm.
Thoughtful of both ancient and modern times, Gems and Gemstones also includes fun-filled facts and anecdotes that broaden the historical portrait of each specimen. When Harry Winston, for instance, donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1958, he sent it through the U.S. mail wrapped in plain brown paper. And for anyone who has ever marveled at the innovations of top jewelry designers, Gems and Gemstones features a dazzling array of polished stones, gold objects, and creations from around the world. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, amethysts, pearls, topaz, amber—every major gem gets its due in what will be an invaluable source on the subject for years to come.
Gems and Gemstones is the basis for the iPad app, available in the Apple iTunes App Store, Gems and Jewels.
Complex sets of environmental factors have interacted over the past 5,000 years to affect how changes in climate, temperature, relative precipitation, and the levels of Lake Michigan influence the preservation of archaeological sites in coastal sand dunes along Lake Michigan. As a collaboration between earth scientists, archaeologists, and geoarchaeologists, this study draws on a wealth of research and multidisciplinary insights to explore the conditions necessary to safeguard ancient human settlements in these landscapes. A variety of contemporary and innovative techniques, including numerous dating methods and approaches, were employed to determine when and for how long sand dunes were active and when and for how long archaeological sites were occupied. Knowledge of dune processes and settlement patterns not only affects archaeological interpretations, but it is also consummately important to land planners responsible for managing heritage archaeological sites in the Lake Michigan coastal zone.
Robert Fillmore’s clear, easy-to-read text documents spectacular features of the eastern Colorado Plateau, one of the most interesting and scenic geologic regions in the world. The area covered in detail stretches from the Book Cliffs to the deep canyons of the San Juan River area. The events that shaped this vast region are clearly described and include the most recent interpretations of ongoing geologic forces. The book also includes mile-by-mile road logs with explanations of the various features for most of the scenic roads in the region, including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and the Natural Bridges area.
Geological Sciences in the Antebellum South offers nine essays that provide detailed information about the early geological exploration of the southeastern United States. Originally presented under the aegis of the Geological Society of America, these essays cover observations and studies made between 1796 and the 1850s. Each essay includes fascinating biographic sketches of the author, a bibliography, and an index.
The Geology, Ecology, and Human History of the San Luis Valley explores the rich landscapes and diverse social histories of the San Luis Valley, an impressive mountain valley spanning over 9,000 square miles that crosses the border of south-central Colorado and north-central New Mexico and includes many cultural traditions. Twenty-six expert scholars and educators—including geologists, geographers, biologists, ecologists, linguists, historians, sociologists, and consultants—uncover the natural and cultural history of the region, which serves as home to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the San Juan Mountains, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and the Rio Grande headwaters.
The first section, “The Geology and Ecology of the San Luis Valley,” surveys the geomorphology, hydrology, animal and plant life, conservation, management, and mining of the valley’s varied terrain. The second section, “Human History of the San Luis Valley,” recounts the valley’s human visitation and settlement, from early indigenous life to Spanish exploration to Hispanic and Japanese settlements. This section introduces readers to the region’s wide range of religious identities—Catholic, Latter-day Saint, Buddhist, Jehovah’s Witness, Amish, and Mennonite—and diverse linguistic traditions, including Spanish, English, Dutch, Danish, Japanese, and Mayan. The final section, “Travel Itineraries,” addresses recreation, specifically fly-fishing and rock climbing.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of the endemic flora and fauna, human history of indigenous lifeways, and diverse settlement patterns that have shaped the region. The Geology, Ecology, and Human History of the San Luis Valley will appeal to students and scholars of geology, ecology, environmental history, and cultural history, as well as residents and tourists seeking to know more about this fascinating and integral part of Colorado and New Mexico.
Benjamin Armstrong, Timothy Armstrong, Deacon Aspinwall, Robert Benson, Lorrie Crawford, Kristy Duran, Jeff Elison, Eric Harmon, Devin Jenkins, Bradley G. Johnson, Robert M. Kirkham, Bessie Konishi, Angie Krall, Richard D. Loosbrock, Richard Madole, A. W. Magee, Victoria Martinez, James McCalpin, Mark Mitchell, R. Nathan Pipitone, Andrew Valdez, Rio de la Vista, Damián Vergara Wilson
This detailed interpretive guide explains the forces that created Utah's unforgettable scenery, while providing road logs of highways and major backroads through the Grand Staircase of the Colorado Plateau.
Where in Utah can you find a fossilized ant hill that is at least fifty million years old? Do you know the location of an ancient beach that disappeared along with the dinosaurs that strolled it? Find out in The Geology of the Parks, Monuments, and Wildlands of Southern Utah.
This fascinating and authoritative guide belongs on the dashboard or in the backpack of every visitor to southern Utah or student of its natural history. More than sixty illustrations and nearly three dozen photographs accompany clear explanations of the spectacular geologic features of this landscape, including Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks, as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument.
Section I of the volume surveys chronologically the origins of the formations and structural features and the geologic processes that have shaped the Colorado Plateau. Section II provides road logs with mile-by-mile geologic descriptions of key sections of highway traversing this area.
This detailed interpretive guide turns any windshield into a window of opportunity for understanding the forces that created Utah’s unforgettable scenery—whether it be a breathtaking panorama or a dazzling array of fins and fractures, pillars and pedestals, or cliffs and chasms.
The most powerful forces on earth have shaped the landscape of Southeast Alaska. Scientists and visitors from around the world trek north to experience wild rivers, powerful glaciers, and breathtaking mountain peaks. Now, for the first time, a handy guide to the region is available. Complete with color illustrations revealing millions of years of geological history and in-depth descriptions of Sitka, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, Geology of Southeast Alaska is essential reading for anyone fascinated by rock and ice in motion.
Written by a geologist with over twenty-five years of experience in the north, Geology of Southeast Alaska will entertain and inform with abundant photographs and detailed drawings. Whether you want to understand the forces that shaped the state of Alaska, or you want to learn the basics of glacial movement, this compact, authoritative book is for you.
Geology of the Great Basin is the essential introduction to the geology of this physically complex, ever-changing region. Written in a clear, succinct style and generously illustrated with photographs, diagrams, and maps, the book describes the fundamentals of geologic processes, then discusses the physical attributes and geologic history of the Great Basin. The author also offers readers information about specific sites where significant geologic features can be observed. The book, first published in 1986, is now available in a new, easier-to-handle paperback edition that will make it more convenient for classroom use and for readers who want to carry it with them in their car or backpack.
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail meanders across the state of Wisconsin through scenic glacial terrain dotted with lakes, steep hills, and long, narrow ridges. David M. Mickelson, Louis J. Maher Jr., and Susan L. Simpson bring this landscape to life and help readers understand what Ice Age Wisconsin was like. An overview of Wisconsin’s geology and key geological concepts helps readers understand geological processes, materials, and landforms. The authors detail geological features along each segment of the Ice Age Trail and at each of the nine National Ice Age Scientific Reserve sites.
Readers can experience the Ice Age Trail through more than one hundred full-color photographs, scores of beautiful maps, and helpful diagrams. Science briefs explain glacial features such as eskers, drumlins, and moraines. Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail also includes detailed trail descriptions that are cross referenced with the science briefs to make it easy to find the geological terms used in the trail descriptions. Whatever your level of experience with hiking or knowledge of glaciers, this book will provide lively, informative, and revealing descriptions for a new understanding of the shape of the land beneath our feet.
Geology of Utah's Rivers
William T Parry University of Utah Press, 2008 Library of Congress QE169.P37 2008 | Dewey Decimal 557.92
Despite being the second-driest state in the U.S., a substantial portion of Utah’s geologic and cultural history involves rivers, and the effects of flowing water are evident across the state. This book is about the geology of the rivers that shaped Utah’s present landscape, the ancient rivers that left their deposits as a part of the mountains, and the mythical rivers that inspired early exploration.
Parry approaches his subject from many angles—the mountain building events that provide a source for the rivers, the physiographic provinces that give the modern rivers their character, and the deposits of sand and gravel that formed as ancient rivers flowed. Fossil and modern fish fauna are described to provide a unique guide to some aspects of rivers not available by any other method. The description of rivers is completed with the 'historical' account of rivers that did not exist—the mythical rivers of Utah.
Transcending the notion of a traditional geology text, Parry provides detailed commentary on historical exploration and the development of the local scenery. His ambitious scholarship offers a fresh look at Utah’s changing landscape throughout geologic time.
French zoologist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) helped form and bring credibility to geology and paleontology. Here Martin J. S. Rudwick provides the first modern translation of Cuvier's essential writings on fossils and catastrophes and links these translated texts together with his own insightful narrative and interpretive commentary.
"Martin Rudwick has done English-speaking science a considerable service by translating and commenting on Cuvier's work. . . . He guides us through Cuvier's most important writings, especially those which demonstrate his new technique of comparative anatomy."—Douglas Palmer, New Scientist
This new edition of The Geysers of Yellowstone is the most up-to-date and comprehensive reference to the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, describing in detail each of the more than five hundred geysers in the park. The entire text has been revised and geyser descriptions have been updated based on activity observed through early 2018. Information about a number of significant new geyser developments has been added, as well as recent knowledge about some of the world’s geyser fields outside Yellowstone.
Both a reference work and a fine introduction to the nature of geyser activity, this popular field guide includes a glossary of key terms, a comprehensive appendix that discusses other geyser areas of the world, detailed maps of each geyser basin, and tables for easy reference. The Geysers of Yellowstone will continue to serve geyser gazers as well as newcomers to geothermal phenomena for years to come.
In Granite andGrace Michael Cohen reflects on a lifetime of climbing, walking, and pondering the granite in Yosemite National Park at Tuolumne Meadows. This high-country region of Yosemite is dominated by a young, beautifully glaciated geological formation known as the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite. It does not include familiar Yosemite icons like Half Dome, yet geologists describe this granitic realm at over 8,000 feet as “an iconic American landscape.”
Drawing together the humanistic and scientific significance of the wild landscapes he traverses, Michael uncovers relationships between people and places and meaning and substance, rendering this text part memoir—but also considerably more. On-the-rock encounters by hand and foot open up a dialogue between the heart of a philosopher and the mind of a geologist. Michael adds a literary softness to this hard landscape, blending excursions with exposition and literature with science. It is through his graceful representations that the geological becomes metaphorical, while the science turns mythological.
This high country, where in 1889 John Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson planned what would become Yosemite National Park, is significant for cultural as well as natural reasons. Discoursing on everything from Camus’s “Myths of Sisyphus” to the poems of Gary Snyder, Michael adds depth to an already splendorous landscape. Premier early geologists, such as François Matthes, shaped the language of Yosemite’s landscape. Even though Yosemite has changed over half a century, the rock has not. As Michael explores the beauty and grace of his familiar towering vistas, he demonstrates why, of the many aspects of the world to which one might get attached, the most secure is granite.
"Arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science
"After a superficial first glance, most readers of good will and broad knowledge might dismiss [this book] as being too much about too little. They would be making one of the biggest mistakes in their intellectual lives. . . . [It] could become one of our century's key documents in understanding science and its history."—Stephen Jay Gould, New York Review of Books
"Surely one of the most important studies in the history of science of recent years, and arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science
The geologic story of the Great Lakes region is one of the most remarkable of any place on Earth. Great Lakes Rocks takes readers on this fascinating journey through geologic history, beginning with an investigation of the surface features—the hills and valleys, waterfalls and caves, and the Great Lakes themselves—that we encounter on a daily basis. From there the book digs deeper into the past, and readers learn about the amazing techniques geologists have used to reconstruct the events that shaped this region millions and even billions of years before humans set foot on Earth. Throughout, the book gives special attention to the link between the region’s geology and its modern history, including the impacts of geology on settlement patterns as well as the development of industries and the present-day economy. Other discussed topics include natural hazards that are geologic in nature, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, and coastal erosion, as well as information on rocks, minerals, and ancient life seen in fossils. Written for nonspecialist readers, this book provides a detailed but easy-to-follow introduction to the geology of the Great Lakes region, and it is an ideal fit for introductory geology courses, including those aimed at nonscience majors.
Following the discovery in Europe in the late 1850s that humanity had roots predating known history and reaching deep into the Pleistocene era, scientists wondered whether North American prehistory might be just as ancient. And why not? The geological strata seemed exactly analogous between America and Europe, which would lead one to believe that North American humanity ought to be as old as the European variety. This idea set off an eager race for evidence of the people who might have occupied North America during the Ice Age—a long, and, as it turned out, bitter and controversial search.
In The Great Paleolithic War, David J. Meltzer tells the story of a scientific quest that set off one of the longest-running feuds in the history of American anthropology, one so vicious at times that anthropologists were deliberately frightened away from investigating potential sites. Through his book, we come to understand how and why this controversy developed and stubbornly persisted for as long as it did; and how, in the process, it revolutionized American archaeology.
As Stephen Pyne reveals in his biography, few other scientists can match Grove Karl Gilbert’s range of talents. A premier explorer of the American West who made major contributions to the cascade of new discoveries about the earth, Gilbert described two novel forms of mountain building, invented the concept of the graded stream, inaugurated modern theories of lunar origin, helped found the science of geomorphology, and added to the canon of conservation literature.
Gilbert knew most of geology's grand figures--including John Wesley Powell, Clarence Dutton, and Clarence King--and Pyne's chronicle of the imperturbable, quietly unconventional Gilbert is couterpointed with sketches of these prominent scientists. The man who wrote that "happiness is sitting under a tent with walls uplifted, just after a brief shower,", created answers to the larger questions of the earth in ways that have become classics of his science.
Robert Root University of Iowa Press, 2013 Library of Congress F129.L765R66 2013 | Dewey Decimal 974.798
Reflecting on how a student’s parents met because of a fly ball to center field in a summer softball game, author Robert Root wondered how the lives of that student’s parents and of the student himself would have changed had the batter bunted or struck out. Haunted by this pure example of happenstance, he began to ponder his own existence, dependent in part on geology (the Niagara Escarpment) and history (the Erie Canal). He wondered how happenstance had influenced the course of his parents’ lives, in particular their marriages (they married and divorced each other twice), and consequently the shaping of his identity. Happenstance investigates the effects of that phenomenon and choice on one man’s life.
Root explores this theme in interwoven strands of narrative, interpretation, and reflection. One strand, “The Hundred Days,” follows his attempt to write one hundred journal entries, each about a different day in his life, to recover memories of specific moments or collections of moments. In the strand headed “Album,” he examines and interprets old family photographs in light of the way he reads them in the present, as someone now privy to a family secret that directed his and his siblings’ lives without their knowledge. Interspersed among these brief interpretations and narratives are reflections on happenstance and choice, a sequence contemplating their effect on his life and perhaps on all our lives. Through juxtaposition and accumulation, the book’s incremental unraveling of meaning imitates the process of unexpected epiphanies and gradual self-discovery in anyone’s life.
By revisiting individual days, giving voice to photographs that mutely preserve family moments, and reflecting on the way happenstance and choice determine the directions lives take, Robert Root generates a meditation on identity anchored in an album in words and images of a mid-twentieth-century life.
In 1848 news of the discovery of gold in California triggered an enormous wave of emigration toward the Pacific. Lured by the promise of riches, thousands of settlers left behind the forests, rain, and fertile soil of the eastern United States in favor of the rough-hewn lands of the American West. The dramatic terrain they struggled to cross is so familiar to us now that it is hard to imagine how frightening—even godforsaken—its sheer rock faces and barren deserts seemed to our forebears.
Hard Road West brings their perspective vividly to life, weaving together the epic overland journey of the covered wagon trains and the compelling story of the landscape they encountered. Taking readers along the 2,000-mile California Trail, Keith Meldahl uses the diaries and letters of the settlers themselves—as well as the countless hours he has spent following the trail—to reveal how the geology and geography of the West directly affected our nation’s westward expansion. He guides us through a corrugated landscape of sawtooth mountains, following the meager streams that served as lifelines through an arid land, all the way to California itself, where colliding tectonic plates created breathtaking scenery and planted the gold that lured travelers west in the first place.
“Alternates seamlessly between vivid accounts of the 19th-century journey and lucid explanations of the geological events that shaped the landscape traveled. . . . The reader comes away with both an appreciation for the arduous cross-continental wagon journey and an understanding of the events that created such a vast and difficult landscape.”—Library Journal
“[Meldahl] draws on his professional knowledge to explain the geology of the West, showing how centuries of geological activity had a direct effect on the routes taken by the travelers. . . . Meldahl provides a novel account of the largest overland migration since the Crusades.”—Science News
Henry Darwin Rogers was one of the first professional geologists in the United States. He directed two of the earliest state geological surveys--New Jersey and Pennsylvania--in the mid-1830s. His major interest was Pennsylvania, with its Appalachian Mountains, which Rogers saw as great folds of sedimentary rock. He belived that an interpretation of these folds would lead to an understanding of the dynamic processes that had shaped the earth. From Rogers' efforts to explain these Pennsylvania folds came the first uniquely American theory of mountain elevation, a theory that Rogers personally considered his most significant achievement.
The Highlands Controversy is a rich and perceptive account of the third and last major dispute in nineteenth-century geology stemming from the work of Sir Roderick Murchison. The earlier Devonian and Cambrian-Silurian controversies centered on whether the strata of Devon and Wales should be classified by lithological or paleontological criteria, but the Highlands dispute arose from the difficulties the Scottish Highlands presented to geologists who were just learning to decipher the very complex processes of mountain building and metamorphism. David Oldroyd follows this controversy into the last years of the nineteenth century, as geology was transformed by increasing professionalization and by the development of new field and laboratory techniques. In telling this story, Oldroyd's aim is to analyze how scientific knowledge is constructed within a competitive scientific community—how theory, empirical findings, and social factors interact in the formation of knowledge.
Oldroyd uses archival material and his own extensive reconstruction of the nineteenth-century fieldwork in a case study showing how detailed maps and sections made it possible to understand the exceptionally complex geological structure of the Highlands
An invaluable addition to the history of geology, The Highlands Controversy also makes important contributions to our understanding of the social and conceptual processes of scientific work, especially in times of heated dispute.
Northern Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts in every season. These mountains rise spectacularly from the relatively flat valley floor to thirteen peaks over 11,000 feet in elevation. An additional nineteen peaks rise more than 10,000 feet in elevation. Although many hiking guides exist for the Wasatch Mountains, there has been no guide book that focuses on the geologic features visible from the trails—until now.
Written by a recognized authority on the geology of the Wasatch Mountains, this guide is meant to enrich the experience of outdoor enthusiasts who want to understand the geological history and development of the Wasatch range. The first section of the book introduces the major geological time periods—the record of mountain building events from oldest to youngest, the effects of glaciation, and the development of the present topography. It then follows with a descriptive trail guide for each major trail system, including Mill Creek and Neffs Canyons, Mount Olympus, Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, and Bells Canyon. Trail length, elevation gain, relative difficulty, and major geological features are outlined for each trail. Now you can hike these trails with the answers to all your geologic questions right at your fingertips.
A History Of Geology
Gohau, Gabriel Rutgers University Press, 1991 Library of Congress QE11.G64 1991 | Dewey Decimal 550.9
"By far the best short introduction to the history of geology in printÐÐor out of it, for that matter. There is simply no other one-volume introduction to the whole sweep of the history of geology that one can safely recommend to students. More than that, Gohau's perspective is refreshingly global. The English edition is more than just a translation: the Carozzis and the author have collaborated to clarify and expand the work and to include the notes omitted from the original French edition."ÐÐMartin Rudwick
"Gohau explains, rather than recounts. Readers will be well-served by the author's care in setting the broader intellectual context that surrounded an idea or a person. Informative and stimulating at the same time . . . the book deserves a wide audience."ÐÐKennard B. Bork, Earth Sciences History
" Designed primarily with the student and general reader in mind . . . this . . . admirably compact and informative . . . account of the history of geology merits the attention of scholars as well. It succeeds both as a concise introduction to the subject and as an interpretive essay on some of its main themes."ÐÐKenneth Taylor, Isis
This book is by far the best history of geology available. It begins with the Greeks and ends with continental drift and plate tectonics. Gabriel Gohau also looks at the early theories of the formation of the world and then moves to philosophical debates over mountains, fossils, the Flood, volcanoes, and cycles of earth history that preoccupied the geologists and biologists of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century. After discussing the late nineteenth-century consolidation of theories about the mechanisms of changes in the earth, he concludes with an account of twentieth century geology's scientific revolution.
Iowa's rock record is the product of more than three billion years of geological processes. The state endured multiple episodes of continental glaciation during the Pleistocene Ice Age, and the last glacier retreated from Iowa a mere (geologically speaking) twelve thousand years ago. Prior to that, dozens of seas came and went, leaving behind limestone beds with rich fossil records. Lush coal swamps, salty lagoons, briny basins, enormous alluvial plains, ancient rifts, and rugged Precambrian mountain belts all left their mark. In Iowa's Geological Past, Wayne Anderson gives us an up-to-date and well-informed account of the state's vast geological history from the Precambrian through the end of the Great Ice Age.
Anderson takes us on a journey backward into time to explore Iowa's rock-and-sediment record. In the distant past, prehistoric Iowa was covered with shallow seas; coniferous forests flourished in areas beyond the continental glaciers; and a wide variety of animals existed, including mastodon, mammoth, musk ox, giant beaver, camel, and giant sloth.
The presence of humans can be traced back to the Paleo-Indian interval, 9,500 to 7,500 years ago. Iowa in Paleozoic time experienced numerous coastal plain and shallow marine environments. Early in the Precambrian, Iowa was part of ancient mountain belts in which granite and other rocks were formed well below the earth's surface.
The hills and valleys of the Hawkeye State are not everlasting when viewed from the perspective of geologic time. Overall, Iowa's geologic column records an extraordinary transformation over more than three billion years. Wayne Anderson's profusely illustrated volume provides a comprehensive and accessible survey of the state's remarkable geological past.
For centuries, France has long been the world’s greatest wine-producing country. Its wines are the global gold standard, prized by collectors, and its winemaking regions each offer unique tasting experiences, from the spice of Bordeaux to the berry notes of the Loire Valley. Although grape variety, climate, and the skill of the winemaker are essential in making good wine, the foundation of a wine’s character is the soil in which its grapes are grown. Who could better guide us through the relationship between the French land and the wine than a geologist, someone who deeply understands the science behind the soil? Enter scientist Charles Frankel.
In Land and Wine, Frankel takes readers on a tour of the French winemaking regions to illustrate how the soil, underlying bedrock, relief, and microclimate shape the personality of a wine. The book’s twelve chapters each focus in depth on a different region, including the Loire Valley, Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne, Provence, the Rhône valley, and Bordeaux, to explore the full meaning of terroir. In this approachable guide, Frankel describes how Cabernet Franc takes on a completely different character depending on whether it is grown on gravel or limestone; how Sauvignon yields three different products in the hills of Sancerre when rooted in limestone, marl, or flint; how Pinot Noir will give radically different wines on a single hill in Burgundy as the vines progress upslope; and how the soil of each château in Bordeaux has a say in the blend ratios of Merlot and Cabernet-Sauvignon. Land and Wine provides a detailed understanding of the variety of French wine as well as a look at the geological history of France, complete with volcanic eruptions, a parade of dinosaurs, and a menagerie of evolution that has left its fossils flavoring the vineyards.
Both the uninitiated wine drinker and the confirmed oenophile will find much to savor in this fun guide that Frankel has spiked with anecdotes about winemakers and historic wine enthusiasts—revealing which kings, poets, and philosophers liked which wines best—while offering travel tips and itineraries for visiting the wineries today.
Landforms of Iowa
Jean C. Prior University of Iowa Press, 1991 Library of Congress GB428.I6P73 1991 | Dewey Decimal 551.4109777
Here is a captivating, authoritative guide to the Hawkeye State's landscape features and their geologic ingredients. The clearly presented text and superb full-color photographs and maps will inspire all visitors to read and enjoy the story of Iowa's landscape.
Landscape Of Desire
Greg Gordon Utah State University Press, 2003 Library of Congress F830.G67 2003 | Dewey Decimal 917.9250433
Landscape of Desire powerfully documents and celebrates a place and the evolutions that occur when human beings are intimately connected to their surroundings. Greg Gordon accomplishes this with a tapestry of writing that interweaves land use history, natural history, experiential education, and personal reflection. He tracks the geomorphology of southern Utah as well as the creatures and plants his student group encounters, the history lessons (planned and unplanned), the trials and joys of gathering so many individuals into a cohesive will, and his own personal epiphanies, restraints, insights, and disillusionments.
Landscape of Desire examines the plight of the western landscape. It discusses a wide range of issues, including mining, grazing, dams, recreation, wilderness, and land management. Since recreation has replaced extraction industries as the primary use of wilderness, especially in southern Utah, Gordon addresses its impactful qualities. He overviews the history of the conflict between preservation and development and places these issues in a cultural context. The text is presented in a narrative format, following the individuals of one field course Gordon lead that explored Muddy Creek and the Dirty Devil River from Interstate 70 to Lake Powell. Though each chapter focuses on the geologic formation the group is traveling through, the plants, animals, ecology, and human impacts are all tightly woven into the narrative. Not only does the land affect the members of the field course, but their attitudes and insights affect the land.
In Landscape of Desire Gordon achieves a vision of wholeness of this popular and contested region of Utah that centers around the implications of being human and also stewards of the wild.
Tennessee’s geologic history has evolved in myriad ways since its initial formation more than a billion years ago, settling into its current place on the North American supercontinent between 300 and 250 million years ago. Throughout that long span of “deep time,” Tennessee’s landscape morphed into its present form. The Last Billion Years: A Geologic History of Tennessee is the first general overview in more than thirty years to interpret the state’s geological record. With minimal jargon, numerous illustrations and photographs, and a glossary of scientific terms, this volume provides the tools necessary for readers with little or no background in the subject to learn about the geologic formation of Tennessee, making it an excellent resource for high school students, college students, and interested general readers. Yet, because of the depth of its scholarship, the book is also an invaluable reference for professional geologists.
Recognizing that every reader is familiar with the roles of wind, water, gravity, and organisms in their everyday environment, author Don Byerly employs the Earth Systems Science approach, showing how the five interacting parts of the Earth—the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere—have worked together for eons to generate the rock compositions that make up Tennessee’s geologic past.
All regions of the state are covered. Featuring a unique time chart that illustrates the state’s geologic history from east to west, The Last Billion Years shows that while the geologic aspects of the state’s three grand divisions are related in many ways, each division has a distinctly different background. The organization of the book further enhances its usability, allowing the reader to see and compare what was happening contemporaneously across the state during the key sequences of its geologic history. Written in a clear and engaging style, The Last Billion Years will have broad appeal to students, lay readers, and professionals.
Late Quaternary Environments of the United States was first published in 1983. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In the late 1970s American and Russian scientists met twice in conferences on Quaternary paleoclimates sponsored by the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Bilateral Agreement on the Environment. The conferees agreed to prepare volumes summarizing the current status of research in the two countries. Late-Quaternary Environments of the United States provides a two-volume overview of new and significant information on research of the last fifteen years, since the 1965 publication of Quaternary of the United States,edited by H E. Wright, Jr., and D. G. Frey. The volume on the late Quaternary in the Soviet Union will also be published by the University of Minnesota Press.
Volume 1 of Late-Quaternary Environments of the United States covers the Late Pleistocene, the interval between 25,000 and 10,000 years ago—a time of extreme environmental stress as the world passed from full-glacial conditions of the last ice age into the present interglacial age. The interval of geologic time since the last glacial period—termed the Holocene—is the subject of Volume 2. The complexity of the natural changes occurring in the late Quaternary, and their interrelationships, make it impossible for a single scientific discipline to encompass them. Thus the papers in both volumes come from authors in many research fields—geology, ecology, physical geography, archaeology, geochemistry, geophysics, limnology, soil science, paleontology, and climatology. Many of the hypotheses presented—especially on the dynamic Late Pleistocene environments—are still hotly debated and will require additional testing as scientists strive to reconstruct the changing world of the glacial and postglacial ages.
Living by the Rules of the Sea
David M. Bush, Orrin H. Pilkey and William J. Neal Duke University Press, 1996 Library of Congress HT391.B83 1996 | Dewey Decimal 333.917
Living by the Rules of the Sea is a primer for people living along the nation's coastlines, those considering moving to the coast, or those who want a greater understanding of the risks and dangers posed by living at the seacoast. Published as part of Duke University Press's Living with the Shore series, but without a direct focus on the coastline of one particular state, this book is intended as an overall guide to coastal physical processes, risk assessment of potential property damage from coastal natural hazards, and property damage mitigation.
Over the past twenty years, the authors have mapped and studied most of the barrier islands in the United States and have experienced coastal processes such as storms and shoreline retreat at close range. They represent a coastal geology/oceanographic perspective that is decidedly in favor of preserving the natural protective capabilities of the native coastal environment. While strongly anti-engineering in outlook, Living by the Rules of the Sea does provide a review of coastal engineering techniques. It also examines methods of repairing damage to the natural environment that lessen the prospect of further property damage. Finally, it employs a more inclusive "coastal zone" approach rather than simply concentrating on a more narrowly defined shoreline. Barrier islands are viewed as part of a larger system in which changes in one part of the system—for example, the mining of sand dunes or dredging offshore for beach replenishment sand—can have profound effects on another part of the system, predictable effects even though they may not be visible for years or decades.
A comprehensive handbook with references to recent storms including hurricanes Andrew, Gilbert, Hugo, Emily, and Opal, Living by the Rules of the Sea is designed to help people make better and more informed choices about where or if to live at the coast.
Living with the South Carolina Coast
Gered Lennon, William J. Neal, David Bush, Orrin H. Pilkey, Matthew Stutz and Jane Bullock Duke University Press, 1996 Library of Congress HT393.S6L59 1996 | Dewey Decimal 333.910097578
Living with the South Carolina Coast is the latest volume in the Living with the Shore series that comprehensively investigates the status of a specific state's coastal region. Completely revising a previously published work in the series that dealt with South Carolina, this book not only brings up-to-date a wealth of information on migrating shorelines, selection of building sites, and pertinent regulations, but also reflects an expanded concept of the coast to include a broad range of coastal hazards. Powerful storms have always played a major role in coastal processes in South Carolina, and the effects of Hurricane Hugo, the storm that ravaged the area in 1989, are thoroughly discussed. A series of Coastal Risk Maps are also included. These maps, graphically depicting areas of predictable erosion and storm damage potential, have been provided for every developed beach or barrier island in the state. Beyond the threat of hurricanes and coastal erosion, South Carolina, home of the Charleston Seismic Region, is also at risk for earthquakes. An entire chapter is devoted to earthquake-resistant construction, and the great Charleston earthquake of 1886 is examined in detail. Fires and floods are discussed. The Beachfront Management Act of 1990—the first state legislation of its kind that provides a system for dealing with migrating shorelines while preserving beaches for future generations—is also explained. Covering everything from a history of the development of South Carolina's coast to recommendations on how to select an island homesite, this book will be a resource to professional coastal planners and managers, residents, prospective homeowners, and naturalists.
The Longest Cave
Roger W. Brucker and Richard A. Watson Southern Illinois University Press, 1987 Library of Congress GB606.M35B78 1987 | Dewey Decimal 551.44709769754
In 1925 the geological connection between Flint Ridge and Mammoth Cave was proved when dye placed in a Flint Ridge spring showed up in Echo River at Mammoth Cave.
That tantalizing swirl of dye confirmed speculations that were to tempt more than 650 cavers over half a century with the thrill of being the first to make human passage of the cave connection. Roger Brucker and Richard Watson tell not only of their own twenty-year effort to complete the link but the stories of many others who worked their way through mud-choked crawlways less than a foot high only to find impenetrable blockages.
Floyd Collins died a grisly death in nearby Sand Cave in 1925, after being trapped there for 15 days. The wide press coverage of the rescue efforts stirred the imagination of the public and his body was on macabre display in a glass-topped coffin in Crystal Cave into the 1940s. Agents of a rival cave owner once even stole his corpse, which was recovered and still is in a coffin in the cave. Modern cavers still have a word with Floyd as they start their downward treks.
Brucker and Watson joined the parade of cavers who propelled themselves by wiggling kneecaps, elbows, and toes through quarter-mile long crawlways, clinging by fingertips and boot toes across mud-slick walls, over bottomless pits, into gurgling streams beneath stone ceilings that descend to water level, down crumbling crevices and up mountainous rockfalls, into wondrous domed halls, and straight ahead into a blackness intensified rather than dispelled by the carbide lamps on their helmets.
Over two decades they explored the passages with others who sought the final connection as vigorously as themselves. Pat Crowther, a young mother of two, joined them and because of her thinness became the member of the crew to go first into places no human had ever gone before. In that role, in July 1972, she wiggled her way through the Tight Spot and found the route that would link the Flint Ridge and Mammoth Cave systems into one cave extending 144.4 miles through the Kentucky limestone.
In a new afterword to this edition the authors summarize the subsequent explorations that have more than doubled the established length of the cave system. Based upon geological evidence, the authors predict that new discoveries will add another 200 miles to the length of the world’ s longest cave, making it over 500 miles long.
Burchfield charts the enormous impact made by Lord Kelvin's application of thermodynamic laws to the question of the earth's age and the heated debate his ideas sparked among British Victorian physicists, astronomers, geologists, and biologists.
"Anyone interested in geologic time, and that should include all geologists and a fair smattering of biologists, physicists and chemists, should make Burchfield's commendable and time-tested volume part of their personal library"—Brent Darymple, Quartely Review of Biology
Kathleen Mark University of Arizona Press, 1987 Library of Congress QB755.M435 1987 | Dewey Decimal 551.44
The scientific community has argued for decades over the origin of giant craters on the earth. In a highly readable fashion, Kathleen Mark recounts the fascinating detective story of how scientists came to recognize metorite craters, both ancient and relatively recent.
Mineralogy of Arizona
John W. Anthony, Sidney A. Williams, Richard A. Bideaux, and Raymond W. Grant University of Arizona Press, 1995 Library of Congress QE375.5.A6M56 1995 | Dewey Decimal 549.9791
Long awaited by professional geologists and amateur rockhounds alike, the new Mineralogy of Arizona is a completely revised and greatly expanded edition of a book first published in 1977 and updated in 1982. New material covers 232 minerals discovered in Arizona since the first edition, including 28 first identified in the state. Also new is a section on the history of Arizona mining and mineralogy, which provides context for understanding the significance of mineral discoveries and production since prehistoric times.
For nearly 20 years,Mineralogy of Arizona has been respected as the definitive reference on Arizona minerals. Now completely revised and greatly expanded with breathtaking new color photographs, the third edition covers 232 minerals discovered in Arizona since the first edition, including 28 first identified in the state.
A Natural History of Time
Pascal Richet University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress QE508.R5413 2007 | Dewey Decimal 551.701
The quest to pinpoint the age of the Earth is nearly as old as humanity itself. For most of history, people trusted mythology or religion to provide the answer, even though nature abounds with clues to the past of the Earth and the stars. In A Natural History of Time, geophysicist Pascal Richet tells the fascinating story of how scientists and philosophers examined those clues and from them built a chronological scale that has made it possible to reconstruct the history of nature itself.
Richet begins his story with mythological traditions, which were heavily influenced by the seasons and almost uniformly viewed time cyclically. The linear history promulgated by Judaism, with its story of creation, was an exception, and it was that tradition that drove early Christian attempts to date the Earth. For instance, in 169 CE, the bishop of Antioch, for instance declared that the world had been in existence for “5,698 years and the odd months and days.”
Until the mid-eighteenth century, such natural timescales derived from biblical chronologies prevailed, but, Richet demonstrates, with the Scientific Revolution geological and astronomical evidence for much longer timescales began to accumulate. Fossils and the developing science of geology provided compelling evidence for periods of millions and millions of years—a scale that even scientists had difficulty grasping. By the end of the twentieth century, new tools such as radiometric dating had demonstrated that the solar system is four and a half billion years old, and the universe itself about twice that, though controversial questions remain.
The quest for time is a story of ingenuity and determination, and like a geologist, Pascal Richet carefully peels back the strata of that history, giving us a chance to marvel at each layer and truly appreciate how far our knowledge—and our planet—have come.
On a March evening in 1964, ten-year-old Tom Horning awoke near midnight to find his yard transformed. A tsunami triggered by Alaska’s momentous Good Friday earthquake had wreaked havoc in his Seaside, Oregon, neighborhood. It was, as far as anyone knew, the Pacific Northwest coast’s first-ever tsunami.
More than twenty years passed before geologists discovered that it was neither Seaside’s first nor worst tsunami. In fact, massive tsunamis strike the Pacific coast every few hundred years, triggered not by distant temblors but by huge quakes less than one hundred miles off the Northwest coast. Not until the late 1990s would scientists use evidence like tree rings and centuries-old warehouse records from Japan to fix the date, hour, and magnitude of the Pacific Northwest coast’s last megathrust earthquake: 9 p.m., January 26, 1700, magnitude 9.0—one of the largest quakes the world has known. When the next one strikes—this year or hundreds of years from now—the tsunami it generates is likely to be the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the United States.
In The Next Tsunami, Bonnie Henderson shares the stories of scientists like meteorologist Alfred Wegener, who formulated his theory of continental drift while gazing at ice floes calving from Greenland glaciers, and geologist Brian Atwater, who paddled his dented aluminum canoe up coastal streams looking for layers of peat sandwiched among sand and silt. The story begins and ends with Tom Horning, who grew up to become a geologist and return to his family home at the mouth of the river in Seaside—arguably the Northwest community with the most to lose from what scientist Atwater predicts will be an “apocalyptic” disaster. No one in Seaside understands earthquake science—and the politics and complicated psychology of living in a tsunami zone—better than Horning.
Henderson’s compelling story of how scientists came to understand the Cascadia Subduction Zone—a fault line capable of producing earthquakes even larger than the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan—and how ordinary people cope with that knowledge is essential reading for anyone interested in the charged intersection of science, human nature, and public policy
Novel Science is the first in-depth study of the shocking, groundbreaking, and sometimes beautiful writings of the gentlemen of the “heroic age” of geology and of the contribution these men made to the literary culture of their day. For these men, literature was an essential part of the practice of science itself, as important to their efforts as mapmaking, fieldwork, and observation. The reading and writing of imaginative literatures helped them to discover, imagine, debate, and give shape and meaning to millions of years of previously undiscovered earth history.
Borrowing from the historical fictions of Walter Scott and the poetry of Lord Byron, they invented geology as a science, discovered many of the creatures we now call the dinosaurs, and were the first to unravel and map the sequence and structure of stratified rock. As Adelene Buckland shows, they did this by rejecting the grand narratives of older theories of the earth or of biblical cosmogony: theirs would be a humble science, faithfully recording minute details and leaving the big picture for future generations to paint. Buckland also reveals how these scientists—just as they had drawn inspiration from their literary predecessors—gave Victorian realist novelists such as George Eliot, Charles Kingsley, and Charles Dickens a powerful language with which to create dark and disturbing ruptures in the too-seductive sweep of story.
Baja California is one of the Earth’s last great wilderness areas that is easily accessible to travelers. Whether you enter from the United States to the north or from Cabo San Lucas to the south, it doesn’t take long to find yourself passing through a unique desert ecosystem of islands and land bound by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Gulf of California on the east. But where, you might ask, can you go to best experience the physical majesty of Baja California? This book holds the answer.
Off-Trail Adventures in Baja California describes—and maps and illustrates—nine hikes along outcrops on islands and peninsular shores where geography, geology, and ecology meet in singular ways. Each spot tells a story about the nature of the place—the cumulative effects of millions of years of natural forces at work. During the course of his long teaching career, Markes E. Johnson has hiked much of Baja California, often with students in tow. He brings a lifetime of study to his simple descriptions of the stories that are revealed by looking closely at natural phenomena framed by rocks and fossils.
This hiking guide offers a wealth of stories that seem to encompass everything, and can clearly communicate Johnson’s deep understanding of how our planet’s ecosystems function. Whether you like to hike with your boots on or from the comfort of your favorite chair, this book is a must-have for anyone who has visited or hopes to visit Baja California’s Gulf Coast.
This revised and expanded edition of Oregon Fossils includes a record of all known fossils in Oregon going back 400 million years, along with collecting localities by county, age, rock formation, and published source. The book also provides a geologic overview of the state, from ocean beaches to the high desert, from the Blue Mountains to the Siskiyous.
Unique among fossil field guides, Oregon Fossils includes both specimen identification and interesting notes about their discovery, naming, and conservation. The narrative is sprinkled with biographical sketches of paleontologists who have contributed to the state’s fossil record, and the text is richly illustrated with photographs, line drawings, charts, and maps. A complete bibliography lists full citations to fossil material. The only single volume that provides Oregon’s fossil record and history, Oregon Fossils is a well-written, well-organized guide. It is an excellent reference for classroom and library use, for researchers, and for private collectors and hobbyists.
Elizabeth L. Orr and William N. Orr Oregon State University Press, 2012 Library of Congress QE155.O775 2012 | Dewey Decimal 557.95
Because Oregon sits on the leading edge of a moving crustal plate, a striking diversity of geologic events have molded its topography. Over a century of study, a deeper understanding of the region’s tectonic overprint has emerged. In this timely update to the 2000 edition, Elizabeth and William Orr incorporate that new knowledge, addressing current environmental problems and detailing tectonic hazards. “Caught between converging crustal plates,” the Orrs write, “the Pacific Northwest faces a future of massive earthquakes and tsunamis.”
A comprehensive treatment of the state’s geologic history, Oregon Geology moves through Oregon’s regions to closely examine the unique geologic features of each, from the Blue Mountains to the Willamette Valley, from the high lava Plains to the Coast Range.
The book includes biographical sketches of notable geologists. It is lavishly illustrated and includes an extensive bibliography.
About 12,000 years ago, a major river ran from the Sevier Basin to the Great Salt Lake, feeding a wetland delta system and creating riparian habitat along its length. But after three thousand years the river dried up and the surrounding lands became more like what we see today. Because the Old River Bed Delta experienced less environmental and human disturbance than other areas, many of the Paleoarchaic sites found there have remained relatively intact—a rare find in the Great Basin. This book presents a comprehensive synthesis of a decade of investigations conducted by research teams working in different parts of the delta and explores questions about how the old riverbed was formed, how its distributary system changed through time, and how these changes affected early foragers. It concludes with an integrated summary and interpretation. Additional material from this study will be available online at UofUpress.com.
Supplementary Material for The Paleoarchaic Occupation of the Old River Bed Delta
Thirty years ago, our global energy landscape did not look remarkably different from what it does today. Three or four decades from now, it certainly will: dwindling oil reserves will clash with skyrocketing demand, as developing nations around the world lead their citizens into the modern energy economy, and all the while, the grave threat of catastrophic climate change looms ever larger. Energy worries are at an all-time high—just how will we power our future?
With The Powers That Be, Scott L. Montgomery cuts through the hype, alarmism, and confusion to give us a straightforward, informed account of where we are now, and a map of where we’re going. Starting with the inescapable fact of our current dependence on fossil fuels—which supply 80% of all our energy needs today—Montgomery clearly and carefully lays out the many alternative energy options available, ranging from the familiar, like water and solar, to such nascent but promising sources as hydrogen and geothermal power. What is crucial, Montgomery explains, is understanding that our future will depend not on some single, wondrous breakthrough; instead, we should focus on developing a more diverse, adaptable energy future, one that draws on a variety of sources—and is thus less vulnerable to disruption or failure.
An admirably evenhanded and always realistic guide, Montgomery enables readers to understand the implications of energy funding, research, and politics at a global scale. At the same time, he doesn’t neglect the ultimate connection between those decisions and the average citizen flipping a light switch or sliding behind the wheel of a car, making The Powers That Be indispensible for our ever-more energy conscious age.
As important to modern world views as any work of Darwin, Marx, or Freud, Principles of Geology is a landmark in the history of science. In this first of three volumes, Charles Lyell (1797-1875) sets forth his powerful uniformitarian argument: processes now visibly acting in the natural world are essentially the same as those that have acted throughout the history of the earth, and are sufficient to account for all geological phenomena.
Martin J. S. Rudwick's new Introduction, summarizing the origins of the Principles, guides the reader through the structure of the entire three-volume first edition and considers the legacy of Lyell's great work.
As important to modern world views as any work of Darwin, Marx, or Freud, Lyell's Principles of Geology has never before been available in paperback. In the second of three volumes, Lyell (1797-1875) continues his uniformitarian argument of Volume I—the physical features of the earth are endlessly fluctuating around a stable mean—but focuses on organic rather than inorganic processes. Volume II is widely known because of its influence on Darwin, who took the book on his famous Beagle voyage and was stimulated by Lyell's extensive treatment of biological history and diversity.
As important to modern world views as any work of Darwin, Marx, or Freud, Lyell's Principles of Geology has never before been available in paperback. In this third and final volume, Charles Lyell (1797-1875) devotes much attention to the "syntax of geology," that is, to a way of reconstructing the geological past on the basis of the "grammar" of the present processes he has described in the earlier volumes. He defines four periods of the Tertiary—Newer Pliocene, Older Pliocene, Miocene, and Eocene—and argues that the deposits dating from each period demonstrate the uniformity of processes and environments throughout the Tertiary, and indeed in earlier periods of earth history.
Martin J. S. Rudwick has compiled a bibliography giving full references for the sources Lyell cites in all three volumes of the Principles.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University of Chicago Press, 2008 Library of Congress QE25.L513 2008 | Dewey Decimal 551
Protogaea, an ambitious account of terrestrial history, was central to the development of the earth sciences in the eighteenth century and provides key philosophical insights into the unity of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s thought and writings. In the book, Leibniz offers observations about the formation of the earth, the actions of fire and water, the genesis of rocks and minerals, the origins of salts and springs, the formation of fossils, and their identification as the remains of living organisms. Protogaea also includes a series of engraved plates depicting the remains of animals—in particular the famous reconstruction of a “fossil unicorn”—together with a cross section of the cave in which some fossil objects were discovered.
Though the works of Leibniz have been widely translated, Protogaea has languished in its original Latin for centuries. Now Claudine Cohen and Andre Wakefield offer the first English translation of this central text in natural philosophy and natural history. Written between 1691 and 1693, and first published after Leibniz’s death in 1749, Protogaea reemerges in this bilingual edition with an introduction that carefully situates the work within its historical context.
A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Harry L. Moore
"In this informative, readable, altogether useful guide, Harry Moore adds another dimension to our understanding and appreciation of the Great Smoky Mountains. He acquaints us skillfully with the geologist's terminology and shows us how to read for ourselves the ancient language of the rocks."
"Everybody loves the plants, trees, birds, mammals, and even the reptiles, amphibians, and insects of the Great Smokies. But rocks are not less fascinating, alive in their own way, the foundation of all the rest of life. So I think it's great to have this guide as a companion on the trail."
Guiding the reader on five popular driving tours and five key hiking trails, this nontechnical guidebook indicates not-to-be-missed points of interest and describes the geological evolution associated with them. Tour maps are complemented by annotated road log commentaries and copious drawings and photographs to aid in identifying geological phenomena even when these are obscured by the mountains' lush vegetation.
A helpful introduction, focusing on the geologic history of the Smokies, illuminates basic terms and concepts, while a glossary, list of suggested readings, and detailed index further enhance the book's utility. Unique in providing a crisp, comprehensive summary of the Smoky Mountains' geology, A Roadside Guide will serve as a basic planning guide for scenic road trips and hiking trips in the Smokies.
Harry L. Moore holds a master's degree in geology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Since 1972 he has been a geologist at the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Whether the fossil record should be read at face value or whether it presents a distorted view of the history of life is an argument seemingly as old as many fossils themselves. In the late 1700s, Georges Cuvier argued for a literal interpretation, but in the early 1800s, Charles Lyell’s gradualist view of the earth’s history required a more nuanced interpretation of that same record. To this day, the tension between literal and interpretive readings lies at the heart of paleontological research, influencing the way scientists view extinction patterns and their causes, ecosystem persistence and turnover, and the pattern of morphologic change and mode of speciation.
With Stratigraphic Paleobiology, Mark E. Patzkowsky and Steven M. Holland present a critical framework for assessing the fossil record, one based on a modern understanding of the principles of sediment accumulation. Patzkowsky and Holland argue that the distribution of fossil taxa in time and space is controlled not only by processes of ecology, evolution, and environmental change, but also by the stratigraphic processes that govern where and when sediment that might contain fossils is deposited and preserved. The authors explore the exciting possibilities of stratigraphic paleobiology, and along the way demonstrate its great potential to answer some of the most critical questions about the history of life: How and why do environmental niches change over time? What is the tempo and mode of evolutionary change and what processes drive this change? How has the diversity of life changed through time, and what processes control this change? And, finally, what is the tempo and mode of change in ecosystems over time?
Join the conversation as an earth scientist and a Native American elder—wise men from two cultures—explore the natural history of the Lake Superior region, examining both the science and the spirit of the land.
As the geologist carefully presents a modern scientific perspective, the storyteller eloquently recounts a traditional Native American understanding, passed on through tales, myths, and symbols that illustrate how intimately his people have known and honored the earth and its history for over a hundred centuries.
Talking Rocks is not only a story of geological history told from two perspectives, it is also a chronicle of two people from very different cultural and scientific heritages learning to understand and appreciate each other’s distinct yet complementary ways of viewing the land we share.
Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District
Clarence E. Dutton; Introduction by Wallace Stegner; Foreword by Stephen J. Pyne University of Arizona Press, 2001 Library of Congress QE691.D86 2001 | Dewey Decimal 551.780979132
Originally published in 1882, Clarence Dutton’s Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District has become one of the definitive books on the Grand Canyon. Commissioned as a study of the region’s geology and issued by the fledgling U.S. Geological Survey, it is as much admired today for its literary as its scientific merits. With its beautiful illustrations by Thomas Moran and William Henry Holmes, it is a seminal work on the Canyon that has never been surpassed for its eloquence and authority.
This new edition of Dutton’s magnum opus makes that work available once again. Visitors to the Canyon will gain a new appreciation of its majesty as Dutton takes readers on several excursions among its castellated and cathedral-like peaks and ridges. Along the way, he explains the peculiar characteristics of different rocks, the water-sculpturing process, volcanic cones and outflows, the extent of the river’s erosion, and other geological features.
Dutton’s Tertiary History remains arguably the most evocative and compelling geological writing ever done on the Grand Canyon region. As Stephen J. Pyne observes in his foreword, Dutton “recast a rocky peninsula into geo-poetry, reshaped an amorphous panorama of Time into narrative History, and transformed an American scene into a universal symbol.” No one who has thrilled to the majesty of the Grand Canyon will fail to be moved by this timeless work.
In thirty-six thrilling days, Melanie Radzicki McManus hiked 1,100 miles around Wisconsin, landing her in the elite group of Ice Age Trail thru-hikers known as the Thousand-Milers. In prose that’s alternately harrowing and humorous, Thousand-Miler takes you with her through Wisconsin’s forests, prairies, wetlands, and farms, past the geologic wonders carved by long-ago glaciers, and into the neighborhood bars and gathering places of far-flung small towns. Follow along as she worries about wildlife encounters, wonders if her injured feet will ever recover, and searches for an elusive fellow hiker known as Papa Bear. Woven throughout her account are details of the history of the still-developing Ice Age Trail—one of just eleven National Scenic Trails—and helpful insight and strategies for undertaking a successful thru-hike.
In addition to chronicling McManus’s hike, Thousand-Miler also includes the little-told story of the Ice Age Trail’s first-ever thru-hiker Jim Staudacher, an account of the record-breaking thru-run of ultrarunner Jason Dorgan, the experiences of a young combat veteran who embarked on her thru-hike as a way to ease back into civilian life, and other fascinating tales from the trail. Their collective experiences shed light on the motivations of thru-hikers and the different ways hikers accomplish this impressive feat, providing an entertaining and informative read for outdoors enthusiasts of all levels.
In February 2000, while excavating his property in St. George, Utah, Sheldon Johnson turned over a piece of ground and discovered a fully preserved dinosaur footprint. That track was the first of many fossils to be uncovered. Five years later, the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm was established to preserve one of the richest and oldest dinosaur-age fossil sites in Utah.
Tracks in Deep Time presents, for the first time, an engaging, thoroughly readable account of the history, geology, and paleontology of this important site. Two hundred million years ago, Lake Dixie covered the site. Within its waters and along its shores, a diverse ecosystem of dinosaurs, early crocodylians, fishes, plants, and other organisms thrived, leaving behind thousands of footprints and other fossils preserved in layers of rock. Unusual fossils found here include the world’s largest collection of tracks left by swimming dinosaurs and one of only six traces known to have been made by a sitting, meat-eating dinosaur. With approachable text and lavish, full-color photographs and illustrations, Jerald Harris and Andrew Milner describe how geologists and paleontologists have painstakingly reconstructed a vivid “snapshot” of life from the Early Jurassic epoch.
Driving across I-70 in southern Utah one can’t help but wonder about the magnificent upturned rocks of the San Rafael Reef. With A Travelers Guide to the Geology of the Colorado Plateau in hand, you’ll soon discover that you were driving through Page and Navajo Sandstone formations, sharply folded into a monocline along one of the "Basin and Range" fault lines. Nearing Flagstaff, Arizona, on Highway 89, you will learn that Mt. Humphry of the San Francisco Peaks, a Navajo Sacred Mountain, was once an active volcano. Keep reading and you’ll find many things worth a slight detour.
A Traveler's Guide to the Geology of the Colorado Plateau will enrich and enliven all of your trips through the varied landscapes of the Colorado Plateau as you learn about the geological forces that have shaped its natural features. The mile-by-mile road logs will take you from Vernal, Utah, in the north to the southernmost reaches of the Plateau in Sedona, Arizona; from the red rocks of Cedar Breaks National Monument near Cedar City, Utah, to the edges of the soaring peaks of the San Juan Mountains near Durango, Colorado. The most comprehensive geological guide to the Colorado Plateau
Questions of national identity have long dominated China’s political, social, and cultural horizons. So in the early 1900s, when diverse groups in China began to covet foreign science in the name of new technology and modernization, questions of nationhood came to the fore. In Unearthing the Nation, Grace Yen Shen uses the development of modern geology to explore this complex relationship between science and nationalism in Republican China.
Shen shows that Chinese geologists—in battling growing Western and Japanese encroachment of Chinese sovereignty—faced two ongoing challenges: how to develop objective, internationally recognized scientific authority without effacing native identity, and how to serve China when China was still searching for a stable national form. Shen argues that Chinese geologists overcame these obstacles by experimenting with different ways to associate the subjects of their scientific study, the land and its features, with the object of their political and cultural loyalties. This, in turn, led them to link national survival with the establishment of scientific authority in Chinese society.
The first major history of modern Chinese geology, Unearthing the Nation introduces the key figures in the rise of the field, as well as several key organizations, such as the Geological Society of China, and explains how they helped bring Chinese geology onto the world stage.
The final orbit of Venus by the Magellan spacecraft in October 1994 brought to a close an exciting period of Venus reconnaissance and exploration. The scientific studies resulting from data collected by the Magellan, Galileo, and Pioneer missions are unprecedented in their detail for any planet except Earth. Venus II re-evaluates initial assessments of Venus in light of these and other spacecraft missions and ground-based observations conducted over the past 30 years. More than a hundred contributors summarize our current knowledge of the planet, consider points of disagreement in interpretation, and identify priorities for future research.
Topics addressed include geology, surface processes, volcanism, tectonism, impact cratering, geodynamics, upper and lower atmospheres, and solar wind environment. The diversity of the coverage reflects the interdisciplinary nature of Venus science and the breadth of knowledge that has contributed to it. A CD-ROM developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory accompanies the book and incorporates text, graphics, video, software, and various digital products from selected contributors to the text. A multimedia interface allows users to navigate the text and the extensive databases included on the disk. Venus II is the most authoritative single volume available on the second planet. Its contents will not only help shape the goals of future Venus missions but will also enhance our understanding of current Mars explorations.
There’s a reason we pay top dollar for champagne and that bottles of wine from prestige vineyards cost as much as a car: a place’s distinct geographical attributes, known as terroir to wine buffs, determine the unique profile of a wine—and some rarer locales produce wines that are particularly coveted. In Volcanoes and Wine, geologist Charles Frankel introduces us to the volcanoes that are among the most dramatic and ideal landscapes for wine making.
Traveling across regions wellknown to wine lovers like Sicily, Oregon, and California, as well as the less familiar places, such as the Canary Islands, Frankel gives an in-depth account of famous volcanoes and the wines that spring from their idiosyncratic soils. From Santorini’s vineyards of rocky pumice dating back to a four-thousand-year-old eruption to grapes growing in craters dug in the earth of the Canary Islands, from Vesuvius’s famous Lacryma Christi to the ambitious new generation of wine growers reviving the traditional grapes of Mount Etna, Frankel takes us across the stunning and dangerous world of volcanic wines. He details each volcano’s most famous eruptions, the grapes that grow in its soils, and the people who make their homes on its slopes, adapting to an ever-menacing landscape. In addition to introducing the history and geology of these volcanoes, Frankel's book serves as a travel guide, offering a host of tips ranging from prominent vineyards to visit to scenic hikes in each location.
This illuminating guide will be indispensable for wine lovers looking to learn more about volcanic terroirs, as well as anyone curious about how cultural heritage can survive and thrive in the shadow of geological danger.
Robert M. Thorson Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3048.T55 2013 | Dewey Decimal 818.303
Walden's Shore explores Thoreau's understanding of the "living rock" on which life's complexity depends--not as metaphor but as physical science. Robert Thorson's subject is Thoreau the rock and mineral collector, interpreter of landscapes, and field scientist whose compass and measuring stick were as important to him as his plant press.
The San Juan Skyway winds its way up, over, and through canyons, mesas, plateaus, mountains, plains, and valleys. The sheer variety of landforms makes the Skyway a veritable classroom for the amateur naturalist and historian.
The most complete work published on the natural history of southwest Colorado's majestic mountain system, The Western San Juan Mountains: Their Geology, Ecology, and Human History is designed to be used while exploring the scenic 235-mile paved San Juan Skyway, which passes through Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, Dolores, and Cortez.
The Western San Juan Mountains covers the physical environment, the biological communities, the human history, and points of interest represented on milepost signs along the highway. Some of the many topics covered include: how the San Juan Mountains were formed; why the landscape is so rugged and picturesque; why the vegetation changes from the lowlands to the alpine heights; energy and mineral resources of the area; why these mountains intrigued early explorers; factors that influence the unpredictable weather; and the first-known inhabitants.
The contributions to this guide include Fort Lewis College geologists, biologists, archaeologists, historians, and other specialists. Together they have amassed more than one hundred years of study based not only on previous work but on their own research.
This generously illustrated guidebook is aimed at all those who wish to understand this intricate mountain system in much greater detail than provided by most picture books.
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin examined the first dinosaur bone in America from Woodbury, Gloucester County, in 1787--decades before the word dinosaur was even coined? Or that when the first reasonably complete dinosaur skeleton in the world was unearthed in Haddonfield, Camden County, in 1858, it was a major scientific breakthrough which forced paleontologists to completely revise their picture of dinosaur anatomy? Few people know that New Jersey is the nursery of American vertebrate paleontology!
When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey provides a succinct and readable history of the geology and paleontology of New Jersey from the time the region was covered by Cambrian seas, 543 million years ago, to the Pleistocene Ice Age only 10-15,000 years ago. William Gallagher tells the stories of professional and amateur fossil hunters, their discoveries, and their impact on the history of paleontological thought. He points out places in New Jersey and nearby where specimens characteristic of each era were found. He shows how fossil evidence found in the state is helping paleontologists uncover the ecological interactions and behavior of dinosaurs, and discusses such ongoing scientific controversies as the reason for the extinction of the dinosaurs.
From tracking dinosaur footprints across the Newark basin, to digging for the last dinosaurs in the greensands of South Jersey, to finding a mushroom in ancient amber in East Brunswick, this book is the ideal introduction to the Garden State's fossils and prehistory.
When people go looking for hell, they go underground. Dante, Aeneas, and Odysseus all journeyed beneath the earth to find the underworld, a place where the dead are tortured according to their sins. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had to deal with a huge underground pit infested with demons below her high school called the Hellmouth. And when Homer Simpson ate the forbidden donut for which he’d sold his soul to the devil, he was sucked through a fiery hole in the ground. Though humans actually haven’t gone more than 7.5 miles into the earth, we associate this mysterious underground realm with darkness and death, and the depths of the earth’s interior remain an inspiration for writers and artists trying to imagine hell.
Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur uses subterranean mythology as a point of departure to explore the vast world that lies beneath our feet. Geologist Salomon Kroonenberg takes us on an expedition that begins in Dante’s Inferno and continues through Virgil, Da Vinci, Descartes, and Jules Verne. He investigates the nine circles of hell, searches a lake near Naples for the gates of hell used by Aeneas, and turns a scientific spotlight on the many myths of the underworld. He uncovers the layers of the earth’s interior one by one, describing the variety of gasses, ores, liquids, and metals that add to the immense variety of color that can be found below us. Kroonenberg views the inside of the earth as a living ecosystem whose riches we are only beginning to discover, and he warns against our thirst for natural resources exhausting the earth.
From the underground rivers and lakes that have never seen the light of day to the story of Saint Barbara—the patron saint of mineworkers—Kroonenberg’s pursuit of the geological foundations of hell is a fascinating journey to the center of the earth.
Hit the trail for a dramatic look at Wisconsin’s geologic past.
The impressive bluffs, valleys, waterfalls, and lakes of Wisconsin’s state parks provide more than beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities. They are windows into the distant past, offering clues to the dramatic events that have shaped the land over billions of years.
Author and former DNR journalist Scott Spoolman takes readers with him to twenty-eight parks, forests, and natural areas where evidence of the state’s striking geologic and natural history are on display. In an accessible storytelling style, Spoolman sheds light on the volcanoes that poured deep layers of lava rock over a vast area in the northwest, the glacial masses that flattened and molded the landscape of northern and eastern Wisconsin, mountain ranges that rose up and wore away over hundreds of millions of years, and many other bedrock-shaping phenomena. These stories connect geologic processes to the current landscape, as well as to the evolution of flora and fauna and development of human settlement and activities, for a deeper understanding of our state’s natural history.
The book includes a selection of detailed trail guides for each park, which hikers can take with them on the trail to view evidence of Wisconsin’s geologic and natural history for themselves.
Most people in Wisconsin share a deep appreciation of the shape and composition of their familiar landscapes—the abundance of fresh water, the fertile soils, the northern forests, the varied landforms. All these features relate to a process that is long, complex, and still in progress. Wisconsin’s Foundations is just the book for a broad audience of people who want to know more about the origins, evolution, and geological underpinnings of the Wisconsin landscape.
Far from being the serene, natural streams of yore, modern rivers have been diverted, dammed, dumped in, and dried up, all in efforts to harness their power for human needs. But these rivers have also undergone environmental change. The old adage says you can’t step in the same river twice, and Ellen Wohl would agree—natural and synthetic change are so rapid on the world’s great waterways that rivers are transforming and disappearing right before our eyes.
A World of Rivers explores the confluence of human and environmental change on ten of the great rivers of the world. Ranging from the Murray-Darling in Australia and the Yellow River in China to Central Europe’s Danube and the United States’ Mississippi, the book journeys down the most important rivers in all corners of the globe. Wohl shows us how pollution, such as in the Ganges and in the Ob of Siberia, has affected biodiversity in the water. But rivers are also resilient, and Wohl stresses the importance of conservation and restoration to help reverse the effects of human carelessness and hubris.
What all these diverse rivers share is a critical role in shaping surrounding landscapes and biological communities, and Wohl’s book ultimately makes a strong case for the need to steward positive change in the world’s great rivers.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, scientists reconstructed the immensely long history of the earth—and the relatively recent arrival of human life. The geologists of the period, many of whom were devout believers, agreed about this vast timescale. But despite this apparent harmony between geology and Genesis, these scientists still debated a great many questions: Had the earth cooled from its origin as a fiery ball in space, or had it always been the same kind of place as it is now? Was prehuman life marked by mass extinctions, or had fauna and flora changed slowly over time?
The first detailed account of the reconstruction of prehuman geohistory, Martin J. S. Rudwick’s Worlds Before Adam picks up where his celebrated Bursting the Limits of Time leaves off. Here, Rudwick takes readers from the post-Napoleonic Restoration in Europe to the early years of Britain’s Victorian age, chronicling the staggering discoveries geologists made during the period: the unearthing of the first dinosaur fossils, the glacial theory of the last ice age, and the meaning of igneous rocks, among others. Ultimately, Rudwick reveals geology to be the first of the sciences to investigate the historical dimension of nature, a model that Charles Darwin used in developing his evolutionary theory.
Featuring an international cast of colorful characters, with Georges Cuvier and Charles Lyell playing major roles and Darwin appearing as a young geologist, Worlds Before Adam is a worthy successor to Rudwick’s magisterial first volume. Completing the highly readable narrative of one of the most momentous changes in human understanding of our place in the natural world, Worlds Before Adam is a capstone to the career of one of the world’s leading historians of science.