Exploring Earth

Exploring Earth : An Introduction to Physical Geology

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For an introductory physical geology course taught at both two- and four-year schools.

Exploring Earth takes an integrative, process approach to teaching physical geology by presenting the traditional breadth of topics using plate tectonics as a unifying theme. These highly respected researchers and teachers explore the science of geology with the reader via clear, comprehensible prose and an exceptional art program.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 549 pages
  • 210.8 x 271.8 x 12.7mm | 975.23g
  • Pearson
  • United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 0130183725
  • 9780130183729

Table of contents

(NOTE: Each chapter begins with Overview and Introduction and concludes with Summary, Key Terms, and Questions for Review and Further Thought.)I: PLANET EARTH: ACTING AND INTERACTING.

1. The Changing Planet: Earth as a System.

Understanding Earth: The Question of Scale. Geologic Time: An Important Perspective. A Process Approach to Physical Geology. Focus 1.1: Earth Systems and Connections: Can Plate Tectonics Cause Ice Ages? Focus 1.2: A Matter of Perspective: Big and Small Numbers. Focus 1.3: The Philosophy of Science.

2. Earth: Origin and Composition.

The Composition of the Universe. The Building Blocks of the Universe. Our Solar System. The Planet Earth. The Future of Earth and Our Solar System. Focus 2.1: A Chemistry Refresher: Atoms and Molecules. Focus 2.2: The Doppler Shift: Evidence for the Expanding Universe and Other Solar Systems. Focus 2.3: Impacts and Their Effects on Earth. Focus 2.4: Planetary Density. Focus 2.5: The Moon.


3. Minerals: The Building Blocks of Rocks.

What Is a Mineral? Crystals. Mineral Properties. Mineral Groups. Distribution of Elements and Minerals in Earth. Focus 3.1: A Chemistry Refresher: Atoms and the Periodic Table. Focus 3.2: Determining Crystal Structures and Compositions. Focus 3.3: Mineral Stability and Phase Diagrams. Focus 3.4: Thin Sections.

4. The Cornerstones of Geology: Rocks!

Igneous Rocks. Sedimentary Rocks. Metamorphic Rocks. The Rock Cycle. Focus 4.1: Simulating Earths' Interior. Focus 4.2: Crystallization of Lava: The Hawaiian Lava Lake. Focus 4.3: Determining Metamorphic Pressures and Temperatures. Focus 4.4: Getting Information from Rocks: Observation and Interpretation.

5. Earth Processes: Physical Principles.

Seismic Waves. Velocity Variations within Earth. Gravity and Isostasy. Geomagnetism. Focus 5.1: The Velocities of Seismic Waves. Focus 5.2: Isostasy: Controls on Surface Elevation. Focus 5.3: Magnetic Fields in Space.

6. The Perspective of Geologic Time.

The Age of Earth. Dating the Geologic Record. Radioactive Dating. Focus 6.1: Meteorite Impacts and Mass Extinctions. Focus 6.2: Dating Rocks, Minerals, and Other Materials Using Isotopes. Focus 6.3: Carbon Dating and Its Uses.


7. Plate Tectonics.

Continental Drift: The Beginnings of the Idea. Plate Tectonics: A Unifying Theory. The Rock Record: Fossils, Climate, and Continents. Plates and Plate Boundaries. A Plate-Tectonic Link to Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Topography of the Lithosphere. What Drives Plate Motions? Plumes, Subducted Slabs, and the Workings of Place Tectonics. Plate Motions through Geologic Time. Ocean Basin Depths and Satellite Altimetry. Focus 7.1: The Nature of the Low-Velocity Zone. Focus 7.2: The San Andreas Fault, California. Focus 7.3: Hawaii: An Example of Intraplate Magmatism. Focus 7.4: Vector Notation for Plate Motion.

8. Deformation, Earthquakes, and Formation of Geologic Structures.

Crustal Deformation. Geologic Structures. Earthquakes. Plate Motions and Earthquakes. Intraplate Deformation. The Volcano Deformation Cycle. Focus 8.1: Calculation of Moment Magnitude. Focus 8.2: Prediction of the Haicheng Earthquake of 1975. Focus 8.3: The Loma Prieta Earthquake. Volcanic Deformation in Hawaii.

9. Making and Breaking Plates.

Rifts: Windows to the Mantle. Oceanic Rifting. Transform Margins. Continental Rifting. Focus 9.1: The East Pacific Rise and Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Focus 9.2: The Alpine Fault, New Zealand. Focus 9.3: The Salton Trough of California. Focus 9.4: Continental Rifting: The East African Rift.

10. Destroying Plates and Building Continents.

Convergent Plate Margins: Structure and Dynamics. Building Continents. Focus 10.1: The Andes and the Lesser Antilles: A Continental Arc and an Oceanic Arc. Focus 10.2: The Continental Collision between India and Asia and the Building of the Himalayas.


11. Earth's Water.

Properties of Water. Water in the Solar System. Water and Plate Tectonics. Water Cycles. Fresh Water. Our Need for Water. Focus 11.1: Water beyond Earth. Focus 11.2: Water Movement. Focus 11.3: Saltwater and Freshwater Isostasy.

12. The Formation of Sediments: Weathering.

Physical Weathering: The Disaggregation of Rocks into Sediment. Chemical Weathering: Oxidation, Hydration, and Hydrolysis of Minerals. Weathering and Plate-Tectonic Setting. The Role of Climate in Weathering. Focus 12.1: Acids and Minerals. Focus 12.2: Why Is the Ocean Salty?

13. Sedimentary Systems: Transportation and Deposition of Sediments.

Transportation of Sediments. Deposition of Sediments. Tectonic Control on Sedimentary Processes and Depositional Environments. Focus 13.1: Controls on Settling Velocities of Grains.

14. Geomorphology: The Study of Landforms.

Mass Wasting. Shaping the Surface: The Hydrologic Cycle. Fluvial Geomorphology. Glaciers. Deserts. Coasts. Volcanic Islands. Geomorphology at Passive and Active Continental Margins. Focus 14.1: Fractals and Scale Invariance in Geology. Focus 14.2: The Physics of Mass Wasting. Focus 14.3: Ice Ages.


15. Geologic Hazards and the Environment.

Earthquakes: Where the Dangers Are. Volcanic Hazards. Landslides. Flooding. Coastal Erosion Problems. Pollution. The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming. The Ozone Hole. Focus 15.1: A Comparison of Two Earthquakes: At a Subduction Zone and in a Plate Interior. Focus 15.2: The Eruption of Mount St. Helens. Focus 15.3: The Antarctic Ozone Hole.

16. Earth Resources.

Mineral Resources. Mineral Deposits. Fossil Fuels. Estimating the Time Until Nonrenewable Resources Will Run Out. Focus 16.1: Uranium Ore and Nuclear Energy. Focus 16.2: How Plate Tectonics Redistributes Mineral and Organic Resources. Focus 16.3: Resources from Space.

Appendix I: Conversion Tables.
Appendix II: Geologic Time Scale.
Appendix III: The Periodic Table of the Elements.
Appendix IV: Common Minerals and Their Properties.
Appendix V: Rock Types, Descriptions, and Examples.
Appendix VI: Earth Statistics.
Photo Credits.
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About Walter E. Reed

Jon P. Davidson received his undergraduate degree in Geology from the University of Durham and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Leeds. He has held a Visiting Assistant Professorship at both Southern Methodist University in Texas and the University of Michigan. He joined the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988 and taught courses in Earth Science, Historical Geology, Igneous Petrology, Isotope Geochemistry, Volcanology, and the Regional Geology of Britain and New Zealand. In 2000 he was appointed Chair of Earth Sciences at the University of Durham, U.K. Professor Davidson has led field trips to the Cascades, the southwestern United States, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Britain.

In 1994 Professor Davidson received the UCLA Harriet and Charles Luckman Outstanding Teaching award, and in 1998 he received the Wager Medal of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior. Davidson is an igneous petrologist and geochemist, with a keen interest in volcanology. His work focuses primarily on volcanoes in the Caribbean, the Andes, Ascension Island in the south Atlantic, Iran, and Kamchatka in Russia. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, cricket, football (both types), and music.

Walter E. Reed received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of California, Berkeley and joined the faculty of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1973. Prior to his arrival at UCLA, he worked in an oil company research laboratory for four years and worked for two years for the Department of Defense on the Nuclear Test Site and at the National Reactor Test Range. He has won two "best paper" awards, one in organic geochemistry and one (with his graduate student) in structural geology. Professor Reed has taught continuously since arriving at UCLA, and his courses include Introductory Geology, Sedimentology and Sedimentary Petrology, and Field Geology, spending six to eight weeks each summer with students in the Sierra Nevadas with the latter course.

Professor Reed is a field geologist with experience throughout the western United States, the Aleutian Islands, Spitsbergen, Norway, and Israel. His recent work focuses on California's western Transverse Ranges and on a tectonically emplaced metamorphic-plutonic complex in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Professor Reed's hobbies include trout fishing, skiing, ice climbing, and building and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Paul M. Davis is a Professor of Geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Queensland, followed by postdoctoral studies at both the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of Alberta and the Department of Geodesy and Geophysics at the University of Cambridge. He joined the faculty at UCLA in 1980 and has recently served as the Vice-Chair and Chair of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. He teaches Seismology and Applied Geophysics.

Professor Davis received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995 to conduct research in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. Upon his return to UCLA, he assumed the position of senior editor of the American Geophysical Union Journal of Geophysical Research (Solid Earth). His research uses geophysical experiments to study lithospheric dynamics. He has installed magnetometer arrays on volcanoes on Kilauea, Hawaii and Washington's Mount St. Helens and has carried out seismic array studies of the Mount Etna volcano and the Rio Grande, East African, and Baikal rifts. Professor Davis' interests include racquetball, sailing, hiking, and backpacking with his family.
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