Reading the Rocks The Autobiography of the Earth

ISBN-10: 0465006841

ISBN-13: 9780465006847

Edition: 2007

Authors: Marcia Bjornerud

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Description:

To many of us, the Earth's crust is a relic of ancient, unknowable history. But to a geologist, stones are richly illustrated narratives, telling gothic tales of cataclysm and reincarnation. For more than four billion years, in beach sand, granite, and garnet schists, the planet has kept a rich and idiosyncratic journal of its past. Fulbright Scholar Marcia Bjornerud takes the reader along on an eye-opening tour of Deep Time, explaining in elegant prose what we see and feel beneath our feet. Both scientist and storyteller, Bjornerud uses anecdotes and metaphors to remind us that our home is a living thing with lessons to teach. She shows how our planet has long maintained a delicate balance, and how the global give-and-take has sustained life on Earth through numerous upheavals. But with the rapidly escalating effects of human beings on their home planet, that cosmic balance is being threatened--and the consequences may be catastrophic. Containing a glossary and detailed timescale, as well as vivid descriptions and historic accounts, Reading the Rocks is literally a history of the world, for all friends of the Earth.
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Book details

List price: $17.99
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.63" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Currently Accepted Geologic Timescale
Prologue: Stone Crazy
No place with no past
The accidental diarist
The Tao of Earth
The Department of Redundancy Department: Inertia and spare parts
Equals and opposites
Going home to Mother Earth
Everything old is new again
The Earth fugue
Reading Rocks: A Primer
Meeting rocks on common ground
A rock by any other name
Grammar and syntax of the three rock languages
Mind the gap: What rocks don't tell us
Putting everything in order
Getting a date
Peering into the primordial mists
The Great and the Small
Geo-metry: Sizing up the Earth
A sense of scale
The importance of being erroneous
Making retroactive measurements
Tiny bubbles
Stretchy coastlines and imperial microbes
Lawmakers or outlaws?
Measure for measure
Mixing and Sorting
Stars of rock and heavy metal
Density is destiny
Whither the water
Mixed drinks and metaphors
The mantle of power
Waste management
Mal de mer
Only connect
Innovation and Conservation
You say you want a revolution
The paradox of oxygen
Coming out of the cold
Swimming with the (not-yet-evolved) sharks
An arthropod-eat-arthropod world
The many legs of the arms race
Communes and junkyards
Something old, something new, everything borrowed
Strength and Weakness
Earth before geology
Naming names and making maps
A mechanical Earth
The incredible shrinking Earth
Earth unbound
Epilogue: The Once and Future Earth
Glossary
Notes
Index
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