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How Does Earth Work: Physical Geology and the Process of Scienceby Gary Smith
Synopses & Reviews
With its unconventional yet highly effective approach, How Does Earth Work? demonstrates the process of science as a vehicle for investigating physical geology. Smith and Pun connect readers to the evidence behind the facts, instead of reproducing known facts—sparking interest in how science is practiced and how we know what we know. Like geology detectives, readers learn to think through the scientific process and uncover evidence that explains Earth’s mysteries. Chapters open with an essay that places a curious investigator in a realistic field or lab setting to observe and ask questions about geological phenomena. Integrated real-world connections link topics to issues of societal concern or relevant experience to increase appreciation of the value of discovering science; and annotated illustrations with thoughtful descriptions help readers observe the hypotheses presented.
Why Study Earth? Minerals: Building Blocks of the Planet; Rocks and Rock-Forming Processes; Formation of Magma and Igneous Rocks; Formation of Sediment and Sedimentary Rocks; Formation of Metamorphic Rocks; Earth Materials as Time Keepers; Journey to the Center of Earth; Making Earth; Motion Inside Earth; Deformation of Rocks; Global Tectonics: Plates and Plumes; Tectonics and Surface Relief; Soil Formation and Landscape Stability; Mass Movements: Landscapes in Motion; Streams: Flowing Water Shapes the Landscape; Water Flowing Underground; Glaciers: Cold-Climate Sculptors of Continents; Shorelines: Changing Landscapes Where Land Meets Sea; Wind: A Global Geologic Process; Global Warming: Real-time Change in the Earth System.
MARKET: An interesting reference for anyone interested in learning more about Earth’s processes.
It’s about how we know what we know. How Does Earth Work? covers the traditional breadth of introductory geology topics, but takes the non-traditional and highly effective approach of emphasizing conceptual learning of process rather than rote memorization of facts. Questions drive the development of the concepts: As with science itself, there are no answers without first asking questions. As a result, the concepts are introduced and developed in context ("If this is true, then why...?”), which facilitates deeper exploration of and linking between concepts. Illustrations bear much of the weight of explanation; they are as simple as possible, thoughtfully annotated, and paired wherever possible with photos of the concept manifest in nature.
Why Geology? Minerals: Building Blocks of the Planet; Rocks and Rock-Forming Processes; Formation of Magma and Igneous Rocks; Formation of Sediment and Sedimentary Rocks; Formation of Metamorphic Rocks; Earth Materials as Time Keepers; Journey to the Center of Earth; Making Earth; Motion Inside Earth; Deformation of Rocks; Global Tectonics — Plates and Plumes; Tectonics and Surface Relief; Soil Formation and Landscape Stability; Mass Movement: Landscapes in Motion; Streams: Flowing Water Shapes the Landscape; Water Flowing Underground; Glaciers: Sculptors of Continents, Recorders of Climate Change; Shorelines: Changing Landscapes Where Land Meets Sea; Wind: A Global Geologic Process.
A comprehensive reference for geology professionals.
With its unconventional yet highly effective approach, How Does Earth Work? demonstrates the process of science as a vehicle for investigating physical geology. Smith and Pun connect readers to the evidence behind the facts, instead of reproducing known facts—sparking interest in how science is practiced and how we know what we know. Why Study Earth? Minerals: Building Blocks of the Planet; Rocks and Rock-Forming Processes; Formation of Magma and Igneous Rocks; Formation of Sediment and Sedimentary Rocks; Formation of Metamorphic Rocks; Earth Materials as Time Keepers; Journey to the Center of Earth; Making Earth; Motion Inside Earth; Deformation of Rocks; Global Tectonics: Plates and Plumes; Tectonics and Surface Relief; Soil Formation and Landscape Stability; Mass Movements: Landscapes in Motion; Streams: Flowing Water Shapes the Landscape; Water Flowing Underground; Glaciers: Cold-Climate Sculptors of Continents; Shorelines: Changing Landscapes Where Land Meets Sea; Wind: A Global Geologic Process; Global Warming: Real-time Change in the Earth System. An interesting reference for anyone interested in learning more about Earth’s processes.
About the Author
Gary A. Smith is a Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico and Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He has an undergraduate geology degree with a specialty in geophysics from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in geology from Oregon State University. He has taught first-year geology courses, primarily to nonmajors, for 14 of the last 22 years. His research, reported in more than 100 publications, and upper-division-teaching experience range widely across the geologic sciences, including sedimentology, volcanology, geomorphology, and hydrology. Gary's research has a strong field emphasis, and he has contributed to 12 published geologic map quadrangles in Oregon and New Mexico. Nonacademic employment experiences in the oil industry and with Department of Energy facilities engaged in environmental remediation further enhance his background. Gary has strong interests in science education through his membership in the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association and as chair of the University of New Mexico's Faculty Senate Teaching Enhancement Committee.
Aurora Pun is an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Research Scientist, and instructor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. She holds an undergraduate degree in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geology from the University of New Mexico, Institute of Meteoritics. Aurora has taught physical geology for over 10 years. Also a member of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Aurora taught, with Gary and an education instructor, a course for teachers on developing inquiry-based K-12 curricula in the earth and space sciences. Her research focuses on meteorite geochemistry with an emphasis on planetary igneous systems, and the petrology, mineraology, and chemistry of ultrafine-grained sub-millimeter particles, from both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. Aurora's research utilizes a variety of laboratory instruments (electron microprobe, ion-microprobe, and transmission electron microscope) that provide in-place chemical analyses of microscopic minerals.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Why Geology?
1.1 What is geology?
1.2 Why study geology?
1.3 How do we know…how to study Earth?
1.4 What does the principle of uniformitarianism mean?
1.5 What is the theory of plate tectonics?
1.6 How does the concept of work apply to Earth?
PART I - EARTH MATERIALS: Classification, Origin, Uses
Chapter 2 Minerals: Building Blocks of the Planet
2.1 What are the properties of minerals?
2.2 What are minerals composed of?
2.3 How do we know…the atomic structure of minerals?
2.4 How do elements combine to make minerals?
2.5 What is a mineral?
2.6 What determines the physical properties of minerals?
2.7 What are the most important minerals?
EM 2.1 Basics of an Atom
EM 2.2 Silicate Mineral Structures
EM 2.3 Gemstones
Chapter 3: Rocks and Rock-Forming Processes
3.1 How and where do rocks form?
3.2 Can rocks be classified according to the processes that form them?
3.3 How do we know…how to determine rock origins?
3.4 How are the rock classes related to one another?
Chapter 4: Formation of Magma and Igneous Rocks
4.1 What are igneous processes?
4.2 How are igneous rocks classified?
4.3 Where do igneous rocks appear in a landscape?
4.4 How and why do rocks melt?
4.5 How do we know…how magma is made?
4.6 How does magma generation connect to plate tectonics?
4.7 What makes igneous rock compositions so diverse?
4.8 Why are there different types of volcanoes and volcanic eruptions?
4.9 How are volcanoes hazardous?
4.10 Why don’t all magmas erupt?
EM 4.1 Bowen's Reaction Series
EM 4.2 Mitigating and Forecasting Volcanic Hazards
Chapter 5: Formation of Sediment and Sedimentary Rocks
5.1 How and why do rocks disintegrate to form sediment?
5.2 What is the link between weathering and sediment?
5.3 Why are fossils found in sedimentary rocks?
5.4 How does loose sediment become sedimentary rock?
5.5 How are sedimentary rocks classified?
5.6 How do sedimentary rocks reveal ancient environments?
5.7 How do we know…how to interpret unseen turbidity currents?
5.8 How do plate tectonics and sedimentary rocks connect?
EM 5.1 Chemical Reactions and Chemical Equations
EM 5.2 Why is Seawater Salty?
EM 5.3 Geochemistry of Calcite
Chapter 6: Formation of Metamorphic Rocks
6.1 What is metamorphism?
6.2 What is the role of temperature in metamorphism?
6.3 What is the role of pressure in metamorphism?
6.4 What is the role of fluid in metamorphism?
6.5 Why do metamorphic rocks exist at the surface?
6.6 How do we know…how to determine the stability of minerals?
6.7 What were the conditions of metamorphism?
6.8 How are metamorphic rocks classified?
6.9 What was the rock before it was metamorphosed?
6.10 Where does metamorphism occur?
EM 6.1 Metamorphic Isograds, Zones, and Facies
Chapter 7: Earth Materials as Time Keepers
7.1 How do you determine the order of events?
7.2 How are geologic events placed in relative order?
7.3 How do geologists determine the relative ages in widely separated places?
7.4 How was the geologic time scale constructed?
7.5 How do you recognize gaps in the rock record?
7.6 How have scientists determined the age of Earth?
7.7 How is the absolute age of a rock determined?
7.8 How do we know…how to determine half-lives and decay rates?
7.9 How do you reconstruct geologic history with rocks?
FM 7.1 Radioactivity and Radioactive Decay
EM7.1 The Mathematics of Radioactive-Isotope Decay
EM7.2 Using Geologic Clocks
PART II - EARTH’S INTERNAL PROCESSES
Chapter 8: Journey to the Center of Earth
8.1 How do geologists know about rocks in Earth’s interior?
8.2 How do earthquakes help make images of Earth’s interior?
8.3 How do we know…how to determine velocities of seismic waves in rocks?
8.4 What composes the interior of the Earth?
8.5 How hot is the interior of Earth?
EM 8.1 Sizing Up Earth
EM 8.2 How to Locate an Earthquake
EM 8.3 Velocity of Seismic Waves
EM 8.4 Mantle Minerals
EM 8.5 Meteorites as Guides to Earth’s Interior
Chapter 9: Making Earth
9.1 How did Earth form?
9.2 How did the core and mantle form?
9.3 How does the crust form?
9.4 How did the atmosphere and hydrosphere form?
9.5 How do we know…the hydrosphere came from the geosphere?
EM 9.1 Geologic Tour of the Solar System
EM 9.2 Origin of the Moon
Chapter 10: Motion Inside Earth
10.1 How does convection work?
10.2 What does mantle convection look like?
10.3 How does outer-core convection generate the magnetic field?
10.4 How do we know…Earth’s core is a dynamo?
EM 10.1 Is Mantle Convection Physically Possible?
PART III - EARTH DEFORMATION
Chapter 11: Deformation of Rocks
11.1 What do deformed rocks look like?
11.2 How are resources related to geologic structures?
11.3 How do rocks deform?
11.4 How do we know…why some rocks break and others flow?
11.5 How do geological structures relate to stress, strain, and strength?
11.6 How does strength vary in the lithosphere?
11.7 How do earthquakes relate to rock deformation?
11.8 How are earthquakes measured?
11.9 Why are earthquakes destructive?
EM 11.1 Calculating Magnitude and Energy Released from an Earthquake
EM 11.2 Mitigating and Forecasting Earthquake Hazards
Chapter 12: Global Tectonics — Plates and Plumes
12.1 How does continental drift relate to plate tectonics?
12.2 What is the evidence that plates are rigid?
12.3 What is the evidence that plates move apart at divergent plate boundaries?
12.4 What is the evidence that subduction occurs at convergent plate boundaries?
12.5 What is the evidence that plates slide past one another at transform plate boundaries?
12.6 What does the mantle-plume hypothesis explain that plate tectonics cannot explain?
12.7 How do we know…that plates move in real time?
12.8 What forces cause plate motions and plumes?
12.0 What were the consequences of plate motion over geologic time?
EM 12.1 Describing Plate Motion on the Surface of a Sphere
EM 12.2 Using Paleomagnetism to Reconstruct Past Continental Positions
Chapter 13: Tectonics and Surface Relief
13.1 Why are continents high and oceans low?
13.2 How do we know…that mountains have roots?
13.3 How does isostasy relate to active geologic processes?
13.4 Why does sea-level change?
13.5 How and where to mountains form?
13.6 How does mountain building relate to the growth of continents?
EM 13.1 Measuring Uplift Rates.
PART IV - SURFACE AND NEAR SURFACE PROCESSES
Chapter 14: Soil Formation and Landscape Stability
14.1 What is soil?
14.2 Why distinguishes soil horizons?
14.3 How do soils form?
14.4 What factors determine soil characteristics?
14.5 What are the types of soils?
14.6 How do we know…that soils include atmospheric additions?
14.7 How do human activities affect soil?
Chapter 15: Mass Movement: Landscapes in Motion
15.1 What are the characteristics of mass movements?
15.2 What causes mass movements?
15.3 What factors determine slope stability?
15.4 When do mass movements occur?
15.5 How do we know … how to map mass-movement hazards?
15.6 How do mass movements sculpt the landscape?
Chapter 16: Streams: Flowing Water Shapes the Landscape
16.1 Where does the water come from?
16.2 Where does the sediment come from?
16.3 How do streams pick up sediment?
16.4 How do streams transport sediment?
16.5 Why do streams deposit sediment?
16.6 Why does a stream change along its course?
16.7 What factors determine the channel pattern?
16.8 How does a floodplain form?
16.9 Why do streams flood?
16.10 How do we know … how to determining the extent of the “100-year flood?”
16.11 How do human activities affect streams?
16.12 How do stream-formed landscapes change through geologic time?
16.13 How do lakes form?
EM 16.1 How a stream gage works.
EM 16.2 How to determine recurrence intervals of floods.
EM 16.3 How to control floods.
Chapter 17: Water Flowing Underground
17.1 What is ground water and where is it found?
17.2 Why and how does groundwater flow?
17.3 How do we know … how fast ground water moves?
17.4 What is the composition of ground water?
17.5 How does ground water shape the landscape?
EM 17.1 Anatomy of a water well.
EM 17.2 Darcy’s Law of ground water flow.
EM 17.3 The geology of caves.
Chapter 18: Glaciers: Sculptors of Continents, Recorders of Climate Change
18.1 What is a glacier?
18.2 How does glacial ice form?
18.3 How does ice flow?
18.4 How do glaciers erode and transport sediment?
18.5 How do glaciers deposit sediment?
18.6 What happens when glaciers reach the ocean?
18.7 How do valley glaciers modify the landscape?
18.8 How do ice sheets modify the landscape?
18.9 What did North America look like during the last Ice Age?
18.10 How do we know … how to determine when ice ages happened?
18.11 What causes glacial climates?
EM 18.1 Ice Ages in the Great Basin.
EM 18.2 Humongous ice-age floods.
EM 18.3 Ice Ages through Earth History
Chapter 19: Shorelines: Changing Landscapes Where Land Meets Sea
19.1 What factors determine the shape of a shoreline?
19.2 How do waves form and move in water?
19.3 How do waves form shoreline landscapes?
19.4 What is the role of tides in forming coastal landscapes?
19.5 Why does shoreline location change through time?
19.6 How do we know … that global sea level is rising?
19.7 What are the consequences of rising sea level?
EM 19.1 Changing shorelines in the Great Lakes.
Chapter 20: Wind: A Global Geologic Process
20.1 Why does wind blow?
20.2 Where is wind an influential process in the landscape?
20.3 How does wind pick up and transport sediment?
20.4 How does wind shape the landscape?
20.5 What factors determine the location and formation of deserts?
20.6 How do we know … that wind blows dust across oceans?
EM 20.1 How the Coriolis Effect Works
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