Historical Geology Interpretations and Applications

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Copyright: 2004-07-14
  • Publisher: Pearson
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This book covers topics essential to historical geology. The manual presents fundamental concepts of historical geology by providing realistic situations to which geologic concepts and data apply. This application of principles to concrete situations and practical problems instills a strong sense of the purpose of geologic study. KEY TOPICS: This book allows readers to visualize how geologic data are collected, tabulated, synthesized, interpreted, and applied to real-world geologic problems. Covering important concepts of ordering geological events and physical stratigraphy, the book also provides sections on plate tectonics and paleontology as well as extensive geologic maps with explanations. The fifth edition of Historical Geology, Interpretations and Applications has been revised to include new problems and a relocation of some problems closer to their explanatory material. It also includes four new geologic maps that cover geologic features in greater detail. A valuable reference book for any reader interested in historical geology.

Table of Contents

Review of Earth Materials
Time and Ordering of Geologic Events
Physical Stratigraphy
Geologic Map Interpretation
Plate Tectonics
Problems in Applied Geology
Internet Resources
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


This new and revised edition of Historical Geology: Interpretations and Applicationshas been written as a guide to the laboratory study of historical geology and can be used in conjunction with most of the current textbooks in the field. This manual helps students understand the fundamental concepts of historical geology by providing outcrop and realistic situations to which they can apply geologic concepts leading to an interpretation of the available data. The direct application of abstract principles to concrete situations and practical problems reinforces the learning process while instilling a strong sense of the purpose for geologic study. This method is of particular value to students for whom a course in historical geology will be their last academic encounter with the physical sciences. COMPREHENSIVENESS The manual is divided into six chapters. The first chapter covers the great group of sedimentary rocks that are vital to the interpretation of most geologic structures and sequence of events, and that act as the preservation medium for the majority of fossils. Chapters 2 and 3 provide discussions, examples, and exercises in such basic principles of historical geology as the concepts of geologic time, the use of sedimentary rock layering and stratification during the ordering of geologic events, and the interpretation of environmental and sea level changes. Chapter 4 presents a systemic overview of the three groups of life forms that are commonly preserved as fossils: the invertebrates, the vertebrates, and plants. Chapter 5 covers the development and reading of geologic maps. Chapter 6 deals with plate tectonics, an important topic for both physical and historical geology. Within these chapters, exercise sets are available that require students to use the principles they have learned to solve problems involving both physical and historical geological concepts and methodologies. USE OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Historical geology is best learned through fieldwork supervised by a professional. When field studies are not feasible, diagrams, maps, photographs, and slides of fossils, landforms, and sedimentary structures can be used effectively to model a field experience. In this respect, the manual permits students to visualize how geologic data are collected, tabulated, synthesized, interpreted, and applied to solutions of various geologic problems. NEW ORGANIZATION As suggested by several reviewers and users of the manual, a comprehensive change has been made to this edition. A greatly expanded section concerning the development, classification, and interpretation of common depositional attributes of sedimentary rocks has been added as a new Chapter 1. Selected problems from the previous Chapter 7 have been dispersed within the revised first four chapters. Extensive new photographs and new problems have been added, and many problems have been reorganized and moved to be near their explanatory text material. SCHEDULING FLEXIBILITY In most cases, this manual will be used during a one-semester or one-quarter term. It provides students with numerous exercises and problems. Some of these, such as the exercise questions that conclude each chapter, will require only a few minutes to complete. Others can be worked in the laboratory or at home, when more time is available. Variations in the length and content of exercises give instructors considerable latitude in choosing topics they wish to stress. This manual is written and illustrated with outcrop or rock feature photographs with the aim of helping students readily understand the principles of historical geology. These illustrations should help build student awareness that the geologic problems presented in the manual are based on real data, often in contexts that could typically affect the nongeologist in his or her professional life. This manual is not, therefore, justan academic exercise; it is designed to demonstrate that geology is a profession that relates directly to the world outside of college and that basic principles of geology can be used to understand professional situations as well as postcollege travel experiences. A glossary is also included. INSTRUCTOR AIDS AND INTERNET SITES One of this manual''s principal teaching strengths is that it does not depend on extensive supplemental teaching aids; its coverage of the basic principles of historical geology can be thought of as self-contained. A complimentary Instructor''s Guide accompanies the manual and is available from the publisher on request. To obtain a copy contact your local Prentice Hall sales representative. The guide provides lists of a few additional items that may be necessary for a historical geology laboratory. It also offers suggested answers to the manual''s exercises and problems. Instructors should also encourage students to use the Internet as a geologic resource. Many Web sites change through time, new sites are rapidly being added, and topical links are continually being developed. Instructors can provide key words, associated topics, and names of major museums and research organizations for students to expand in-depth analysis of topics provided in the classroom or in a laboratory. Jon M. Poort Roseann J. Carlson

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