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Thread: Epic Books?

  1. #1 Epic Books? 
    Forum Freshman Lothar's Avatar
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    What are some of the best books for learning about geology, paleontology, paleogeography, and related fields? I ask such a general question because I'm simply hoping to initiate an interesting discussion of books to look into for my self-study project.

    My dream book would be a vast tome providing a tour of geologic time from a point of view encapsulating the major geo/paleo disciplines and with lots of pretty pictures. I've compiled quite a daunting wishlist on amazon but I'm still at a loss as to where to start and figure that it would be best to go at it from a "big picture" pov. What say ye?

    Thank you kindly people!


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  3. #2  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    The reccommended textbook for my palaeo-geology module is a textbook called Earth System History. I haven't actually bought the book, and have only skimmed through a library copy very briefly, but it's supposed to be pretty good.

    (I'd reccommend you look at some reviews or skim through a library bopy briefly before you buy)


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  4. #3  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Sedimentary Rocks in the Field by Maurice E. Tucker is a good one for field geology work
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Holmes, Physical Geology should be on every geologists bookshelf.

    There is a really good online textbook by Hugh Rance - http://geowords.com/geohisthr.htm
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    The reccommended textbook for my palaeo-geology module is a textbook called Earth System History. I haven't actually bought the book, and have only skimmed through a library copy very briefly, but it's supposed to be pretty good.

    (I'd reccommend you look at some reviews or skim through a library bopy briefly before you buy)
    Earth System History is fantastic for introductory undergraduate level study for general physical geology and paleontology. In my opinion, the gem of this text is the eon-by-eon, era-by-era, period-by-period survey of geological and biological events throughout 4.5 billions years of Earth history. Absolutely fascinating, and I can't recommend it enough.

    An Introduction to Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology by John Winter is probably the best geology textbook I have encountered, ever. I may be biased in that I tend to favour igneous petrology over sedimentology, but it manages to accomplish what few geology texts do: understandable presentation, but not at the expense of content. An understanding of the material in this text will put you in the ballpark of understanding research articles.

    Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy is a good resource for introductory sedimentology. It targets a lot of important and useful concepts in the field, and provides a good intro to stratigraphy as well.

    Structural geology is kind of hit and miss. I prefer Microtectonics, but unless you need advanced material, others like Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions are just fine.
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  7. #6 Re: Epic Books? 
    Forum Freshman Siberian Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lothar
    What are some of the best books for learning about geology, paleontology, paleogeography, and related fields? I ask such a general question because I'm simply hoping to initiate an interesting discussion of books to look into for my self-study project.

    My dream book would be a vast tome providing a tour of geologic time from a point of view encapsulating the major geo/paleo disciplines and with lots of pretty pictures. I've compiled quite a daunting wishlist on amazon but I'm still at a loss as to where to start and figure that it would be best to go at it from a "big picture" pov. What say ye?

    Thank you kindly people!
    Well I don't know what grade are you and best book for you. Could you please give me a specific grade are you?
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  8. #7 Re: Epic Books? 
    Forum Freshman Lothar's Avatar
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    Thanks people! I've acquired "Earth System History" and it is amazing. I've added some of the other recommendations to my wish list and I appreciate the advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Siberian Fox
    Well I don't know what grade are you and best book for you. Could you please give me a specific grade are you?
    I'm in my thirties, I studied philosophy in college and I've been working as a software developer since the mid-1990's. My interest in earth sciences is that of a lay enthusiast. I enjoy reading undergrad textbooks on various subjects and at times popular science literature. Basically I'm looking for examples of good undergraduate texts that might be well-suited to self-study or leisurely reading. Also, just classics and "must reads" in the field.

    Thanks!
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  9. #8  
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    I would recommend Earth - An introduction to Physical Geology. We used it as a course book during my first semester at Uni. The best features of the book is the chapter summary, the review questions, a list of terms used in the chapter and an index. Something that I was surprised many later course books lacked(!)

    Good luck on you endeavour!

    Ps. If you have the possibility, I would also recommend to find a local or regional geologic/earth science society that has meetings with lectures and/or organized field trips to various locations, because to only read about the history of the earth and everything related to it but not actually see it "in the wild" would be a shame.
    Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.

    - Albert Einstein

    Earth Science undergrad at your service
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