Rocks A Very Short Introduction

Rocks  A Very Short Introduction

Here, the quartz grains simply become ever more tightly compressed and recrystallized into a mosaictype structure (albeit a threedimensional one): the metamorphic rock that forms is a quartzite. Limestones, meanwhile, recrystallize into ...

Author: Jan Zalasiewicz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780191038310

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 967

Rocks, more than anything else, underpin our lives. They make up the solid structure of the Earth and of other rocky planets, and are present at the cores of gas giant planets. We live on the rocky surface of the planet, grow our food on weathered debris derived from rocks, and we obtain nearly all of the raw materials with which we found our civilization from rocks. From the Earth's crust to building bricks, rocks contain our sense of planetary history, and are a guide to our future. In this Very Short Introduction Jan Zalsiewicz looks at the nature and variety of rocks, and the processes by which they are formed. Starting from the origin of rocks and their key role in the formation of the Earth, he considers what we know about the deep rocks of the mantle and core, and what rocks can tell us about the evolution of the Earth, and looks at those found in outer space and on other planets. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

Mountains A Very Short Introduction

Mountains  A Very Short Introduction

While physical weathering just breaks rocks into smaller pieces, chemical weathering changes the original minerals into different ones, rounding the edges of rocks. Such chemical processes depend on temperature and moisture, ...

Author: Martin Price

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191003387

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 869

Mountains cover a quarter of the Earth's land surface and are home to about 12 percent of the global population. They are the sources of all the world's major rivers, affect regional weather patterns, provide centres of biological and cultural diversity, hold deposits of minerals, and provide both active and contemplative recreation. Yet mountains are also significantly affected by climate change; as melting and retreating glaciers show. Given the manifold goods and services which mountains provide to the world, such changes are of global importance. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Price outlines why mountains matter at the global level, and addresses the existing and likely impacts of climate change on mountain, hydrological and ecological systems. Considering the risks associated with the increasing frequency of extreme events and 'natural hazards' caused by climate change, he discusses the implications for both mountain societies and wider populations, and concludes by emphasizing the need for greater cooperation in order to adapt to climate change in our increasingly globalized world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

Minerals A Very Short Introduction

Minerals  A Very Short Introduction

slice (30 micrometres = 0.3 mm thick) of a mineral or rock and gluing it to a glass slide, for most minerals, light would pass through (be 'transmitted' through to use the correct terminology) the resulting thin section.

Author: David Vaughan

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191505331

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 506

Minerals existed long before any forms of life, playing a key role in the origin and evolution of life; an interaction with biological systems that we are only now beginning to understand. Exploring the traditional strand of mineralogy, which emphasises the important mineral families, the well-established analytical methods (optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction) and the dramatic developments made in techniques over recent decades, David Vaughan also introduces the modern strand of mineralogy, which explores the role minerals play in the plate tectonic cycle and how they interact with the living world. Demonstrating how minerals can be critical for human health and illness by providing essential nutrients and releasing poisons, Vaughan explores the multitude of ways in which minerals have aided our understanding of the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

Earth System Science A Very Short Introduction

Earth System Science  A Very Short Introduction

Small fluxes of material are temporarily lost from the surface Earth system in new sedimentary rocks forming at the bottom of the sea, but most of this material is ultimately returned to the surface by the rock cycle.

Author: Tim Lenton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780191028953

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 999

When humanity first glimpsed planet Earth from space, the unity of the system that supports humankind entered the popular consciousness. The concept of the Earth's atmosphere, biosphere, oceans, soil, and rocks operating as a closely interacting system has rapidly gained ground in science. This new field, involving geographers, geologists, biologists, oceanographers, and atmospheric physicists, is known as Earth System Science. In this Very Short Introduction, Tim Lenton considers how a world in which humans could evolve was created; how, as a species, we are now reshaping that world; and what a sustainable future for humanity within the Earth System might look like. Drawing on elements of geology, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, Lenton asks whether Earth System Science can help guide us onto a sustainable course before we alter the Earth system to the point where we destroy ourselves and our current civilisation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

The basic idea Seafloor spreading and magnetic anomalies Fracture zones and transform faults Subduction of oceanic lithosphere Rigid plates of lithosphere Tectonics of continents Tectonics of continents Further reading Index

The basic idea  Seafloor spreading and magnetic anomalies  Fracture zones and transform faults  Subduction of oceanic lithosphere  Rigid plates of lithosphere  Tectonics of continents  Tectonics of continents  Further reading  Index

the rock record on land offers a poor record of a large-scale process like plate tectonics. As James Jackson of Cambridge University likes to say, the area affected by an earthquake with a Richter magnitude of 6 affects a region larger ...

Author: Peter Molnar

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198728269

Category: Science

Page: 136

View: 326

Plate tectonics caused a revolution in our understanding of the Earth. It has aided our understanding of why earthquakes and volcanoes are found in distinct locations, how oceans form and disappear, and how mountain ranges were built. In this volume, Peter Molnar explores the history and significance of plate tectonics.
Categories: Science

Geology A Very Short Introduction

Geology  A Very Short Introduction

The precise speed and direction of passage of both wave types through the mantle depend on the physical properties of the mantle rocks. Where these are very near melting (or include a small proportion of melted material), the waves tend ...

Author: Jan Zalasiewicz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192526625

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 436

Ranging across the 4.6 billion year history of the planet, geology is the subject that encompasses almost all that we see around us, in one way or another, and also much that we cannot see, beneath our feet, and on other planets. The fruits of geology provide most of the materials that give us shelter, and most of the energy that drives our modern lives. Within the study of geology lie some of the clues to the extraordinary impact our species is going to play out on the planet, in centuries and millennia to come. In this Very Short Introduction Jan Zalasiewicz gives a brief introduction to the fascinating field of geology. Describing how the science developed from its early beginnings, he looks at some of the key discoveries that have transformed it, before delving into its various subfields, such as sedimentology, tectonics, and stratigraphy. Analysing the geological foundations of the Earth, Zalasiewicz explains the interlocking studies of tectonics, geophysics, and igneous and metamorphic petrology and geochemistry; and describes how rocks are dated by radiometric dating. Considering the role and importance of geology in the finding and exploitation of resources (including fracking), he also discusses its place in environmental issues, such as foundations for urban structures and sites for landfill, and in tackling issues associated with climate change. Zalasiewicz concludes by discussing the exciting future and frontiers of the field, such as the exploration of the geology of Mars. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

Glaciation a Very Short Introduction

Glaciation  a Very Short Introduction

theory by Louis Agassiz in Britain is Agassiz Rock in Edinburgh, on which striae are clearly visible. A number of erosional forms are essentially these small-scale superficial marks on rock surfaces, recording the passage of single rock ...

Author: David J. A. Evans

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198745853

Category: Science

Page: 200

View: 364

Vast, majestic, and often stunningly beautiful, glaciers lock up some 10% of the world's freshwater. These great bodies of ice play an important part in the Earth system, carving landscapes and influencing climate on regional and hemispheric scales, as well as having a significant impact on global sea level. Throughout time, the Earth has experienced various major glaciations in its deep history, long before the ice ages of the Quaternary, and the observed effects of climate change on glaciers have recently brought them to the forefront of public attention. This Very Short Introduction offers an overview of glaciers and ice sheets as systems, considering the role of geomorphology and sedimentology in studying them, and their impacts on our planet in terms of erosional and depositional processes. Looking at our glaciers today, and their ongoing processes, David Evans considers the extent to which we can use this knowledge in reconstructing and interpreting ancient glacial landscapes. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

The History of Life A Very Short Introduction

The History of Life  A Very Short Introduction

The oldest sedimentary rocks have been reported from the Isua Group in Greenland, dated at 3.8–3.7 billion years ago. There is no doubt that water existed on the Earth by this point, and that some of the Isua Group rocks really are ...

Author: Michael J. Benton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578786

Category: Science

Page: 184

View: 918

There are few stories more remarkable than the evolution of life on earth. This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct guide to the key episodes in that story - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today. Beginning with an explanation of the controversies surrounding the birth of life itself, each following chapter tells of a major breakthrough that made new forms of life possible: including sex and multicellularity, hard skeletons, and the move to land. Along the way, we witness the greatest mass extinction, the first forests, the rise of modern ecosystems, and, most recently, conscious humans. Introducing ideas from a range of scientific disciplines, from evolutionary biology and earth history, to geochemistry, palaeontology, and systematics, Michael Benton explains how modern science pieces the evidence in this vast evolutionary puzzle together, to build up an accessible and up-to-date picture of the key developments in the history of life on earth. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

The Elements A Very Short Introduction

The Elements  A Very Short Introduction

Gold veins in rocks are known as lode deposits. The principal vein is the 'mother lode', now a figure of speech as well as the name of one of the most famous deposits of the Californian Gold Rush. When these lodes form at relatively low ...

Author: Philip Ball

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578250

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 248

This Very Short Introduction traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements - earth, air, fire, and water - to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

The Earth A Very Short Introduction

The Earth  A Very Short Introduction

not The key to understanding volcanoes comes from understanding how rocks melt. For a start, they don't have to melt completely, so the bulk of the mantle remains solid even though it gives rise to a fluid, molten magma.

Author: Martin Redfern

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191577741

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 592

For generations, the ground beneath the feet of our ancestors seemed solid and unchanging. Around 30 years ago, two things happened that were to revolutionize the understanding of our home planet. First, geologists realized that the continents themselves were drifting across the surface of the globe and that oceans were being created and destroyed. Secondly, pictures of the entire planet were returned from space. As the astronomer Fred Hoyle had predicted, this 'let loose an idea as powerful as any in history'. Suddenly, the Earth began to be viewed as a single entity; a dynamic, interacting whole, controlled by complex processes we scarcely understood. It began to seem less solid. As one astronaut put it, 'a blue jewel on black velvet; small, fragile and touchingly alone'. Geologists at last were able to see the whole as well as the detail; the wood as well as the trees. This book brings their account up to date with the latest understanding of the processes that govern our planet. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science