Cover image for Reading the rocks : the autobiography of the earth
Reading the rocks : the autobiography of the earth
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Westview Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group, c2005.
Physical Description:
x, 237 p. ; 22 cm.
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.
Subject Term:
This armchair guide to the making of the geologic record shows how to understand messages written in stone. 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 Bjornerud takes the reader along on an eye-opening tour of Deep Time, explaining 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.--From publisher description.