Geology
Featured Items
Ice: Great Moments in the History of Hard, Cold Water
Ice
Great Moments in the History of Hard, Cold Water
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0873516281

"Anything but frigid, this book is filled with fun facts about one of Minnesota's greatest--though possibly under-appreciated--natural treasures."
Minnesota Monthly

"Put your mittens on; you'll freeze to death " admonish the world's grandmothers as the temperature plummets. No doubt the Arctic explorers--today in their GORE-TEX, historically in their woolens--needed no such instruction. Icy climes bring with them the dangers of frostbite, but also the poetic beauty of glaciers and ice shelves, of ice palaces and aurora borealis. Karal Ann Marling explores these topics and more as she considers the history of "hard, cold water."

What better place to start than with dessert? The pleasure of ice cream on a hot day has been known since the sixteenth century, although it wasn't until a few hundred years later that reliable refrigeration made the treat readily available. Marling expands her icy explorations to the realm of fiction--the ice crossing in Uncle Tom's Cabin, the frozen wasteland of Frankenstein--and to the movies and Broadway. Cities vie for tourists by building shimmering ice palaces to celebrate winter; explorers compete to reach the poles, and not all live to tell the story. The study of ice by a true aficionado yields fascinating insights and may just inspire readers to embrace winter--or to make their way to the nearest ice cream shop.

The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--And Could Destroy It
The Spinning Magnet
The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--And Could Destroy It
Hardcover      ISBN: 110198516x
The mystery of Earth's invisible, life-supporting power

Alanna Mitchell's globe-trotting history of the science of electromagnetism and the Earth's magnetic field--right up to the latest indications that the North and South Poles may soon reverse, with apocalyptic results--will soon change the way you think about our planet.

Award-winning journalist Alanna Mitchell's science storytelling introduce intriguing characters--from the thirteenth-century French investigations into magnetism and the Victorian-era discover that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same fundamental force to the latest research. No one has ever told so eloquently how the Earth itself came to be seen as a magnet, spinning in space with two poles, and that those poles have dramatically reversed many time, often coinciding with mass extinctions. The most recent reversal was 780,000 years ago.

Mitchell explores indications that the Earth's magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously thought. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, the Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other disturbances, wipe out much and possible all of our electromagnetic technology. Navigation for all kinds of animals is disrupted without a stable, magnetic North Pole. But can you imagine no satellites, no Internet, no smartphones--maybe no power grids at all?

Alanna Mitchell offers a beautifully crafted narrative history of surprising ideas and science, illuminating invisible parts of our own planet that are constantly changing around us.
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded
August 27, 1883
Paperback      ISBN: 0060838590

The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa.

The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa -- the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster -- was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round die planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogot and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims: one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere.

Simon Winchester's long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life.

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs
The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062328476

In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven's Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth.

Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.

Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings--established and speculative--regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos' history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.

Discovering the Mammoth: A Tale of Giants, Unicorns, Ivory, and the Birth of a New Science
Discovering the Mammoth
A Tale of Giants, Unicorns, Ivory, and the Birth of a New Science
Hardcover      ISBN: 1681774240

When the ancient Greeks saw deposits of giant fossils, they knew they had discovered the battle fields where the gods had vanquished the Titans. When the Chinese discovered buried ivory, they knew they had found dragons' teeth. But as the Age of Reason dawned, monsters and giants gave way to the scientific method. Yet the mystery of these mighty bones remained. How did Enlightenment thinkers overcome centuries of myth and misunderstanding to reconstruct an unknown animal?

The journey to unravel that puzzle begins in the 1690s with the arrival of new type of ivory on the European market bearing the exotic name "mammoth." It ends during the Napoleonic Wars with the first recovery of a frozen mammoth. The path to figuring out the mammoth was traveled by merchants, diplomats, missionaries, cranky doctors, collectors of natural wonders, Swedish POWs, Peter the Great, Ben Franklin, the inventor of hot chocolate, and even one pirate.

McKay brings together dozens of original documents and illustrations, some ignored for centuries, to show how this odd assortment of characters solved the mystery of the mammoth and, in doing so, created the science of paleontology.
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883
Krakatoa
The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883
Paperback      ISBN: 006093736x

Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogota and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.

The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers
The Source
How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393242358

America has more than 250,000 rivers, coursing over more than 3 million miles, connecting the disparate regions of the United States. On a map they can look like the veins, arteries, and capillaries of a continent-wide circulatory system, and in a way they are. Over the course of this nation's history rivers have served as integral trade routes, borders, passageways, sewers, and sinks. Over the years, based on our shifting needs and values, we have harnessed their power with waterwheels and dams, straightened them for ships, drained them with irrigation canals, set them on fire, and even attempted to restore them.

In this fresh and powerful work of environmental history, Martin Doyle tells the epic story of America and its rivers, from the U.S. Constitution's roots in interstate river navigation, the origins of the Army Corps of Engineers, the discovery of gold in 1848, and the construction of the Hoover Dam and the TVA during the New Deal, to the failure of the levees in Hurricane Katrina and the water wars in the west. Along the way, he explores how rivers have often been the source of arguments at the heart of the American experiment--over federalism, sovereignty and property rights, taxation, regulation, conservation, and development.

Through his encounters with experts all over the country--a Mississippi River tugboat captain, an Erie Canal lock operator, a dendrochronologist who can predict the future based on the story trees tell about the past, a western rancher fighting for water rights--Doyle reveals the central role rivers have played in American history--and how vital they are to its future.

Guide to Mountains
Guide to Mountains
Paperback      ISBN: 155407052x

An illustrated, concise reference to the Earth's mountains.

This comprehensive and compact resource begins with an exploration of the powerful geological and other natural forces that create and shape mountains. Environmental sensitivity and unique weather conditions like snow and ice, avalanches and glaciers have lasting effects on mountains, and many diverse societies and economies exist in mountainous regions.

This easy-to-use guidebook features an atlas of the world's major mountain regions that shows topography with detailed descriptions and informative tables of key facts and figures.

Guide to Mountains is an ideal and handy quick-reference book that naturalists, mountain climbers, skiers, hikers, and travelers of all ages will enjoy and find useful.

Minnesota Rocks & Minerals: A Field Guide to the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Minnesota Rocks & Minerals
A Field Guide to the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Paperback      ISBN: 1591933021

Your Must-Have Guide to Minnesota's Rocks and Minerals

Get the perfect guide to rocks and minerals in the Land of 10,000 Lakes This book by Dan R. Lynch and Bob Lynch features comprehensive entries for 90 Minnesota rocks and minerals, from common rocks to rare finds. Learn from the fascinating information about everything from agates and iron ore to fossils and gold. The easy-to-use format means you'll quickly find what you need to know and where to look. The authors' incredible, sharp, full-color photographs depict the detail needed for identification--no need to guess from line drawings.

With this field guide in hand, identifying and collecting is fun and informative.

The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755
The Last Day
Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755
Paperback      ISBN: 0143114603

The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was no run-of-the-mill misfortune-it was a watershed moment that shook the pillars of an inveterate social order and sent reverberations throughout the Western world. Earth, water, wind, and fire all conspired to produce a hellish catastrophe that lasted for a full five days and left Lisbon thoroughly annihilated. Nicholas Shrady's unique account of this first modern disaster and its aftereffects successfully articulates the outcome of the earthquake-the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mass media frenzy giving rise to a host of other fascinating developments, such as disaster preparedness, landmark social reform, urban planning, and the birth of seismology.