In this excellent survey of earthquakes and their effects--their mystery, terror, and science (Christopher Arnold, president, Building Systems Development), two of the world's premier structural engineers take readers on a fascinating trip from the Earth's beginnings to recent developments in seismic technology. 100+ illustrations.
You may have heard that Minnesota�s ten thousand lakes are the hoofprints of Paul Bunyan�s big blue ox, Babe. �Don�t you believe it � writes author Dick Ojakangas. Though the lakes, which formed at the end of the most recent ice age, may be Minnesota�s most famous features, the glaciated countryside disguises a much longer history of volcanoes and plate collisions�not surprising when you learn that Minnesota was at the active edge of the fledgling North American continent for several billion years.
Roadside Geology of Minnesota steers you over glacial moraines and till plains to some of the state�s unparalleled geologic features, such as the Morton Gneiss, once thought to be the oldest rock on Earth; the St. Peter Sandstone, one of the purest sandstones in the world; the banded iron-formation, the source of iron for the Great Lakes steel industry; and the ancient shorelines of Glacial Lake Agassiz, one of the largest glacial lakes ever to have existed in North America. The book�s introduction presents an overview of Minnesota�s geologic history, and forty-two road guides discuss the landforms and rocks visible from a car window and at nearby waysides and parks, including Pipestone National Monument, Grand Portage National Monument, and Voyageurs National Park.
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.
Why an awareness of Earth's temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survivalFew of us have any conception of the enormous timescales in our planet's long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating for ourselves. The passage of nine days, which is how long a drop of water typically stays in Earth's atmosphere, is something we can easily grasp. But spans of hundreds of years--the time a molecule of carbon dioxide resides in the atmosphere--approach the limits of our comprehension. Our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations. Timefulness reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth's deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future. Marcia Bjornerud shows how geologists chart the planet's past, explaining how we can determine the pace of solid Earth processes such as mountain building and erosion and comparing them with the more unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere. These overlapping rates of change in the Earth system--some fast, some slow--demand a poly-temporal worldview, one that Bjornerud calls "timefulness." She explains why timefulness is vital in the Anthropocene, this human epoch of accelerating planetary change, and proposes sensible solutions for building a more time-literate society. This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth's history--and the magnitude of our effects on the planet.
Smithsonian Handbooks are the most visually appealing guides on the natural world in the book marketplace. Featuring more than 500 full-color illustrations and photographs, along with detailed annotations, Smithsonian Handbooks make identification easy and accurate.
Roy Chapman Andrews led "the most celebrated fossil-hunting expedition of the twentieth century", wrote New York Times science writer John Noble Wilford. Financed by Morgan, Rockefeller, and a host of other Wall Street titans, the Central Asiatic Expeditions (1922-1930) comprised the most ambitious scientific venture ever launched from the United States up to that time. Under the auspices of New York's American Museum of Natural History, Andrews conducted five expeditions to the last unchartered corner of the world: the Gobi Desert of Outer and Inner Mongolia. In Dragon Hunter, Charles Gallenkamp vividly recounts these tremendous discoveries and the unforgettable adventures that attended them. Filled with astonishing tales of Andrews and his team braving raging sandstorms and murderous bandits, enduring political intrigue and civil wars, and reveling in the fascinating world of Peking's foreign colony, Dragon Hunter also traces the religious controversy over evolution and the anti-imperialist conflicts between the United States and China that were sparked by Andrews's expeditions. Gallenkamp tells Andrews's incredible life story, from his beginnings as a floor sweeper at the American Museum of Natural History to his international fame as one of the century's most acclaimed explorers. The result is a thrilling page-turner-an epic search for dinosaurs and extinct mammals cloaked in a sweeping historical narrative.
"A cracking read, combining storytelling of the highest order with a trove of information. . . . What's remarkable is that it all fits together."--Wall Street Journal
"Successful science writing tells a complete story of the 'how'--the methodical marvel building up to the 'why'--and Randall does just that."--New York Times Book Review
" Randall] is a lucid explainer, street-wise and informal. Without jargon or mathematics, she steers us through centuries of sometimes tortuous astronomical history."--The Guardian
In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Professor Lisa Randall, one of today's most influential theoretical physicists, takes readers on an intellectual adventure through the history of the cosmos, showing how events in the farthest reaches of the Universe created the conditions for life--and death--on our planet.
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city crashed into Earth, killing off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the planet's species. Challenging the usual assumptions about the simple makeup of the unseen material that constitutes 85% of the matter in the Universe, Randall explains how a disk of dark matter in the Milky Way plane might have triggered the cataclysm.
But Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs does more than present a radical idea. With clarity and wit, it explains the nature of the Universe, dark matter, the Milky Way galaxy, comets, asteroids, and impacts. This breathtaking synthesis, illuminated by pop culture references and social and political viewpoints, reveals the deep relationships among the small and the large, the visible and the hidden, as well as the astonishing beauty of the connections that surround us. It's impossible to read this book and look at either the Earth or the sky again in the same way.
Environmental historian Philip L. Fradkin offers a vivid history of earthquakes and an eloquent guide to the San Andreas Fault, the seismic scar that bisects the Golden State's spectacular scenery. The author includes dramatic stories of legendary earthquakes elsewhere: in New York, New England, the central Mississippi River Valley, Europe, and the Far East. Combining human and natural dramas, he places the reader at the epicenter of the most invisible, unpredictable, and feared of the earth's violent phenomena. On the eve of the millennium, as cyberspace crackles with apocalyptic visions, Fradkin reaches beyond the earthshaking moment to examine the mythology, culture, social implications, politics, and science of earthquakes.
For months in early 1980, scientists, journalists, and nearby residents listened anxiously to rumblings from Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington State. Still, no one was prepared when a cataclysmic eruption blew the top off of the mountain, laying waste to hundreds of square miles of land and killing fifty-seven people. Steve Olson interweaves vivid personal stories with the history, science, and economic forces that influenced the fates and futures of those around the volcano. Eruption delivers a spellbinding narrative of an event that changed the course of volcanic science, and an epic tale of our fraught relationship with the natural world.
The rise of mountains and the spread of deserts has marked the geologic history of Arizona. Landscapes that we see today are here because of landscapes of the past, and because of tremendous forces deep within the earth, forces that carry continents into collisions and then drag them apart again, forces of heat and pressure and the slow churning boil of the earth's interior. Landscape features result, too, from more comprehensible, more recent forces: the unending attack of water and wind and frost, the building of volcanoes, the short-term geologic happenings like landslides and rockfalls, earthquakes and floods, and a gopher digging a hole.