How to Read a Rock: Our Planet's Hidden Stories (Hardcover)

How to Read a Rock: Our Planet's Hidden Stories By Jan Zalasiewicz Cover Image
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Rocks are time machines and the keepers of our history. This guide is a geological field trip through Earth’s incredible rock formations and the stories they hold

Like rings on a tree stump hold the history of the tree, the history of Earth is written in its rocks. How to Read a Rock: Our Planet’s Hidden Stories teaches readers to decipher the rocks all around us, from backyard stones to mountain ranges, and trace Earth's history layer by layer.

Spanning from prehistoric Earth’s shifting continents, to contemporary human impact, to the future surfaces of space exploration, the book reviews a remarkable array of topics, including:

  • diamond volcanoes
  • ancient coastlines, rivers, deserts, and coral reefs
  • how animals have changed rocks
  • making of mud
  • urban rock strata
  • human-made rocks and minerals
  • current limestone rock crisis
  • technofossils (the footprints humans will leave behind through their material goods)
How to Read a Rock's brilliant imagery captures the power, majesty, and history of the planet. Rocks carry the memories of dinosaur landscapes and vanished oceans; show evidence of the greening of the planet and the effect of natural forces; and convey clues on climate and energy consumption. The book unearths the most fascinating stories rocks can tell us, not only about our past, but how the past can help imagine the future.

About the Author

JAN ZALASIEWICZ is a field geologist and stratigrapher with more than 100 published academic articles on rock-related processes in publications including New Scientist, Scientific American, and The Guardian. He has taught students how to interpret rocks and rock structures for more than 20 years in the field and lecture halls, as well as leading field trips for geology groups.

Praise For…

"From under the sea to volcanoes, what stories can rocks tell us about the earth’s past and how might it forecast its future? Zalasiewicz, a field geologist and stratigrapher, addresses this question and more in this highly visual introduction to the many different kind of rocks, how they are formed, and what they convey about the earth’s history... Readers will gain a deeper knowledge of this ubiquitous material that makes up many of the things they use and depend on."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781588347282
ISBN-10: 1588347281
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Publication Date: November 8th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English