Beneath Our Feet: The Rocks of Planet Earth

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Dec 7, 2000 - Science - 216 pages
How much do you know about the rocks beneath your feet--the basic materials of our planet? Their variety and beauty is astounding, especially when viewed through the microscope, where crystals of different minerals and in various arrangements are revealed in exquisite detail. While surface rocks seem so solid, they flow deep inside the earth, and, in this spectacular book, you'll see what rocks that have flowed actually look like. Eminent geologist Ron Vernon reveals the incredible beauty and variety of earth rocks, both under and on the surface. Through breathtaking photographs he captures rocks formed by heating and melting inside the earth, rocks ejected from volcanoes, rocks formed by erosion on the earth's surface, and extraterrestrial rocks that have crashed into our planet. These stunning images are accompanied by clear, nontechnical explanations of the processes underlying the creation of rocks and minerals. No other current book so cogently explains the nature and origin of rocks for nonscientists. Beneath Our Feet: The Rocks of Planet Earth is destined to be a must-have purchase for a wide-ranging audience from professional scientists to amateur rock collectors--indeed anyone interested in natural history.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Looking at rocks and minerals
7
Juggling plates
13
Anything flows
23
A mantle of green
53
Hot stuff
59
Breaking point
109
All washed up
117
Turning up the heat
131
In hot water
155
A tight squeeze
165
From outer space
189
Seen one rock?
205
Glossary
207
Index
211
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