Rocks: a Very Short Introduction
Rocks, more than anything else, underpin our lives. They make up the solid structure of the Earth and of other rocky planets, and are present at the cores of gas giant planets. We live on the rocky surface of the planet, grow our food on weathered debris derived from rocks, and we obtain nearly all of the raw materials with which we found our civilization from rocks. From the Earth's crust to building bricks, rocks contain our sense of planetary history, and are a guide to our future.
In this Very Short Introduction Jan Zalsiewicz looks at the nature and variety of rocks, and the processes by which they are formed. Starting from the origin of rocks and their key role in the formation of the Earth, he considers what we know about the deep rocks of the mantle and core, and what rocks can tell us about the evolution of the Earth, and looks at those found in outer space and on other planets.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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accumulate amounts ancient Anthropocene atmosphere basalt billion years ago burrow calcium carbonate carbon dioxide Chapter chemical chondrite clay minerals complex component cooling corals core core–mantle boundary crater crystals currents David deep dense deposits depths dunes Earth Earth’s surface eruption Figure fossilized fragments geological geologist grains granite Hadean heat hornfels human-made humans igneous rocks iron isotope Jan Zalasiewicz kilometres kimberlites kind lavas layers limestone lithosphere lower mantle magma mantle rock Mars mass material melt metamorphic rock meteorites metres micas Michael microbes mid-ocean ridge million Moho Moon mountain belt mudrock mudstone ocean crust ocean floor olivine organisms original oxygen particles patterns Peter Photo by Jan planet planetary planetesimals planktonic plate tectonics pressure produced quartz reef ripples rock strata rocky sand sandstone sea floor sediment sedimentary rocks silica silica-rich skeletons solar system solid star structures subduction zones temperatures thick tiny volcanic world’s