sábado, 30 de janeiro de 2010

Enchanted Rock: A Natural and Human History

Lance Allred, "Enchanted Rock: A Natural and Human History"
University of Texas Press | 2009-09-01 | ISBN: 0292719639 | 352 pages | PDF | 58,1 MB

With intriguing domes of pinkish granite surrounded by a sea of Hill Country limestone, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area attracts over 300,000 visitors every year who come to the park to hike, rock climb, spelunk, camp, picnic, and observe birds and wildflowers. Geologists from around the world come to Enchanted Rock to examine landforms that were shaped by forces on ancient continents of Earth more than one billion years ago! All of these visitors, however, are only the latest comers in a line of human history that stretches back 13,000 years to early Native Americans and includes Spanish explorers, Mexican and German settlers, and thirteen private and public owners up to the current owner, the state of Texas.

Surprisingly, given the area's wealth of unusual geology, native plants and animals, and human history, no comprehensive guide to Enchanted Rock has been published before now. In Enchanted Rock, you'll find everything you need to fully appreciate this unique place. Lance Allred draws on the work of specialists in many fields to offer a popular account of the park's history, geology, weather, flora, and fauna. Whether you want to know more about how Enchanted Rock was formed, identify a wildflower or butterfly, or learn more about plant communities along the hiking trails, you'll find accurate information here, presented in an inviting style. Over a thousand color photographs illustrate the enjoyable text.

Science of Everyday Things: Real Life Earth Sciences

Judson Knight, Neil Schlager, "Science of Everyday Things: Real Life Earth Sciences"
Gacl | 2002 | ISBN: 0787656356 | 400 pages | Djvu | 11 MB

From Booklist
The first two volumes of this series are Real-Life Chemistry and Real-Life Physics, released in 2001. The purpose of the series is to explain scientific phenomena using common real-world examples. Real-Life Earth Science has about 40 entries covering various scientific phenomena and principles. Information in each entry includes "Concept" (defines the scientific principle or theory), "How It Works," "Real-Life Applications," and "Where to Learn More." A "Key Terms" section defines terms from the text. Examples of topics include study of the earth, geology, geomorphology, soil science, geochemistry, and meteorology. Under "Real-Life Applications" we can learn about the greenhouse effect (under Ecosystems and ecology); mass extinction (under Paleontology); and the 1812 New Madrid, Missouri, earthquake (under Seismology).

Entries, written at a level accessible to high-school students and the general reader, average about 10 pages in length. The "Where to Learn More" section provides about 10 books and Web sites for further information. Black-and-white line drawings and photographs supplement the text. There are no color illustrations. An index offers subject access to the contents of the volume; in addition, there is a cumulative subject index of all 4 volumes. The basic facts provided in these books are available elsewhere, but the "Real-Life Applications" may be interesting to some. Recommended for high-school and public libraries. RBB

Dutch Pioneers in Earth Sciences

Robert P. W. Visser, Jacques L. R. Touret "Dutch Pioneers in Earth Sciences"
Edita-the Publishing House of the Royal | 2004-08-16 | ISBN : 9069843897 | Pages: 200 | PDF | 5.91 MB

The papers collected in this volume, given at a Dutch history of science symposium, present a historical survey of Dutch contributions to earth science. Topics covered include: the pioneering stratigraphic studies of the eighteenth-century naturalist Francq van Berkhey; the 1863 geology lectures of Staring and his geological map of the Netherlands; the Maastricht Cretaceous finds in the emergence of Dutch vertebrate palaeontology; and the founding of ground water hydrology in the Netherlands.

Early Earth Systems: A Geochemical Approach

Map That Changed the World CD: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
HarperAudio | ISBN: 0694525219 | 2001-08-01 | MP3 | 176 MB

Once upon a time there lived a man who discovered the secrets of the earth. He traveled far and wide, learning about the world below the surface. After years of toil, he created a great map of the underworld and expected to live happily ever after. But did he? Simon Winchester (The Professor and the Madman) tells the fossil-friendly fairy tale life of William Smith in The Map That Changed the World.

Born to humble parents, Smith was also a child of the Industrial Revolution (the year of his birth, 1769, also saw Josiah Wedgwood open his great factory, Etruria, Richard Arkwright create his first water-powered cotton-spinning frame, and James Watt receive the patent for the first condensing steam engine). While working as surveyor in a coal mine, Smith noticed the abrupt changes in the layers of rock as he was lowered into the depths. He came to understand that the different layers--in part as revealed by the fossils they contained--always appeared in the same order, no matter where they were found. He also realized that geology required a three-dimensional approach. Smith spent the next 20 some years traveling throughout Britain, observing the land, gathering data, and chattering away about his theories to those he met along the way, thus acquiring the nickname "Strata Smith." In 1815 he published his masterpiece: an 8.5- by 6-foot, hand-tinted map revealing "A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales."

Despite this triumph, Smith's road remained more rocky than smooth. Snubbed by the gentlemanly Geological Society, Smith complained that "the theory of geology is in the possession of one class of men, the practice in another." Indeed, some members of the society went further than mere ostracism--they stole Smith's work. These cartographic plagiarists produced their own map, remarkably similar to Smith's, in 1819. Meanwhile the chronically cash-strapped Smith had been forced to sell his prized fossil collection and was eventually consigned to debtor's prison.

In the end, the villains are foiled, our hero restored, and science triumphs. Winchester clearly relishes his happy ending, and his honey-tinged prose ("that most attractively lovable losterlike Paleozoic arthropod known as the trilobite") injects a lot of life into what seems, on the surface, a rather dry tale. Like Smith, however, Winchester delves into the strata beneath the surface and reveals a remarkable world. --Sunny Delaney