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Earth as an Evolving Planetary System - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780128036891, 9780128037096

Earth as an Evolving Planetary System

3rd Edition

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Author: Kent C. Condie
eBook ISBN: 9780128037096
Paperback ISBN: 9780128036891
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 25th November 2015
Page Count: 430
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Earth as an Evolving Planetary System, Third Edition, examines the various subsystems that play a role in the evolution of the Earth, including subsystems in the crust, mantle, core, atmosphere, oceans, and life. This third edition includes 30% new material and, for the first time, includes full color images in both the print and electronic versions. Topics in the great events chapters are now included in the beginning of the book, with the addition of a new feature of breakout boxes for each event.

The second half of the book now focuses on a better understanding of Earth's history by looking at the interactions of the subsystems over time. The Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, crustal and mantle evolution, the supercontinent cycle, great events in Earth history, and the Earth in comparison to other planets are also covered.

Key Features

  • Authored by a world leader in tectonics who also authored the two previous editions
  • Presents comprehensive coverage of the Earth's history that is relevant for both students and teachers
  • Includes important section on Comparative Planetary Evolution, not found in other textbooks
  • All illustrations presented throughout both the print and electronic versions in full color


Earth and Planetary scientists, Geologists, Geophysicists and Geochemists.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Earth as a Planetary System
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Structure of Earth
    • Plate Tectonics
    • Is the Earth Unique?
    • Interacting Earth Subsystems
    • Great Events in Earth History
  • Chapter 2: The Crust
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Seismic Crustal Structure
    • Crustal Types
    • Continent Size
    • Heat Flow and Heat Production
    • Exhumation and Cratonization
    • Processes in the Continental Crust
    • Crustal Composition
    • Crustal Provinces and Terranes
    • Crustal Province and Terrane Boundaries
    • The United Plates of America
  • Chapter 3: Tectonic Settings
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Ocean Ridges
    • Tectonic Settings Related to Mantle Plumes
    • Continental Rifts
    • Cratons and Passive Margins
    • Convergent Margins
    • Orogens
    • Uncertain Tectonic Settings
    • Mineral and Energy Deposits
  • Chapter 4: The Mantle
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Seismic Structure of the Mantle
    • Mantle Tomography
    • Geoid and Density Anomalies
    • Temperature Distribution in the Mantle
    • The Lithosphere
    • The Asthenosphere
    • The Transition Zone
    • The Lower Mantle
    • Water in the Mantle
    • Plate Driving Forces
    • Mantle Plumes
    • Large Low S-wave Velocity Provinces
    • Mantle Geochemical Components
    • Convection in the Mantle
  • Chapter 5: The Core
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Core Temperature
    • The Inner Core
    • Age of the Core
    • Generation of Earth's Magnetic Field
    • Origin of the Core
    • What the Future Holds
  • Chapter 6: Crustal and Mantle Evolution
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • The Hadean
    • Crustal Origin
    • How Continents Grow
    • Continental Growth Rates
    • Global Changes at the End of the Archean
    • Evolution of the Subcontinental Lithosphere
    • Earth's Thermal History
  • Chapter 7: The Supercontinent Cycle
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Methods of Supercontinent Reconstruction
    • Assembly of Supercontinents
    • Breakup of Supercontinents
    • Archean Supercratons
    • The Story of Three Supercontinents
    • The Supercontinent Cycle
    • Plate Speeds Through Time
    • Supercontinent Lifetimes
    • LIP Events and the Supercontinent Cycle
    • Imprints of the Supercontinent Cycle on Earth History
    • Epilogue
  • Chapter 8: The Atmosphere and Hydrosphere
    • Abstract
    • The Modern Atmosphere
    • The Primitive Atmosphere
    • The Post-Collision Atmosphere
    • The Carbon Cycle
    • Oxygen Makes its Entrance
    • The Carbon Isotope Record
    • The Sulfur Isotope Record
    • Phanerozoic Atmospheric History
    • The Hydrosphere
    • Paleoclimates
    • Epilogue
  • Chapter 9: The Biosphere
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • The Role of Impacts
    • The RNA World
    • Hydrothermal Vents
    • The First Life
    • Evidence of Early Life
    • Anoxygenic Photosynthesis
    • Oxygenic Photosynthesis
    • The Tree of Life
    • The First Fossils
    • Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life
    • Appearance of Eukaryotes
    • Origin of Metazoans
    • Stromatolites
    • Neoproterozoic Multicellular Organisms
    • Evolution of Phanerozoic Life Forms
    • Biological Benchmarks
    • Mass Extinctions
  • Chapter 10: Comparative Planetary Evolution
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Condensation and Accretion of the Planets
    • Members of the Solar System
    • Volcanism in the Solar System
    • Planetary Crusts
    • Plate Tectonics
    • Mineral Evolution
    • Evolution of the Atmospheres of Earth, Venus, and Mars
    • The Habitable Zone
    • Comparative Planetary Evolution
    • Extrasolar Planets
  • References
  • Index


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© Academic Press 2016
25th November 2015
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
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About the Author

Kent C. Condie

Kent C. Condie

Kent Condie is professor of geochemistry at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM where he has taught since 1970. Prior to that time he was at Washington University in St. Louis, MO (1964-1970). TextbookHis textbook, Plate Tectonics and Crustal Evolution, which is widely used in upper division and graduate courses in the Earth Sciences, was first published in 1976 and has gone through four previous editions. In addition, Condie has written and edited several books. Condie’s research, primarily dealing with the origin and evolution of continents and the early history of the Earth, has over the years been sponsored chiefly by the U. S. National Science Foundation. He is author or co-author of over 750 articles published scientific journals.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Geochemistry, Department of Earth & Environmental Science, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM, USA

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