Language of the Earth

Language of the Earth

1st Edition - January 1, 1981

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  • Editors: Frank H. T. Rhodes, Richard O. Stone
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483161662

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Language of the Earth is a collection of essays that provides a particular category of and describes the current content in each area of earth science. The book reviews various aspects of geological knowledge, including the characters, motives, and attitudes of certain individuals who have made contributions in this field. Case studies of eyewitness accounts of geological phenomena include the Turtle Mountain slide, the Lisbon earthquake, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the eruption of the Oraefajokull in 1727. The text also discusses some geological controversies such as the footprints in red sandstone, as well as geological philosophies concerning estimates of time since the Earth has existed. The book cites 3000-year old Chinese records chronicling earthquake activity; it also discusses earthquakes and the hypothesis of continental drift. The text then explains the many ways in which geology can relate to the person—in his approach to his work, the personal touch. Geology is shown in terms of its relation to prose, poetry, and sometimes, humor, as in the discovery of the "petrified woman." This book can offer a light and entertaining respite for geologists, historians, students or professors of the earth sciences, and for general readers interested in personal accounts of some geological discoveries.

Table of Contents

  • Preface


    Part I Geologic Knowledge

    Chapter 1 Geologists Are Also Human

    Thrills in Fossil Hunting

    Ship's Wake

    King's Formative Years

    The Making of a Volcanologist

    With Shackleton in the Antarctic

    Rhodes: Life, Time and Darwin

    The Voyage of the Beagle

    A Long Life's Work

    The Old Red Sandstone

    Life at Freiberg

    Chapter 2 Eyewitness Accounts of Geological Phenomena

    The Turtle Mountain Slide

    The Night the Mountain Fell


    The Lisbon Earthquake

    No More Wooden Towers for San Francisco, 1906


    Not a Very Sensible Place for a Stroll

    Last Days of St. Pierre

    Beacons on the Passage Out

    Eruption of the Öraefajökull, 1727

    Chapter 3 Controversy in Geology

    Footprints in Red Sandstone

    Apes, Angels, and Victorians

    Fossils and Free Enterprisers

    The Founders of Geology

    Chapter 4 Philosophy of Geology

    Concerning the System of the Earth

    The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses

    The Discrimination of Shore Features

    Historical Science

    Chapter 5 Life's Biography

    Earth and Man

    The Flowering Earth

    Habits and Habitats

    Chapter 6 Modern Problems in Geology

    Mao's Almanac—3,000 Years of Killer Earthquakes

    Earthquakes and Continental Drift

    Part II Geology and the Individual

    Chapter 7 Humor in Geology

    The Petrified Woman

    The Geologic Column

    Properties and Composition of Lunar Materials

    William Buckland

    Chapter 8 Geology and Poetry

    In Praise of Limestone

    Selected Poems

    Prometheus Unbound, Act I

    Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouny

    Hymn Before Sun-Rise in the Vale of Chamouni

    To a Trilobite

    The Lisbon Earthquake

    A Shropshire Lad

    Where Shall Wisdom be Found?

    Mente et Malleo

    Paradise Lost, Book VII

    Lyell's Hypothesis Again

    Chapter 9 Geology and Prose

    Landscape and Literature

    Roughing It

    Mono Lake—Aurora—Sonora Pass

    Seven Pillars of Wisdom

    Trip to the Middle and North Forks of San Joaquin River

    Sea of Cortez

    Wind, Sand and Stars

    Green Hills of Africa

    The French Lieutenant's Woman

    Letters from Switzerland and Travels in Italy

    The Lost World

    Chapter 10 Geology and the Arts

    A Land

    Beyond Modern Sculpture

    Thomas Moran: American Landscape Painter

    Greek Marbles: Determination of Provenance by Isotopic Analysis

    Chapter 11 A Geologic Detective Story or Two

    The Great Diamond Hoax

    The Great Piltdown Hoax

    Chapter 12 Earth Scientists Also Known As...

    Megalonyx, Mammoth, and Mother Earth

    Three Short, Happy Months

    Stanford University, 1891-1895


    Mineralogy, Geology, Meteorology

    Benjamin Franklin and the Gulf Stream

    Leonardo Da Vinci as a Geologist

    Part III Geology and Society

    Chapter 13 Geology and World History

    Topography and Strategy in the War

    The Geologic and Topographic Setting of Cities

    Minerals and World History

    The Ice Age Cometh

    Tambora and Krakatau: Volcanoes and the Cooling of the World

    Chapter 14 Geopolitics

    Mohole: Geopolitical Fiasco

    A Window on the Oligocene

    The Environmental Geologist and The Body Politic

    Chapter 15 Geology and Service of Humankind

    Mortgaging the Old Homestead

    Geologic Jeopardy

    The Great and Dirty Lakes

    Geology—For Human Needs

    National Energy Policy

    Minerals, People, and the Future

    The Geological Attitude

    Medical Geology



    About the Editors

Product details

  • No. of pages: 432
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 1981
  • Published: January 1, 1981
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483161662

About the Editors

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Richard O. Stone

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