Understanding Geology Through Maps

Understanding Geology Through Maps

1st Edition - July 16, 2014

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  • Author: Graham Borradaile
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128010938
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128008669

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Understanding Geology through Maps guides young professional geologists and students alike in understanding and interpreting the world’s dynamic and varying geological landscapes through the liberal use of visual aids including figures, maps, and diagrams. This highly visual reference introduces the skills of interpreting a geological map and relating it to the morphology of the most important types of geological structure. Thoroughly revised, and with more international examples, it is ideal for use by students with a minimum of tutorial supervision. Maps of geological structures provide all of the realism of a survey map without the huge amount of data often present, so readers can develop or hone their skills without becoming overwhelmed or confused. In particular, emphasis is placed throughout on developing the skill of three-dimensional visualization so important to geologists.

Key Features

  • Authored by a master geologist with more than 40 years of experience in research and instruction
  • Features more than 130 figures, diagrams, and illustrations—many in full color—to highlight major themes and aid in the retention of key concepts
  • Leads to a broad understanding of Earth’s geology through the use of real and theoretical map
  • Exercises conclude each chapter, making it an ideal tool for self-guided and quick study


Geologists (junior and seasoned professionals) and cartographers. Students at the graduate level taking related coursework in geology and cartography

Table of Contents

    • Foreword
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. Geological Maps and Some Basic Terminology
      • Uniformitarianism (and its Limitations)
      • Stratigraphic Correlation
      • What is Meant by “Mapping”
      • Initial Terminology for Lithology
      • Sedimentary Rocks
      • Superficial Deposits (Sediments as Opposed to Sedimentary Rock)
      • Map Representation of Superficial Deposits
      • Igneous rocks
      • Metamorphic rocks
    • Chapter 2. Relative Ages
      • More Advanced Considerations in Relative Dating
      • Paleomagnetism: A Specialized Application of Relative Ages
    • Chapter 3. Absolute Ages
      • Units of Measure
      • Early Estimates of Absolute Geological Ages
      • Radioactive Decay and Geochronology
      • Dendrochronology
      • Varve Chronology
      • Radiocarbon Age Determination
      • Periodic Secular Magnetic Variation (PSV) and Geomagnetic Reversals (GPTS)
      • Geochronological Consequences for Geological History
    • Chapter 4. Age Relationships from Map View
    • Chapter 5. Layered (Stratified) Rocks and Topography
      • Dip, Strike, and Their Map Representation
      • Recording Orientations: Conventions
      • How Does the Field Geologist Measure the Orientation of a Plane?
      • The “Way Up” or Polarity of Strata: Younging
      • Tectonic Planar and Linear Structures
      • Orienting Specimens Retrieved from the Field
      • Reading Published Geological Maps
    • Chapter 6. Strata and Plane-Dipping Features
      • Structure Contours: Constructed, Extrapolated, Interpolated, and Topographic Intersections
      • Determining Dip Angles from Structure Contours
      • Extrapolating Geology and Determining Dips Using Structure Contours
      • Complications in Drawing Cross-Sections: Vertical Exaggeration and Apparent Dip
      • Dipping Strata, Unconformities on Published Geological Maps
      • Simple Constructions for Mapping Out Strata from a Few Outcrops
    • Chapter 7. Dips, Thicknesses Structure Contours and Maps
      • True Thicknesses of Dipping Beds
      • Structure Contours from Dips
    • Chapter 8. Unconformities
      • Types of Stratigraphic Discordance
      • Stratigraphic Discordance Implied by Differences in Degree of Regional Metamorphism
      • Onlap and Offlap with Angular Unconformities
      • Nonsedimentary Contacts
      • Unconformities and Subcrops
      • Unconformities and Structure Contours
      • Preunconformity Dips
      • Exercises with Unconformities
      • Thickness Variations: Isopachytes
    • Chapter 9. Faults
      • Tension Fractures
      • Shear Fractures
      • Simplified Mechanical Details
      • Expression of Faults at the Surface
      • Dip-Slip and Strike-Slip Components of Motion on a Fault
      • Transform Faults and Other Growth Faults
      • Review Questions Concerning Faulting
      • Simplified Procedure for Understanding a Fault from a Map
    • Chapter 10. Folds
      • Excerpts Simplified from Published Geological Survey Maps
    • Appendix 1
    • Appendix 2. Final Project Possible after Completion of Studying This Book
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 196
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2014
  • Published: July 16, 2014
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128010938
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128008669

About the Author

Graham Borradaile

Dr. Graham Borradaile, BSc, PhD, DSc (University of Liverpool), is a professor of Geology at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. Graham’s research and instruction experience spans 43 years and his research has been continuously funded by NSERC (Ottawa) since 1979 with occasional funding for specific projects from other research organizations (e.g. NATO, Province of Ontario, and commercial sources). Dr. Borradaile’s research focuses on two sub-disciplines: magnetic properties of rocks and structural-tectonic geology. His rock magnetic laboratory occasionally tackles archaeological problems, including the nature of ancient paints and pigments, and the age-determination of stone buildings from their magnetization. The latter has involved studies in Cyprus, Israel and England and has been featured in Discovery Magazine, on Discovery Channel TV and on BBC TV (UK). Graham is also the author of more than 100 journal papers and his more recent book, Statistics of Earth Science Data, was published by Springer in 2003.

Affiliations and Expertise

Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada

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