Geology, principles and concepts

Geology, principles and concepts

65 ELEMENTARY Dennis GEOLOGY P. Cox and Helen R. Cox, 1974. Geology, Principles and Concepts. Freeman, San Francisco, Calif., 463 pp., U.S. $ 6.95...

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P. Cox and Helen R. Cox, 1974.

Geology, Principles and Concepts. Freeman, San Francisco, Calif., 463 pp., U.S. $ 6.95. In the preface of this b o o k and in the publisher's h a n d o u t there appear such phrases as "'a basic t e x t " , "reviewing geological principles", "private t u t o r " , "'a fine refresher" and "an i n t r o d u c t o r y course". All these phrases have direct and relevant application to Geology, and it is evident that the authors have disciplined their writing, illustrations, style and c o n t e n t to these needs. Their interpretation of the initial requirements of y o u n g geology students is t r u l y " t h a t geology is essentially an observational science", and their requirements are simply met in the b o o k . There are 24 major sections in the t e x t , beginning w i t h minerals and rock classifications and progressing via the various classical methods of erosion and movement to some modern aspects of geodesy and plate tectonics; a very comprehensive coverage. One feature of the t e x t , which is very attractive for the beginner, is that it will leave him w i t h t h e desire to k n o w more, and be aware of the specialisms of geology which have filled the lives of practical as well as academic geologists. There are many illustrations, photographs, sections, schematic diagrams and tables, most relating to the United States, b u t nevertheless appropriate and quite suitable for non-American students. A second feature of the t e x t which the reviewer has f o u n d less attractive and relevant is the pagination and presentation. The right-hand pages are numbered in sequence f r o m f r o n t to back, to be f o l l o w e d f r o m the back to f r o n t , t e x t inverted on the left hand pages. It is d i f f i c u l t to see immediately the purpose of such an arrangement, which at first sight appears to be a huge printer's error. On a closer inspection, this is to permit the answers to questions to be f o u n d on the n e x t and consecutive page. It is clear that Geology must be used in conjunction w i t h either a f u l l y taught course, or w i t h standard t e x t b o o k s if used as a "private t u t o r " . This need is recognised by the authors w h o have included a "correlation of C h a p t e r s . . . in Ten Major Geology

T e x t b o o k s " , as the last (or is it the middle?) page of the b o o k . Here the specific American nature of the t e x t b o o k is a disadvantage to the non-American. In all the authors have produced a useful addition to the list of elementary geology books, using their own understanding and knowledge of the subject to present basic and essential i n f o r m a t i o n simply, clearly and logically. The page numbering is an u n c o n f o r m i t y rather than a major fault. G.E.D. Cole, L o n d o n




1975. Burgess, Minneapolis, Minn., 4 t h ed., 233 pp., U.S. $ 6.95.








The f o u r t h edition of this popular laborat o r y manual for i n t r o d u c t o r y physical geology courses is for the most part an update of the earlier versions. The authors have made an a t t e m p t to incorporate recent w o r k relating to plate tectonics and astrogeology. New to the f o u r t h edition are discussions on the origin of various types, revision of some topographic map exercises, a section on tectonics of North America, and a significantly enlarged section on astrogeology. A n o t h e r major change is that the stereopairs have been placed at the back of the manual where they can be removed and used as contact prints. This f o u r t h edition is the most colorful and attractive version to date. For example, the tectonics of North America section contains four colored space photographs and a colored tectonic map of North America. The manual also includes numerous new stereo-pairs adding to the previous generous collection. Generally map and photograph reproduction is of satisfactory q u a l i t y and is equal or superior to that f o u n d in earlier editions. In this regard the manual is, w i t h o u t question, one of the best available. The manual is n o t w i t h o u t flaws. Particularly annoying to some students will be the lack of scales on the geologic maps and most of the photographs. Most maps and photo-