1st Edition

Earth Materials Components of a Diverse Planet

    556 Pages
    by CRC Press

    556 Pages
    by CRC Press

    There is a large and growing need for a textbook that can form the basis for integrated classes that look at minerals, rocks, and other Earth materials. Despite the need, no high-quality book is available for such a course. Earth Materials is a wide-ranging undergraduate textbook that covers all the most important kinds of (inorganic) Earth materials. Besides traditional chapters on minerals and rocks, this book features chapters on sediments and stratigraphy, weathering and soils, water and the hydrosphere, and mineral and energy deposits. Introductions to soil mechanics and rock mechanics are also included.

    This book steers away from the model of traditional encyclopedic science textbooks, but rather exposes students to the key and most exciting ideas and information, with an emphasis on thinking about Earth as a system. The book is written in such a manner as to support inquiry, discovery and other forms of active learning. All chapters start with a short topical story or vignette, and the plentiful photographs and other graphics are integrated completely with the text.

    Earth Materials will be interesting and useful for a wide range of learners, including geoscience students, students taking mineralogy and petrology courses, engineers, and anyone interested in learning more about the Earth as a system.

    Part I - Introduction to Earth

    1 The Origin of the Elements and Earth
    1.1 Orion
    1.2 The big picture
    1.3 The beginning
    1.4 Origin of the solar system
    1.5 Evolution of the solar system
    1.6 What is Earth made of today?
    Questions for thought—chapter 1

    2 Earth Systems and Cycles
    2.1 A Sand County Almanac
    2.2 The Earth system and my aquarium
    2.3 Systems and scientific investigations
    2.4 Rocks and the Rock Cycle
    2.5 From continental drift to plate tectonics
    2.6 The theory of plate tectonics
    2.7 The water cycle
    2.8 Carbon and the carbon cycle
    Questions for thought—chapter 2

    Part II - Fundamental Earth Materials

    3 Minerals
    3.1 Zeolites
    3.2 Minerals defined
    3.3 Importance of minerals
    3.4 Studying minerals from the past to present
    3.5 Elements, minerals, and rocks
    3.6 Mineral formation
    3.7 Common elements and the most common minerals
    3.8 Mineral compositions
    3.9 Mineral stability
    3.10 Mineral classification
    3.11 Mineral properties and identification
    Questions for thought—chapter 3

    4 Mineral Crystals
    4.1 Cuevo de los Cristales
    4.2 Crystallography and crystal chemistry
    4.3 The process of crystallization
    4.4 Ionic crystals
    4.5 Silicate minerals
    4.6 Elemental substitutions in mineral crystals
    4.7 The arrangement of atoms in crystalline solids
    Questions for thought—chapter 4

    5 Igneous Petrology and the Nature of Magmas
    5.1 Volcanism in Yellowstone National Park
    5.2 Igneous petrology
    5.3 Magma compositions
    5.4 Magma sources
    5.5 Magma movement
    5.6 Different kinds of rocks
    5.7 Melting of minerals and rocks
    5.8 The importance of partial melting and partial crystallization
    5.9 The most common occurrences of melts of different compositions
    5.10 A closer look at magma chemistry
    Questions for thought—chapter 5

    6 Plutonic Rocks
    6.1 Yosemite Valley
    6.2 Plutons of different kinds
    6.3 Minerals in igneous rocks
    6.4 Different kinds of plutonic rocks
    6.5 The southeast face of El Capitan
    6.6 The Sierra Nevada Batholith
    6.7 The American Cordillera
    6.8 Mafic and ultramafic plutonic rocks
    Questions for thought—chapter 6

    7 Volcanoes and Their Products
    7.1 Tambora and Toba
    7.2 Volcanology
    7.3 Volcanic eruptions
    7.4 Xenoliths and volatiles
    7.5 Classifying eruptions
    7.6 From magma to rock
    7.7 Naming volcanic rocks
    Questions for thought—chapter 7

    8 Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks
    8.1 Sedimentation during the formation of the Appalachian Mountains
    8.2 Sediment and sedimentary environments
    8.3 Products of weathering and erosion
    8.4 Transportation and deposition of clastic sediment
    8.5 Diagenesis and lithification
    8.6 Sedimentary layers and structures
    8.7 Different kinds of sedimentary rocks
    Questions for thought—chapter 8

    9 Stratigraphy
    9.1 Rocks of the Grand Canyon
    9.2 Formations, groups, and members
    9.3 Stratigraphy
    9.4 Interpreting the environment of deposition
    9.5 Rock lithology
    9.6 Geological time
    9.7 Subsurface stratigraphy
    Questions for thought—chapter 9

    10 Metamorphic Rocks
    10.1 Wollastonite in the Adirondack Mountains
    10.2 Metamorphic rocks
    10.3 Agents of metamorphism
    10.4 Metamorphic textures
    10.5 Metamorphic reactions
    10.6 Burial metamorphism
    10.7 Regional metamorphism
    10.8 Contact metamorphism
    10.9 Other types of metamorphism
    Questions for thought—chapter 10

    Part III - Surficial Geology and Resources

    11 Weathering and Soils
    11.1 Mesopotamia
    11.2 Weathering
    11.3 Soil
    Questions for thought—chapter 11

    12 Water and the Hydrosphere
    12.1 The Salton Sea
    12.2 Water on Earth
    12.3 The water cycle
    12.4 The ocean systems
    12.5 Freshwater systems
    12.6 Water chemistry
    12.7 Freshwater quality
    Questions for thought—chapter 12

    13 Mineral Deposits
    13.1 Bingham Canyon, Utah
    13.2 Why dig such a big hole?
    13.3 Mineral deposits and ore deposits
    13.4 The formation of ore deposits
    13.5 Placer deposits
    13.6 Chemical ore deposits
    13.7 Sedimentary ore deposits
    13.8 Igneous ore deposits
    13.9 Other kinds of ore deposits
    13.10 Is mining necessary?
    Questions for thought—chapter 13

    14 Energy Resources
    14.1 Star wars
    14.2 The energy that we use
    14.3 Fossil fuels
    14.4 Alternatives to fossil fuels
    14.5 Energy sources in the future
    Questions for thought—chapter 14

    Part IV - Engineering Properties

    15 Soil Mechanics
    15.1 The Leaning Tower of Pisa
    15.2 Soil mechanics
    15.3 Sediments, soils, and rocks
    15.4 Consolidated and unconsolidated materials
    15.5 Soil composition and index properties
    15.6 Soil classification
    15.7 Soil strength
    Questions for thought—chapter 15

    16 Rock Mechanics
    16.1 Problems in Coeur d’Alene
    16.2 Forces and stress
    16.3 Strain—rock deformation in response to stress
    16.4 On a larger scale
    16.5 Determining values for rock strength
    Questions for thought—chapter 16


    Dexter Perkins is a Professor at the University of North Dakota, USA. He was an undergraduate at the University of Rochester before moving to Ann Arbor to attend Law School at the University of Michigan, USA. He subsequently transferred to Michigan's Department of Geology and received a masters and a PhD degree. He is presently (in 2019) in his 38th year at UND.

    Kevin R. Henke is retired from the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) at the University of Kentucky, USA. He obtained his M.S. in Geology at the University of North Dakota in 1984, and his Ph.D. at the same university in 1997. His interests range from topics such as metamorphic petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry.

    Adam Simon is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, USA. He obtained his Ph.D at the University of Maryland in 2003. His fields of study are economic geology, igneous petrology and geochemistry.

    Lance D. Yarbrough is Assistant Professor of Geology and Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi, USA, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2006. His areas of expertise include engineering geology, remote sensing, and geotechnical engineering.

    The geologists who wrote this textbook, including Perkins (Univ. of North Dakota) and three coauthors, have adopted a broader focus on earth materials than is usual in geology texts, where emphasis is frequently limited to inorganic material. Beyond the expected chapters on rock classification and crystallography, these authors also highlight the various systems that affect earth materials, such as tectonics, hydrology, and erosion, including the results of weathering. Readers will even find chapters on human-influenced geology, as demonstrated in the energy and engineering sectors by such activities as fracking and mining. This unusual breadth of material allows for context and relationships to be featured, but also results in the fact that no particular topic is treated in great depth. Written to engage introductory-level readers, the text is structured so that each chapter begins with an interesting narrative or famous example of the subject at hand and concludes with review questions. Nearly every page features at least one photographic image, figure, or graph in support of the text to demonstrate the concepts covered in the text. Advanced researchers will prefer books that focus on a narrower range of topics but in more detail. Novices will appreciate the conversational style adopted here, along with the relatively short narratives and frequent illustrations.

    Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates. General readers.

    J.M. Cook (University of West Georgia) in CHOICE, July 2020 Vol. 57, No. 11