Geology and Environment In Britain and Ireland: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Geology and Environment In Britain and Ireland

1st Edition

By Nigel Woodcock

CRC Press

174 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781857280548
pub: 1994-06-30
Hardback: 9781138424104
pub: 2017-07-03

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A complete introductory text on an increasingly popular subject, "Geology and Environment in Britain and Ireland" aims to provide suitably broad coverage for students requiring a treatment clearly foucused on familiar examples but retaining a global perspective. The book summarizes for Earth and environmental scientists the ways in which geology relates to the natural environmentand to the humand activites that it supports. The natural environment is more than the oceans, the atmosphere and the diversity of the land surface. It extends below the ground and stretches back in time through the Earth's history. These environmental dimensions are the concern of geology. First, the book summarizes the geological influences on society through control of landscape and human geography, and through the threats posed by hazards such as landslides, subsidence and earhquakes. Next, the many Earth resources that support human activity are described: land, water, construction materials minerals, coal, oil, and gas. How are they formed or replenished? Which resources are are sustainable for use over more than the immediate geological future? Thirdly, the impacts of human activity an the Earth are examined - the results of extracting geological resources, of intentionally engineering the environment, and of carelessly polluting land and underground water supplies. Perhaps most serious of all is atmospheric pollution caused by burning geological fuels, threatening global change on scales only familiar from the geological record. This book is published at a pivotal point in the history of geology. Scientists who, for a century and a half, have been preoccupied with finding Earth resources are increasingly being asked where on Earth to dispose of the effluents from using them. "Geology and Environment in Britain and Ireland" provides a comapct, abundantly illustrated summary of both sides of this dilemma. Its final chapter breaks new ground in opening a debate on the ethical basis of applied geology - a debate which is needed to steer the subject into the 21st century. The book should be of use to undergraduates in geology or environmental sciences, to accompany a taught course on applied geology or as supplementary reading to their first year of geology. A-level students in geology, geography or environmental science should find it a useful reference. Professional geologists and environmental scientists should value the book as a broad but concise survey of the subject, as a helpful compilation of data, and as a guide to primary date sources. Readers outside the British Isles should find it an invaluable overview of the application of geology in the region. Nigel Woodcock teaches geology in both the Department of Earth Sciences and Clare College in the University of Cambridge. He has published over 80 scientific papers, mainly in the fields of structural geology, sedimentology and environmental geology, and is a prolific reviewer of geological books. He has extensive field experience in Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, and particularly in Britain and Irelansd. This book is intended for first-year undergraduate students in departments of geology, Earth sciences, environmental sciences, environmental studies, civil engineering, taking an introductory course on environmental geology or geology and the environment.

Table of Contents


Sources of illustrations

Environmental geology

Environmental geology

Definition and content

Further reading

Geological influences on society

Geology and landscape

Geological history of the British Isles

The geological map of the British Isles

Landscape and solid geology

Landscape and Quaternary geology

Geology and human geography

Rural geography

Vernacular architecture

Urban and industrial geography

Geology and historical geography

Further reading

Geological hazards

Hazard type and assessment




Coastal erosion



Geomedical hazards

Future impacts of natural hazards

Further reading

Earth resources for society


Types of geological resources

Resource assessment

Further reading


Land as a resource


Land use in the British Isles

Global perspectives

Further reading


The hydrological cycle

Water availability and use in the British Isles

Behaviour of groundwater

Management of surface water

Groundwater in the British Isles

Water futures in the UK

Global perspectives

Further reading

Construction materials

Use of construction materials

Properties of construction materials

Distribution in the British Isles

Production in the British Isles

Global perspectives

Further reading

Industrial and metallic minerals

Nature and use

Formation processes

Examples of mineralization processes

Minerals in the British Isles

Global perspectives

Further reading

Coal and peat

Requirements for coal and peat formation

Deltaic coal environment

Recent peat deposits

Burial and maturation

Geography of coal and peat

Coal consumption and production

Global perspectives

Further reading


The importance of petroleum

Requirements for oil and gas

Exploration and production techniques

Oil and gasfield examples

Hydrocarbon plays

Production in space and time

Unconventional petroleum

Uses of petroleum

Global perspectives

Further reading

Energy perspectives

Energy use

Fossil fuel reserves and shortfall

Uranium and nuclear power

Geothermal energy

Renewable energy

Energy futures

Further reading

Human impacts on the Earth

Environmental impacts

The nature of the environment

Geological impacts

Further reading

Resource extraction

Extracting geological resources

Withdrawal of subsurface fluids

Underground mining

Surface mining and quarrying

Impacts in the British Isles

Global perspectives

Further reading

Engineering geology

Physical principles


Excavations and embankments

Water engineering

Coastal management



Global perspectives

Further reading

Land and water pollution

Wastes and pollution

Point-source pollution

Diffuse pollution

Radioactive wastes

Global perspectives

Further reading

Atmospheric pollution

Local air pollution

The greenhouse effect

Geology and global warming

Stratospheric ozone depletion

Further reading

Geology and society

Geology and society

History of applied geology

Science in society

Geology and environmental ideas

Geology and the future

Further reading


List of references


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General