1st Edition

North America's Natural Wonders Appalachians, Colorado Rockies, Austin-Big Bend Country, Sierra Madre

By Gary Prost Copyright 2020
    396 Pages 424 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    395 Pages 424 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Written by a career geologist with decades of experience in the field, North America’s Natural Wonders guides readers through the most iconic, geologically significant scenery in North America, points out features of interest, explains what they are seeing, and describes how these features came to be.

    Presented as classic excursions to some of the best-known natural wonders on the continent, Volume II focuses primarily on Central and Eastern North America, including the Appalachians, the Colorado Rockies, Austin-Big Bend Country, and the Sierra Madre. The trips detailed in this volume include stops at quintessential features, such as the Shenandoah Valley, Carlsbad Caverns, Big Bend National Park, and La Popa Basin of Nuevo León and Coahuila, Mexico, as well as many others. It also features discussions of lesser-known but equally interesting geologic formations and important information on accessing these sites.


    • Clearly explains the geology of these regions with an emphasis on landscape formation
    • Addresses issues of interest, such as fossils, earthquakes, mineral sites, mining, and oil fields
    • Lavishly illustrated with numerous colorful maps and breathtaking geological landscapes and their various features

    These six self-guided tours explain to the curious layman, student, and geologist what they are seeing when they look at a roadcut or a quarry and enhances the experience far beyond simple sightseeing.

    1. Central Appalachians: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to Terra Alta, West Virginia

    2. Central Appalachians: Blackwater Falls, West Virginia, to Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

    3. Colorado Rocky Mountain High: Denver, Colorado, to Grand Junction, Colorado

    4. Colorado Rocky Mountains: Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Aspen, Colorado

    5. Gulf Coast to Rio Grande Rift: Austin, Texas, to Las Cruces, New Mexico

    6. La Popa Basin and Sierra Madre Oriental: Monterrey-Saltillo-Linares Loop, Nuevo León and Coahuila, Mexico


    Gary L. Prost obtained his BSc in geology from Northern Arizona University in 1973, an MSc in geology from Colorado School of Mines in 1975, and his PhD in geology from Colorado School of Mines in 1986.

    Over the past 45 years, he has worked for Norandex (mineral exploration), Shell U.S.A. (petroleum exploration worldwide), the U.S. Geological Survey (geologic mapping, coal), the Superior Oil Company (mineral and oil exploration), Amoco Production Company (worldwide oil exploration, remote sensing, and structural geology), Gulf Canada (international new ventures), and ConocoPhillips Canada (Canadian Arctic exploration, gas field development, oil sands development, and reservoir characterization).

    He spent over 20 years working as a satellite image analyst in the search for hydrocarbons and minerals in more than 30 countries. During this time, he applied structural geology and remote sensing to exploration, development, and environmental projects. He spent the next 25 years working mostly in Latin America and Canada on regional studies, new ventures and frontier exploration, and oil and gas field development.

    His most recent work has been in public outreach, leading field trips and educating the public on topics of geological interest.

    He is the principal geologist for G.L. Prost GeoConsulting of El Cerrito, California, and has been a registered professional geologist in Wyoming (United States) and in Alberta and the Northwest Territories (Canada).

    He has published three books: The Geology Companion: Essentials for Understanding the Earth (Taylor & Francis, 2018), Remote Sensing for Geoscientists: Image Analysis and Integration (third edition, Taylor & Francis 2013), and the English–Spanish and Spanish–English Glossary of Geoscience Terms (Taylor & Francis, 1997). He is already at work on his next volume, Geologic Tours of the World—South America’s Natural Wonders.