This practical guidebook provides a basic grounding in the principles of geology and explains how to apply them. Using this book, readers will be able to figure out whether they are standing on an ancient seafloor, coal swamp, or sand dune. They will be able to determine the geologic hazards in their neighborhood, where to look for fossils and minerals, or where best to drill a water well. In plain English, The Geology Companion sheds light on the processes that shape the earth and how geology affects people in their daily lives.
Table of Contents
Preface. Acknowledgments. Authors. Introduction. Minerals. Rocks. Geologic Principles. Deep Time. Earth History. Fossils. Evolution. The Changing Face of the Earth—Structure of the Earth, Plate Tectonics, and Mountain Building. The Changing Face of the Earth—Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition. Maps. Acts of God? Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Other Natural Disasters. Groundwater. Oceans. Mineral Resources. Black Gold (Texas Tea). Climate Change. So You Want to Be a Geologist. Index.
Dr. Gary Prost obtained a BSc in Geology from Northern Arizona University in 1973 and a MSc (1975) and PhD (1986) in Geology at Colorado School of Mines. Over the past 38 years Dr. Prost has worked for Norandex (mineral exploration), Shell U.S.A. (pertroleum exploration world-wide), the U.S. Geological Survey (geologic mapping, coal), The Superior Oil Company (mineral and oil exploration), Amoco Production Company (world-wide oil exploration), Gulf Canada (international new ventures) and ConocoPhillips Canada (Canadian Arctic exploration, field development, oil sands modeling and reservoir characterization). Dr. Prost spent over 20 years working as an image analyst/photointerpreter in the search for oil and minerals in over 30 countries. During this time he applied remote sensing in exploration, mineral and oil development projects, and environmental monitoring. Dr. Prost is the principle in Prost and Associates, consultants on geologic exploration and development projects and applies the most recent technologies to his work.
Benjamin P. Prost (coauthor) has had an interest in geology since he tried to eat a sample of native sulfur in his parents’ backyard. He was 3 years old, and the yellow crystals were appetizingly orthorhombic. The son of a geologist, he could identify pyrite, galena, gypsum, and several other minerals before he knew the alphabet. A bit later, he graduated from Occidental College with a degree in something other than geology (a decision he regrets). For the past 11 years, he has been a writer, editor, grammar maven, and style-guide aficionado in Los Angeles and New York. He currently writes and edits online children’s books. He is valued for his ability to limn scientific topics in language that any first grader can understand—which is much harder than it sounds. He is routinely called upon by coworkers to explain the difference between weathering and erosion.
Featured Author Profiles
"As a geologist, I find The Geology Companion: Essentials for Understanding the Earth to be a concise and well-written book about a science that explains the historic evolution of our planet and contributes to the understanding futures changes. A must-read for anyone interested in geology or in the geological profession!"
— Aderbal C. Correa, Ph.D., Maneschy Correa Consulting, Lubbock, Texas, USA
This book is truly an excellent companion, in the sense of ‘providing assistance’ in developing our understanding of the Earth. It also fits the definition of companion from the perspective of ‘travelling with’ us on this journey of understanding. From its clear explanation of why geology matters, through its accessible explanation of geologic tools, concepts and applications, to its practical discussion of geologic careers, Prost (and Prost) help to open the door to an essential understanding of how the Earth works, and how we can work with it. Recommended for novice to expert consumers of all things Earth Science!"
— Rebecca L. Dodge, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
"Beautifully illustrated and cogently written, The Geology Companion does what its subtitle promises: it is an essential new text for our new century."
— Peter Ward, University of Washington, USA
"This volume is one of the best comprehensive overviews of the science of geology and Earth history that I have ever seen published. Dr. Gary Prost and his son Ben have combined their professions as a scientist and a writer respectively, to examine scientific principles in words that a layman can understand. From Earth history to natural hazards, mining to petroleum, this well illustrated publication, takes subjects that are in the news on, a daily or weekly basis, and provides insightful discussion that will take the readers understand of pure and applied geology to the level of a university course, without the normal difficultly of trying to read a boring textbook. The Prosts have captured the essence of Geology and Earth History with this well written publication. If you are a high school student, lawyer, teacher, or politician, this book will take your understanding of our science to a new level."
— John Hogg, Professional Geologist, Past-President, American Association of Petroleum Geologists & Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
"Gary and Benjamin have given us a well-conceived, and well written book that the curious, the naturalist, and earth scientists will all enjoy reading. I would hope that it will become an essential text book for undergraduate Earth Sciences in all universities. The authors have a unique concise style of presenting complex ideas. They have a style that makes it easy to read their text. They also bring in information to capture your interest and give their story some flavour. Their illustrations are simple and informative. I highly recommend this book!"
—Michael Cecile, Emeritus Scientist and former Director, Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
"This is a very compressive description of practical geology written by two geologists with more than 50 years of combined field experiences – clearly a geological gem. The explanations of all things geology are accompanied by excellent illustrations, photographs and maps. This book is highly recommended to earth scientists, students, geologists, environmental managers and the curious naturalists."
—Vern Singhroy, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Ottawa, Canada
"I believe this is a unique book that will provide a comprehensive treatment of geology useful for everyone. I wish I had such a book myself, long ago. I am impressed by the scope of the material."
—Keenan Lee, Colorado School of Mines, USA