An encyclopedia of geology that’s much less a reference than a journey

Image of purple crystals inside a grey shell of rock.

Enlarge / An amethyst could make an excellent metaphor for geology as an entire. (credit score: Getty Pictures)

To outsiders, geology can appear as uninteresting as a rock, with a lexicon simply as opaque, however to insiders, it’s a limitless supply of surprise. Numerous authors have used totally different instruments to crack open geology’s uninteresting exterior to indicate non-geologists the glowing wonders inside: Robert Hazen used colour; Jan Zalasiewicz used a pebble; and Richard Fortey used a railway journey, for instance.

Marcia Bjornerud makes use of phrases to unlock the mysteries of geology the way in which a online game would possibly use gems to unlock a brand new degree to discover. Her new e book is a buffet of bite-size chapters excellent for dipping out and in of, learn in no explicit order. Geopedia is structured like an encyclopedia to the extent that its subjects are organized alphabetically, but it surely’s written for enjoyment fairly than as a mere fact-reference.

Bjornerud retains the studying mild even when serving up expanses of time and house, and he or she follows every geological ‘dish’ with a chaser of tips to different entries which may be associated, if solely tangentially. After “Amethyst,” for instance, she suggests “Kimberlite,” a diamond ore, and “Pedogenesis,” the method by which soil is made.

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