Essentials of Geology (11th Edition)
The Eleventh Edition of Essentials of Geology, like its predecessors, is a college-level text for students taking their first and perhaps only course in geology. The book is intended to be a meaningful, nontechnical survey for people with little background in science. Usually students are taking this class to meet a portion of their college’s or university’s general requirements.
In addition to being informative and upto- date, a major goal of Essentials of Geology is to meet the need of beginning students for a readable and user-friendly text, a book that is a highly usable tool for learning the basic principles and concepts of geology
Within the chapter each major section concludes with “Concept Checks” that allow students to monitor their understanding and comprehension of significant facts and ideas.
Give It Some Thought
Chapters conclude with a new section called “Give It Some Thought.” It includes six to ten questions and problems that challenge learners by involving them in activities requiring higher-order thinking skills that include the synthesis, analysis, and application of material in the chapter.
The language of this book is straightforward and written to be understood. Clear, readable discussions with a minimum of technical language are the rule. The frequent headings and subheadings help students follow discussions and identify the important ideas presented in each chapter. In the Eleventh Edition, we have improved readability by examining the chapter organization and flow and by writing in a more personal style. Significant portions of several chapters were substantially rewritten in an effort to make the material more understandable.
Maintaining a Focus on Basic Principles and Instructor Flexibility
The main focus of the Eleventh Edition remains the same as in the first ten: to foster student understanding of basic geological principles. As much as possible, we have attempted to provide the reader with a sense of the observational techniques and reasoning processes that constitute the discipline of geology.
The organization of the text remains intentionally traditional. Following the overview of geology in Chapter 1, we turn to a discussion of Earth materials and the related processes of volcanism and weathering. Next, we explore the geological work of gravity, water, wind, and ice in modifying and sculpting landscapes. After this look at external processes, we examine Earth’s internal structure and the processes that deform rocks and give rise to mountains. The text concludes with chapters on geologic time, Earth history, and global climate change. This organization accommodates the study of minerals and rocks in the laboratory, which usually comes early in the course.
Realizing that some instructors may prefer to organize their courses somewhat differently, we made each of the chapters selfcontained so that they may be taught in a different sequence. Thus, the instructor who wishes to discuss earthquakes, plate tectonics, crustal deformation, and mountain building prior to dealing with erosional processes may do so without difficulty. We also chose to provide a brief introduction to plate tectonics in Chapter 1 so that this important and basic theory could be incorporated in appropriate places throughout the text.
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