OT: Earth Science / Geology Book???

I am looking for a good general book that talks about how rivers, mountains, and other earth features were formed.

What am I looking for…a book on earth science…geology…or what?

Better yet, do you have any recommendations?



Earth Science
Try a large book store and go to the science and nature section. They should have what you are looking for. Vaughn Fulton

earth science
try looking at the US Corps of Engineering, US Geological Survey (USGS) website. You may want to look at your states web site to go after local information. Looking for data in the area of watershed data. Good luck but when you get to the point of specific data ask again. What I have here is general.

Change your priorities

How To Father by Dr Fitzhugh Dodson

Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

How To Teach Your Child About Sex Without Making a Complete Fool of Yourself by Stan and Jan Berenstein ( The authors of The Berenstein Bears)

Congrats again Matt!!

As a former geeooloogist
A first semester General Geology college textbook be me recoomendation fer de basics.

Fat Elmo

Can tell you exactly what to buy, but

– Last Updated: Jan-31-08 11:22 PM EST –

it won't be cheap.

"The Earth Through Time", 8th edition, by Harold Levin.


This is one of three paleogeology/ paleobiology texts I have read, and it has the BEST coverage of geology at all levels. It also covers development of life on earth, necessary because without life, we would have no oxygen in the air, no limestone, etc.

It is in paperback, with many well-done illustrations, many in color. Not as flashy as other books I have, but the best book for the buck.

Cost me about $85 from Amazon.

College text
You can get the slightly out of date text books for dirt cheap - and they are practically new in geologic time:-)

You can probably get a lot of info from the web but a geology 101 text (aka “Rocks for Jocks”) will be pretty coherent. For that matter you could take a night class.

A more fun approach might be to get some of the books on geology written by John McPhee. They are well written for a general audience. My only complaint is that he tends to jump back and forth between story threads and that can make it a bit hard to keep the timeline straight.

Hey Elmo - once a geologist always a geologist. I haven’t hit a rock in years being the kind that does all his geologizing on the computer but I’m still a rock lover at heart.

Earth Science and the Environ., Jon Turk
Great guy. Great author. Great adventurer.

Support his travels and get a good book.

Thanks for all the input.

I did come across the Wiley book. Did look very good until I saw the price.

I guess perhaps I should add that I am looking for something that perhaps would be written on a bit lighter level…for someone like me who has an interest in learning about the environment and who is not looking to pass a college exam on the subject.

The text type books may be a bit more detailed / thorough than I would prefer. Looking for some light reading, but then again how “heavy” could a text for “rocks for jocks be”???


You’re probably right! My wife is already making me take the newborn baby class at the hospital (sounds really exciting). Guess I won’t be able to back out of changing a diaper because “I don’t know how”… (darn).


For lighter geologic reading…
For lighter geologic reading, John McPhee has a number of books, “Rising from the Plains” etc. and many are compiled in “Annals of the Former World”, $13 at Amazon and enough reading to get you through the rest of the winter.

Geology books…
Hi Matt…saw your post over at bacpacker.net.

First year college geology books are what I’d suggest. Do you have “Half Priced Books” stores where you live? Their science department always has used textbooks. Also check your local community college geology courses and the textbooks required. Then go online to ebay and look for the book.

Yup! Still have me Brunton PT…
an’ me yellow field notebook.

Fat Elmo

Online Course
MIT offers online courses at no charge. They usually have lectures and reading lists available for download. Try the link below to find specific topics. The page shows a class in “The Environment of the Earth’s Surface.”


Try Geomorphology (Physical Geography)
I believe what will satisfy your interest lies in the area of “Geomorphology” (especially “fluvial processes”). This is the realm of “physical geography”, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomorphology

A classic text is: “Introducing Physical Geography” by Alan H. Strahler and Arthur Strahler (see: http://www.wiley.com/college/strahler/sc/ and

http://bcs.wiley.com/he-bcs/Books?action=index&itemId=0471417416&itemTypeId=BKS&bcsId=1172 )

Another book may be “Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography: Virtual Field Trip Upgrade” by Robert W. Christopherson (…which I have not read) at: http://www.amazon.com/Geosystems-Introduction-Physical-Geography-Virtual/dp/0130668249

…These are text books, so have ridiculous price tags. However, consult almost any good library

Under: “Physical Geography” “Geomorphology” and “fluvial processes”, “Strahler and Strahler” is excellent and worth chasing a used copy.

This knowledge will enable your spirit to see more. Enjoy!

A different take
My interest in geology started when this New York City raised boy was stationed in North Dakota and took a trip to the Black Hills. When I first saw them on the horizon I asked myself: “Why are those mountains here in the middle of hundreds of miles of flat?”

That fascination with geology never left me but it did lead me to taking some geology courses in college, and to the Roadside Geology book series. There are separate books on various states and each book describes the geology you will see as you travel many of each state’s highways. It not only helps explain the geology of the landscape you are going through, but also provides geology lessons in easy for a layman to understand terms.

I am not sure of all the states covered in the series but they are adding books on different states all the time. You might want to explore this series by searching on amazon.com. I have books on Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, and Montana. I also think I remember seeing books on New York and Pennsylvania.

You are all wrong, and this is free
go to a hotel and get a Gideon’s bible, some doctor’s offices have them. Bam, there it is in Genesis. Any questions?

I mean that book tells me so, Genesis 1:9,10. I mean who can contest that? The book says it is right and that those fancy college books are wrong, with their crazy science and physical evidence.


Good advice above…
The John McPhee series is the best reading…I highly recommend it. And as was said above, geomorphology is the branch of the science that covers what you’re looking for, and many state geological survey divisions have excellent books on the geomorphology of their own states. Geology, and especially geomorphology, is one of my hobbies, and living in the Ozarks, I’m especially interested in Ozark geomorphology. The Missouri Geological Survey has some very informative texts available.

Diaper duty ain’t nothing
Hope your wife does not demand this http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/miscarticles/milkmen.html