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Earth: Portrait of a Planet

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  134 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Written for students of geology, this text incorporates advances in earth science such as plate tectonics, global warming, and the interconnectivity between the history of Earth and the history of life.
Paperback, International Student Edition, 880 pages
Published 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published October 1st 2001)
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Stan
Sep 14, 2013 Stan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did you know that those striking mountains rimming Yosemite Valley are the remnants of lava frozen within volcanoes, seen now because the volcanoes themselves have eroded away? Or that much of California is the result of island chains smacking into the west coast of North America and sticking? Or that the Himalayas rose because India collided with Asia in the remote past? This book describes those events and many more. I am proud to have finished this 800-pager, ostensibly a college textbook, bu ...more
Michael Cayley
Sep 13, 2013 Michael Cayley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a superb and substantial book covering all major aspects of geology and geomorphology. Each section is self-contained so there is no need to read from cover to cover. A mass of photos and diagrams support the text. Explanations are comprehensible to readers with little previous knowledge, and a glossary helps with any unfamiliar terms. "Geotours" using Google Earth are available for those who want to explore geological phenomena visually. While the illustrations and examples are drawn fr ...more
Hildur
Feb 10, 2013 Hildur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good. At the beginning of every chapter it starts by giving out really basic information on its subject and then slowly gets into more complicated things so that the reader doesn't get left behind, no matter what his/her background is. The book is abundant with great illustrations that explain concepts very clearly. Marshak often uses stories from real life as examples of geological phenomenons like with Pompeii (of course) and the interesting story of the 1986 Lake Nyos disaster.

The boo
...more
Grace
May 26, 2009 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've only read the first 120 pages so far. I picked it up to help me understand the recent scary swarm of earthquakes near my LA home. It's an introductory geology text aimed at advanced HS or lower division college students. The book is very lucid, well-written and illustrated. Actually, the book explains concepts twice; once in words and then again in pictures with captions. It works for both left and right-brained people.

Now I finally understand plate tectonics and sea floor spreading. I thin
...more
Alyssa
May 16, 2011 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm excited about this course aside from the fact that millions and billions of years will be mentioned. I feel like I want to take the class, and then research the Creationist standpoint and then write a paper for my teacher, even though I'm not required write one. ;)

*Edit* Now that the semester is long over, I should put this on the shelf (virtually, of course :P). It was very informative and helpful although we completely skipped over the whole section about soils. It's crazy to believe that
...more
Nicollette Buckle
Jan 20, 2014 Nicollette Buckle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In college, it was the first textbook that I enjoyed reading and that I found engaging. If it were not for this book I might not have found my niche in the geology department at my school.
Sami
Nov 18, 2013 Sami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah, let's see how I'd put this.. Well,.. this is the most romantic science textbook that I've ever read. I know how strange that sounds, yet it was like reading a novel, except everything was real.
Did I just have a book boner?


*Just done final exam on Engineering Geology today. Such a bittersweet feeling. :)
Nikki
Apr 09, 2016 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite introduction to geology textbook. Hope to use this one again the next time I teach the class!
Lexi
Definitely not a favorite of mine, but I learned some pretty cool things!
Rebecca
This book is surprisingly engaging to read, considering it is a textbook.
Diana
Required reading for my Geology class, I learned quite a lot.
Heather
Nov 10, 2015 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disliked the subject matter.
Quinox
May 11, 2009 Quinox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Geology primer.
Nicole
Jan 13, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Textbook
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