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Aerial Geology: A High-Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  49 reviews
A guide to North America s most spectacular land forms from 20,000 feetGeology From Above is for anyone who's stared out their window seat and asked What is that? Crisscrossing the continent, Mary Caperton Morton brings readers along a fantastic tour, sharing aerial and satellite photography, explanations for how each site was formed, and what makes it noteworthy. Maps and ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published October 4th 2017 by Timber Press
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  166 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature-writing
I'm not particularly familiar with North American landscape but this book gave me great insight and more than a few WOW! moments. The geological information is easily read and understood which is always a relief to a non-scientific brain!

My WOW! moments included the extraordinary Mono Lake in California, the colourful rocks in Death Valley, The Wave in Arizona and The Badlands, South Dakota. Unfortunately for the book, most of these moments were in the first half and although I didn't get bored,
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I took this book home intending to flip through its beautiful large pages, look at the photos, and return it in a day or two. I’ve ended up keeping it three weeks, reading a few pages a day, because there is so much interesting information presented in easily-navigable layers, and you can take as much or as little time as you like.

I started out just reading the small boxes with headlines like one of the only east-west mountain ranges in North America (about the Uinta Mountains where my in-laws l
Peter Tillman
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-tech, art, travel
This is a nicely-printed, oversize atlas-style book of just what the title says. As always, you should read the publisher's blurb first (top of page). The color reproduction is good, and many of the photos are excellent. And she includes a mention of what commercial flights might take you over the feature. So, why just three stars? Three stars is still a good rating from me, but I'm a professional geologist, so many of the descriptions struck me as simplistic or old-hat. And many of the photos a ...more
Willy Marz Thiessam
Mary Caperton Morton's book "Aerial Geology" is a bit misleading. She shows us aerial, satellite, landscapes shots, and up and close views of North America's rich geology. It works like a travel book where you don't have to travel as she brings the feel of it to you with the excellent descriptive power of her writing, and varied, stunning and rich pictures and diagrams of what she is describing. If you want to learn about geology and be entertained this is the book for you.

Particularly interesti
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A huge thanks go out to Timber Press. HUGE. I actually asked for this book on Netgalley, and they approved me, but because I only use my Kindle Fire, it wouldn't download. I sent them a message thanking them anyway, and 2 to 3 weeks later got an email asking if I would like a physical copy. Duh! Yes. Please, and thank you! This book was gorgeous. Geology, and geography have become my things. Toss in some water and I'm a happy camper! Yes, things. I'm older, and this is stuff that fascinates me. ...more
Clare O'Beara
I love this book. As a non-American I was fascinated to see all the different landscapes, and to see how much of the continent is unsuitable for farming. The photos start in the Alaskan volcanic region and work their way down south and over from west to east, then back up the east coast to the north.

Along with the spectacular scenery we get explanations of the processes involved in the formation of the rocks or erosions and an idea of the age of each visible feature from canyons to river meande
Vicky Hunt
"Bird's Eye View of a Continent"

This beautiful photography book is huge, and it is filled with aerial photos and satellite images of 100 locations. Each location includes a 2-4 page spread that gives a locator map, tips on spotting it from an airplane, and detailed geographical information, as well as full color photos. Important sights are covered; such as the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado, and the Grand Canyon. But, many lesser known but equally important geological sights ar
Andrew Blok
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is VERY fun to look at. The pictures are beautiful and I learned a fair amount about the geology of North America. Thinking about the processes by which mountains and valleys and canyons are made is pretty mind boggling. Coupled with great aerial photos of places familiar and not, the reading experience was fairly enjoyable.

For the incredible diversity of locations and geographical features, the book started to feel a bit repetitive. It might be an excellent book to have around, but re
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has made me a better human- I learned SO MUCH about our continent and its history through the relatively layperson-friendly geological descriptions and the STUNNING pictures! It would have been nice to have more computer-generated diagrams illustrating the formation of each geological phenomenon- those are hard to visualize just by reading. I now have a HUGE checklist of things I want to see when I travel! Highly recommend, even if this is a subject that only mildly interests you- the ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is what my dreams are made of.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: outdoor-nature
I’m not going to lie. I requested to review this book because of the title Aerial Geology. Truthfully, I'm not really sure when my interest in geology began. I do know, Dad purchased a rock and mineral book for me when I was in grade school and I carried it everywhere. In the years since then, I've become more facinated. In part, due to the fact that our state is known for the Isotelus, on display in the Smithsonian. What is a Isotelus? It's a trilobite "three-lobed creature" that existed betwee ...more
Oct 28, 2017 added it
Shelves: nonfiction, science
Library book. Sadly, NOT printed in USA...there's something wrong with a book about North America being printed on another continent. That's the only reason I didn't give it 5-stars. A coffee table book with substance. Mostly it's one site per open 2-pages with photos and brief essay. Beautiful and extremely interesting. Did you know White Sands is not sand??! Even for the places I've been, the photos are revealing and the discussion was novel & substantive: no gloss here! ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of this, this is a gorgeous book. The photos are beautiful and excellent illustrations of the wonders of North America. The writing is clear and understandable, perfect for a pop science book. I enjoyed seeing where I’ve been and where I want to go next!
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010s, dewey500s, travel
memorable photos, informative geology.
A review I 'liked'
Karen Calhoun
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-science
A listing of major North American geologic features with aerial views and short descriptions and backstories. There's a lot I didn't know about my home continent!!
Michelle Mallette
Geologist and science writer Mary Caperton Morton takes us on an aerial tour of our continent, serving as a guide to the spectacular formations that, Rockies aside, likely mystify us as we look out the window on our cross-country flights. What is that canyon/lake/river? Morton expertly guides us through what she terms 100 geological wonders, using photos and satellite images. The photos themselves are beautiful, and Morton explains how each formation developed using accessible language and clear ...more
I hate traveling by air.
I'm not of planes falling out of the sky or anything like that. I have lots of faith in Newton's Laws and Bernouli's Principle. The plane and physics aren't the problem. In fact, I can only think of two positives in air travel: it's fast, and the view out the window (if you can wrangle a window seat) is fascinating. This book is that view plus lots of information about how that view came to be, minus all the annoying people, the cramped seats, the long waits, or the brat
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Well-written, interesting look at American geology

Mary Caperton Morton starts with a simple-to-understand introduction to geology and then brings the geology to life with well-written but concise articles and great photographs on various geological features of North America. My one quibble with the book is that of the 100 geological wonders she discusses, 84 were in the United States, so I am not confident that the most interesting geology of North America is well represented. Nonetheless, I enj
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
At this time of year, I read (or more accurately, skim through) a lot of these coffee-table type books which feature artwork, photography, maps and graphs, etc. They are meant to be looked at while offering specific info depending upon the topic. This book was the best of the bunch this year. Amazing images, most of which were aerial photos of the natural landmarks or the unique geographical places of North America. The info was historical and scientific, yet concise and enlightening. The experi ...more
Norma J. Engelberg
I want to visit most of places mentioned

As a literal overview of North American geology, this book shows the diversity in geological processes that shaped our continent. There is a lot of repetition as the author explains over and over how certain rock forms were created, probably because readers often skip around to various features. The repetition does make it easier to remember the names of geological formations. This book would be a better read in a print format, as the photos are too small
James H. Jaqua
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent way to gain an understanding of the geological history of North America. A minor knowledge of geology is helpful, but not necessary to enjoy the history of the continent. The book is written in such a manner that the terms and descriptions are readily understood. For those with a limited knowledge of geological events it will broaden your grasp of how our planet works.
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absolutely FASCINATING book! And I learned so much. Beautiful book and very interesting. Just enough information to whet your appetite, but not enough to overwhelm you.

Excellent if you want to travel but can't or are just in such poor shape that you can't GET to some of these places.

Seeing the geology from the air was just 'way-cool.'
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From reviews I gather that there are some mistakes in this book, but this doesn't concern the amateur rock nerd in me. The photos are unique, the explanatory graphics are well-done, and the descriptive blurbs are intriguing. I bought the book in hardcover so I could scrutinize the photos more easily than the Kindle allows.
Donna Schwartz
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has many beautiful pictures of the geologic features of North America. I love the placement on a silouette of North America, but I wish there had been a few more maps included to enhance the geography. Be sure to read all the descriptions, I enjoyed the extra tidbits that were included there even though I was an Earth Science major. I would love to have one of these for my classroom!
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
One hundred North American geological features shown and explained. Quite a few were new to me and there were facts to be learned about both the famous and more obscure. The ebook may not have the impact of a coffee table book, but does allow zooming in on the photographs. Somewhat repetitive, but that's probably because it's a book that can be dipped into at any point.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a really great book that could be enjoyed by a wide variety of people and in a wide variety of ways -- just the photos, the captions, the text, as a springboard for further study, and more. It's the kind of book I was always looking for when I had younger kids around. I think I'll leave it out and see what happens :-)
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing tour of some of the geological wonders of this continent, with explanations that I, as a non-geologist, can understand. Would love to see the author tackle the geological wonders of other continents.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely gorgeous aerial journey through the North American continent - a definite feast for the eyes and a great reminder of the importance of protecting the beauty of our environment.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The photos are amazing.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was very interesting to read about the geological origins of places I have been and places I now want to go and visit.
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