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21. Underworld : The Mysterious Origins
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22. Rocks & Fossils (Nature Company
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23. Exercises in Physical Geology
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24. Applied Groundwater Modeling
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25. Salt: A World History
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26. Krakatoa : The Day the World Exploded:
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27. Hubbert's Peak: The Impending
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28. Earth : An Intimate History
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31. Hyperspectral Imaging: Techniques
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32. Resources of the Earth: Origin,
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33. Environmental Geology (8th Edition)
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37. Our Changing Planet: An Introduction
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38. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on
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39. Geodynamics
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40. Dana's New Mineralogy : The System

21. Underworld : The Mysterious Origins of Civilization
by GRAHAM HANCOCK
list price: $27.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400046122
Catlog: Book (2002-10-15)
Publisher: International Thomson Publishing
Sales Rank: 58350
Average Customer Review: 2.96 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From Graham Hancock, bestselling author of Fingerprints of the Gods, comes a mesmerizing book that takes us on a captivating underwater voyage to find the ruins of a lost civilization that’s been hidden for thousands of years beneath the world’s oceans.

While Graham Hancock is no stranger to stirring up heated controversy among scientific experts, his books and television documentaries have intrigued millions of people around the world and influenced many to rethink their views about the origins of human civilization. Now he returns with an explosive new work of archaeological detection. In Underworld, Hancock continues his remarkable quest underwater, where, according to almost a thousand ancient myths from every part of the globe, the ruins of a lost civilization, obliterated in a universal flood, are to be found.

Guided by cutting-edge science and the latest archaeological scholarship, Hancock begins his mission to discover the truth about these myths and examines the mystery at the end of the last Ice Age. As the glaciers melted between 17,000 and 7,000 years ago, sea levels rose and more than 15 million square miles of habitable land were submerged underwater, resulting in a radical change to the Earth’s shape and the conditions in which people could live. Using the latest computer techniques to map the world’s changing coastlines, Hancock finds astonishing correspondences with the ancient flood myths.

Filled with thrilling accounts of his own participation in dives off the coast of Japan, as well as in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea, we watch as Hancock discovers underwater ruins exactly where the myths say they should be—sunken kingdoms that archaeologists never thought existed. Fans of Hancock’s previous adventures will find themselves immersed in Underworld, a provocative book that provides both compelling hard evidence for a fascinating, forgotten episode in human history and a completely new explanation for the origins of civilization as we know it.
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deserves Attention
Graham Hancock has been producing various books speculating that an ancient and previously unknown civilization existed in the Paleolithic era for about ten years now. Periodically he changes the proposed location of the civilization, originally thought to be Antarctica in Fingerprints of the Gods and now under the sea in Underworld. Regardless of where Hancock thinks this civilization was to be found, he tells an entertaining story with much that bears thinking about.

All of Hancock's books are part history, part travel guide. One of the more enjoyable aspects of Underworld are all the stories about his various travels and travails as he examines different areas of the world for evidence of ancient cities and buildings. He is always eager and excited to find out more, and lets nothing, not even the ubiquitousness of bureaucracy ( his stories of the red tape involved in getting permission to dive in places like the Persian Gulf are worthy of the old Yes Minister show ) get him down.

Besides the travel stories, Hancock is worth reading because he has come up with an amazing amount of material which at least brings into question the accepted theories about the human past. I hope that his journalistic, rather than academic, credentials will not lead many to dismiss his theories, because they do deserve more study.

5-0 out of 5 stars An addictive read
Author and explorer Graham Hancock continues his pursuit of uncovering clues to the past, this time under the sea. Underworld is the narrative of a journey through the Mediterranean, the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Bay of Bengal and the Pacific Ocean around Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan in which underwater structures of possible human origin are explored. The government of India has recently authenticated two of Hancock's discoveries off the coast of that country. In both cases, these structures are dated between 9000 and 11 000 years before the current era, which supports the theory of a great flood that submerged vast areas of land at that time. What I really like about Hancock is that he provides the orthodox view at the same time as his own theories. I cannot but agree with his statement, "There's something wrong with the underpinning of history." Hancock has indicated the most likely places for pre-flood civilizations with the help of Dr. Glen Milne of Durham University who is an expert on glaciation-induced changes in the sea level, and taking into account the plethora of flood-myths found amongst all cultures on all continents. Underworld is lavishly illustrated and well served by a thorough index and extensive bibliography. This gripping text will amply reward the reader who enjoyed Hancock's earlier titles like Keepers of Genesis and Fingerprints of the Gods. Hancock deserves credit for stimulating interest in history and archaeology. He was the writer that created interest in those little doors in the light shaft of the great pyramid that was recently in the news. Let's hope something will be revealed behind the second door! In the mean time, I thoroughly enjoy Hancock's speculations.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tantilizing Possibilities
While not as entertaining as "Fingerprints of the Gods", "Underworld" is both interesting and meticulous. You will certainly begin to question what you believe. More than that, you will definately learn something about culture and history. At the very least, reading anything by Hancock will provide you with endless factoids to amaze your friends.

Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Challenging the consensus
Archaeologists have been pushing back the date of humanity's first attempts at agriculture and the civilization that follows it. An inexplicable commonality is seen in agriculture emerging in distant places at nearly the same time. Self-confessed - sorry, self-adulatory - Graham Hancock thinks there's an answer for that chronological similarity. He contends agriculture, and civilization reach even further back in time than evidence found in places like Iran or Turkey suggests. He thinks the legends and mythologies of India, Malta and South America point to a multitude of "Atlantis-like" urbanised cultures that have disappeared from view - under water.

"Underworld" is a collation of ancient legends, old maps, submerged evidence and innovative thinking that gives humanity much deeper roots than previously thought. Hancock dives into the world's offshore depths, trolls through a wealth of mythologies, views unusual and unexplained artefacts and comes up with a challenge to consensus archaeology. Was there a global sprinking of advanced civilizations at the end of the last Ice Age? Did the melting ice caps drown more than the various land bridges that connected the British Isles with Europe, Sri Lanka with India and Alaska with Siberia? If Hancock is correct, and he is not to be dismissed lightly, humanity achieved far greater social complexity during the glacial advances than just living in caves wrapped in bear skins. What appears to be a near simultaneous emergence of agriculture, he argues, is in reality what we see left over from much older societies.

Hancock has made dives in many of the sites revealed by fishermen, archaeologists and others, recording finds on video and still camera and maps. The images are impressive, as are the numbers of potential sites. Utilising computer generated maps of the sea's rise after the Great Meltdown of the glaciers, he shows the logic of his thesis with compelling evidence. He's careful to note where the data seems firm as well as lacking. Where lacking, he urges more scientific attention to these places.

Although he justifiably spends most of the account on locations in India, where in some places the sea has invaded over 700 kilometres since the last Last Glacial Maximum, his relation of Japanese sites makes the most compelling reading. There, some of the longest-lived legends indicate Japan's oldest settlers, the Jomon, preceded the West in the establishment of agriculture and settled communities. Where scholars once held these people were "simple hunter-gatherers", Hancock sees evidence of rice growing nearly twelve thousand years old. Temple styles found today are duplicated in undersea sites, in some places nearby as if the sea simply pushed the people and their culture inland. These people may have followed the "Black Current" across the Pacific to establish settlements along the western coast of South America.

Hancock is careful to separate the known from the speculative, and not all of the speculations are his. Scholars in the places he visits are contributers to this innovative idea. So many sites and such commonality of legend add up to a highly plausible notion. Regrettably, even while crediting these researchers with empirical methods, Hancock is a bit too full of himself. Long passages of his problems, illness, fright from daring pilots cruising mountain passes permeate the book. By restricting himself to the scholars, their evidence coupled with his own and other researchers' ideas, he could have made this account less tedious while recounting adventures and exploration. Even the computer-generated maps are often repeated unnecessarily. He raises serious questions which deserve serious study. Hancock makes a compelling introduction, but we await a less self-indulgent approach. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

4-0 out of 5 stars Discover "Lost" Cities/Monuments (Natural Wonders?)
Graham Hancock got my undivided attention with "Fingerprints of the Gods". He has won my continued interest by writing and researching ancient and mysterious civilizations. The "new" location of his research is underwater, off shore in the Meditarranean, India, and Asia, i.e., Taiwan and Japan. He *does* includes some references to fascinating "finds" in the Caribbean, the Bahamas and a recent site discovered near Cuba. His writing style is most engaging and so is the subject matter.

I enjoy his ability to include 1) solid scientific evidence to back up his theories, 2) diaries he kept while exploring underwater sites, 3) a photo journal of monuments and structures (whether natural or man-made is yet to be determined) by his wife, 4) descriptions of what he actually sees, 5) ancient maps of the "old world", and 6) "inundation" computerized maps (scietific but limited) of what the world would have been like *before* the flood which occured after the Ice Age. Graham Hancock does a phenomenal job of describing how he got started in this research and he does a superior investigative report supporting his main theory, that many civilizations/ancient cities were wiped out worldwide due to the floods that occurred approximately 11,000 years ago. He and his wife learned to dive just so they could view first hand, the objects of their theories and research.

Initially, I was impressed that this was a 700+ page book. I found the first three parts of the book fascinating reading, fairly easy to get through. However, by part 4, I was tired and slowing down. When I got to part 5, I had to force myself to finish the book. I am glad I did *not* give up. It was very much worth learning about stone monuments found near islands owned by Japan. The monuments are either natural, man-made, or both - as of yet, the "experts" are uncertain. Most astonishing are Graham Hancock's use of "inundation maps", maps developed by computers, from scientific data fed into them, such as, how high the water levels rose after the ice melted, etc. Today's computerized maps are compared to existing ancient maps, such as, "the 1424 Pizzagano chart", the results that are quite similar. For this alone, Graham Hancock deserves recognition by the scientific community and serious consideration for his theories. This is a highly recommended book, although in all honesty, it becomes tedious reading about half-way through. However, it is well worth finishing once you get started. I hope the US Public Broadcasting System (PBS) buys the "Underwater" UK TV film series of Graham Hancock's dives and searches - to view them would be awesome. Erika Borsos (erikab93) ... Read more


22. Rocks & Fossils (Nature Company Guides)
by Arthur Bresnahan Busbey, Robert R. Coenraads, David Roots, Paul Willis
list price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0783548036
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: Time-Life Books
Sales Rank: 413646
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23. Exercises in Physical Geology (12th Edition)
by W. Kenneth Hamblin, James D Howard
list price: $64.00
our price: $64.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 013144770X
Catlog: Book (2004-07-30)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 382903
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Book Description

A top-seller for over 35 years with over one million copies sold, this lab manual represents by far the best collection of photos of rocks and mineralsand one of the best compilations of exercisesavailable. Provides exercises using maps, aerial photos, satellite imagery, and other materials. Encompasses all the major geologic processes as well as the identification of rocks and minerals. Features new maps and exciting images in every section of the manual. Expands all introductory discussion sections to provide a more comprehensive foundation. Offers an unrivaled collection of photographs, maps, and illustrations. Is published in anoversize book trim size to provide space for larger illustrations, maps, and photographs. A useful self-study tool for anyone interested in learning more about geology.

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24. Applied Groundwater Modeling
by Mary P. Anderson, William W. Woessner
list price: $94.95
our price: $94.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0120594854
Catlog: Book (1992-01-15)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 357276
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Creating numerical groundwater models of field problems requires careful attention to describing the problem domain, selecting boundary conditions, assigning model parameters, and calibrating the model. This unique text describes the science and art of applying numerical models of groundwater flow and advective transport of solutes.

Key Features
* Explains how to formulate a conceptual model of a system and how to translate it into a numerical model
* Includes the application of modeling principles with special attention to the finite difference flow codes PLASM and MODFLOW, and the finite-element code AQUIFEM-1
* Covers model calibration, verification, and validation
* Discusses pathline analysis for tracking contaminants with reference to newly developed particle tracking codes
* Makes extensive use of case studies and problems
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book but the cover fell off due to poor binding
A great book for explaining the essentials of groundwater modeling including governing equations and statistical evaluation of numeric modeling. I just wish the publisher could produce a book that the cover didn't fall off within the first couple months of use.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great content but poor binding
This text was used in my groundwater modeling class and was useful and instructive specifically for GMS and MODFLOW. The binding split after normal use during the quarter to almost every student enrolled in the course.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great preview of modeling methodology
This text outlines the basic principles and problems faced by young groundwater modelers. The comprehensive interpretation of common challenges are handled with reference to real case studies. Basic steady-state groundwater modeling is supplimented with transient examples. It is a great text for any groundwater modeling class at the undergraduate or graduate level. ... Read more


25. Salt: A World History
by Mark Kurlansky
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142001619
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 2009
Average Customer Review: 3.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod and The Basque History of the World, here turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions.Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Kurlansky's kaleidoscopic history is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Salt as focus of world history
The book tells the story of salt throughout world history: how it was made, how it was traded, how it was used, and the effect the salt industry has had on villages, cities, and regions.

The book starts and ends in China, first describing the brine wells and the advanced drilling techniques the Chinese invented centuries ago. The text then moves to how salt was used in Roman times describing a sauce called garum made from pickled and fermented fish parts. Kurlansky then continues with Mediteranean fish industry. Salt's main use was in preserving fish. The next big change came when cod was found off the coast of Newfoundland. Cod's low fat meant more salt was needed.

Eventually, the American colonies developed their own salt and cod industries. Kurlansky describes the importance of salt in the American Civil War, how salt works led to the marketing of Tabasco sauce, how canals were dug through New York state to take salt from the Great Lakes to the coast.

After a quick recounting of how salt was used by Ghandi to spark India's revolution, the book ends back in China and how the salt industry there has moved into the modern age. The old traditional derricks are gone; no one wanted to pay to preserve even the most important ones as historical landmarks.

Kurlanski gives a good outline of how salt was taxed in various parts of the world. His description of how the salt tax was an important factor in both the French and Indian revolutions deserves special mention.

As he describes how salt was traded and produced, Kurlanky peppers his narrative (sorry...) with short recipes that illustrate how salt was used in different parts of the world and at different times of our history.

If you love food and history, you'll love this book. If you love one and only moderately like the other, you'll find the book bogs down a bit.

3-0 out of 5 stars Taking a love of Salt to its logical extreme
Salt is one of those things that turned up all over the place in my high school studies. It turned up in chemisty (sodium chloride), in biology (the amount of salt in our bodies and what we do with it), in history and English (check out the root of the word: "salary"). So sure, salt's important. But does it merit its own entire book about its history? Turns out the answer is both yes and no...

I like these small, focused histories (as you've probably guessed if you've read any of the other reviews I've written). I've read many of them, including another one by Mark Kurlansky, Cod (which I rather enjoyed). So when I ran across Salt, I was certain I wanted to read it. I liked Kurlansky's style, and I already knew that the subject matter would be interesting.

And it was. In Salt, Kurlansky walks through both the history of salt and the influence of salt on history, presenting a wide and varied picture of one of the [now] most common elements in our modern world. And he does this in the same engaging fashion that he used in Cod; although, with fewer recipes. So why not give it five stars? Well, it has a couple of noticable flaws that tended to detract a bit from the overall presentation.

The first flaw was in the sheer number of historical snippets that were included. While I'm certain that salt has been important in the broad span of human history, there are a number of these historical anecdotes where he was clearly reaching to demonstrate the influence of salt. Salt may have been involved in these incidents, but it was peripheral at best, and the overall tone sounds too much like cheerleading. Cutting a few of these out would have shortened the book without detracting from the presentation at all.

The second flaw was the meandering path that he takes through the history of salt. He generally starts early in history, and his discussion moves along roughly as history does as well; however, he has a tendency to wander a bit both forward and backward without effectively tying all of this together. I'd have preferred to either walk straight through history while skipping around the world (effectively comparing the use and influence of salt around the world) or to have taken more time to discuss why we were rewinding (effectively following one thread to its conclusion and then picking up another parallel one). To me it made the presentation a little too choppy.

There have been other criticisms as well; for example, the chemistry is incorrect in a number of places, but if you're using this as a chemical reference, then you've got serious issues with your ability to library research. Of course, that begs the question of what errors are in there that we didn't catch. And it does tend to be a bit repetitive in parts; although, this could have been used to good effect if historical threads had been followed a bit more completely.

While I had a few dings on the book, overall I liked it. The fact that I read it end-to-end and enjoyed the last chapter as much as the first is a testament to my general enjoyment of it. It wasn't the best book I read last year, but I'll certainly keep it on my bookshelf. So, back to my original question: does salt merit its own book? Yes, it does, but perhaps in a somewhat shorter form.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book
This is a gem of a book. It discusses and intertwines the history and importance of salt from prehistoric times until now in the context of the various types of salt, preserving and brining meat, fish and other foods, cooking, cheese making, health, geology, geography, place names, world trade, world history, warfare, art and investments, to name a few topics.

The descriptions of the role of salt in the American Civil War and the Caribbean islands were fascinating. Then there were the Romans, the Mayans, The Aztecs, the Chinese, the French, the Germans, the English, the Dutch, the Russians, the Scandinavians and others and their involvement with salt.

The recipes for cooking with salt are aptly chosen from about 4000 years of recorded history and are remarkably similar to those in use today. The colorful view and history of the San Francisco salt ponds from an airplane were always a bit of mystery to me, but no longer. The origin of towns and cities whose name ends in "wich" was enlightening, to say nothing of Salzburg and the many salt mines in the world.

In short, this book is a grand, well-written, informative and often amusing world panorama of salt filled with a host of pearls of learning. It is hard to put down and makes 449 pages pleasantly fly by, leaving you with a taste for more. If you have ever used salt, you really should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth his salt . . .
It's become a party cliche to comment on our need for the results of combining a poisonous gas [chlorine] and a volatile metal [sodium]. Kurlansky passes quickly over such levity to seriously relate the role of sodium chloride in human society. While at first glance his account may seem overdone, a bit of reflection reveals that something so common in our lives is easily overlooked. Salt is essential to our existence. Our need is so strong and enduring that we tend to take its availability for granted. As a global history, this book is an ambitious attempt to re-introduce us to something we think common and uninteresting. It's immensely successful through Kurlansky's multi-faceted approach. He combines economics, politics, culinary practices, tradition and myth in making his presentation. About the only aspect ignored is the detailed biological one explaining why this compound is so necessary to our existence.

Because our need for salt is so fundamental, its history encompasses that of humanity. Salt was basic to many economies, Kurlansky notes. It's acted as the basis of exchange between traders, was the target of empire builders and even paid out to soldiers as a form of "salary" - hence the term. Venice, a coastal city tucked away from the main tracks of Mediterranean trade, bloomed into prominence when it discovered it could garner more profit by trading in salt than by manufacturing it. The Venetian empire and later renaissance was founded on the salt trade.

Empires may be built on salt, but can be felled by misguided policies on its trade and consumption. One element leading to the downfall of the French monarchy was the hated "gabelle", or salt tax, which imposed a heavier burden on farming peasants than it did on the aristocracy. The reputation of tax evasion borne by the French relates to the resentment expressed over the salt tax. A British regulation on salt resulted in similar reaction leading to the breakup up their own Empire. It was a "march to the sea" led by Mahatma Ghandi to collect salt that galvanised resistance to British rule. Over a century after the French Revolution, the British were displaced from India for similar reasons - greed.

While acknowledging the importance of salt in our lives, Kurlansky notes that determining how much is "too little" or "too much" is elusive. Many people today claim to have "salt-free" diets while remaining ignorant of how much salt is contained in our foods, both naturally and through processing. Yet, as Kurlansky records, salt has appeal beyond just the body's needs. He records numerous commentators from ancient Egypt, China and Rome who express their admiration for salt's flavour-adding qualities. Sauces based on various ingredients mixed with salt permeate the book. He notes that the salt dispenser is a modern innovation, supplementing the use of salt in cooking processes.

Salt's decline in conserving food, which changed the amount of salt we consume directly, came about due to increased world trade, displacement of rural populations into cities, and, of course, war. "The first blow" displacing salt as a preservative came from a Parisian cook; a man so obscure that his given name remains disputed. Nicolas [Francois?] Appert worked out how to preserve meat by "canning". Adopted by Napoleon's armies, the technique spread rapidly. The technology of the Industrial Revolution led to effective refrigeration. Kurlansky gives an account of Clarence Birdseye's efforts to found what became a major industry.

Although the topic seems overspecialised, the universal application and long historical view of this book establishes its importance. Kurlansky has successfully met an immense challenge in presenting a wealth of information. That he graces what might have been a dry pedantic exercise with recipes, anecdotes, photographs and maps grants this book wide appeal. He's to be congratulated for his worldly view and comprehensive presentation. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

2-0 out of 5 stars Tintinabulation?
Mr. Kurlansky had a great idea to wrap a world history around the discovery, usage and evolution of salt. There are many fascinating tales around this substance, but unfortunately you can't get away from the fact that you can only read the word "salt" so many times in one sentence or paragraph before you begin to yawn.

This, I think, leads to a certain desparation by the writer in attempting to find something - anything - to amuse the reader. One great example is a sentence containing the word "tintinabulation" which, if looked at carefully, is totally meaningless and serves only for the author to exercise his ego in being able to say that he used the word in a published sentence.

Another problem is the easy way that Mr. Kurlansky throws untruths into his story to back up some odd facts .. for example, he says that French is a language that "does not use apostrophes" during a store-naming story. Considering that the apostrophe is liberally used in French (c'est la vie!) these kinds of assertions cast doubt on the rest of the "facts" presented.

I felt the book was a way for Mr. Kurlansky to attempt to impress us with his perceived worldliness and culinary expertise - to the extent that the book wraps up with a recipe for butter cookies.

Sorry, don't bother, ego gets in the way of what may have been a good story. ... Read more


26. Krakatoa : The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
by Simon Winchester
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006093736X
Catlog: Book (2004-03)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 6226
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.

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Reviews (109)

3-0 out of 5 stars Krakatoa, from discovery to rebirth
This remarkable treasure chest of historical trivia is laid out as a history of the Dutch East Indies, with center place being given to the island of Krakatoa. Anyone uninterested in the social, political, historical, and geological background to the famous eruption can just skip to its chapter, about halfway through the book. Simon Winchester has done an admirable job collecting and collating interviews, logs, diaries, reports, barographs, tide meter readings, you name it, to recreate the the horrific disaster, and set a few earlier errors straight.

One observer looks towards the beach, and see a monstrous wave, higher than the palm trees, sweeping along the shore. Others take note of the sea in the strait, writhing and surging, even though there is no wind and no clouds. Sailors caught in the ashfall suffer electric shocks from the charged cloud. A stone residence on a hill 110 feet high is destroyed by a wave that overtopped it by twenty feet. The sea becomes a slick of ash, pumice, debris, and bodies. (Winchester announces that he is censoring himself, in that last detail.) A woman in Ceylon who is killed by a surge is the most distant victim of the volcano. The airwave circles the globe seven times. The violent sunsets are recorded by landscape painters for years afterwards.

The run-up to the dramatic parts is a fairly interesting history of the Dutch in the East Indies, stuffed to bursting with footnoted asides. Krakatoa is the focal point throughout, though. Winchester even pinpoints the earliest Dutch map to represent the island, and then the first one to name it. There is an unmistakeably British thatchy-tweedy-fussiness in his manner. Even in the climactic narrative of the disaster, he finds room for a footnote to explain that Macassar was the source for an oil that spoiled wood finish, and necessitated the invention of a lace furniture drapery called an "antimacassar".

As for his idea that Krakatoa launched radical Islam in Indonesia, that's probably impossible to prove. The Japanese takeover of Dutch Pacific possessions in World War II, and the Saudi practice of exporting and subsidizing fundamentalist Wahabhi madrassas around the world probably had more to do with it. But it is certainly something to think about.

All in all, this is an informative and at times exciting account of one of the biggest and certainly the loudest natural disaster in recorded human history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A PBS documentary, but on paper
Having read Winchester's "The Professor and the Madman", and after hearing about the book on the radio, I decided that I couldn't help but read this book. Though Winchester refers to Krakatoa as a widely-known event, I can confess to having only a slight recognition of the name prior to this book. I won't forget now.

Winchester covers enormous ground in this book, writing about evolution, plate tectonics, Islam, the telegraph, imperialism, the Line of Demarcation, the flora of the East Indies, and more. Do not be fooled, you will leave this book with a greater understanding of much of the origin of the modern world.

One delicious tidbit: Winchester argues that the relative cultural size of the world shrank much more at the eruption of Krakatoa than at the dawn of the Internet. On the other hand, Winchester seems to be constantly implying apology for the last 800 years of Western European history. He has a few particular zingers for the nosy British.

Overall, this book is lot of little bits. And, oh yeah, the central part of the book -- Krakatoa's explosion -- was absolutely riveting. My vision of hell now involves something of Dante and something of Krakatoa.

I recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Krakatoa: The History
Krakatoa by Simon Winchester is a very informative, enlightening, and researched work. Rather than just being a recounting of the day Krakatoa exploded (which the title seems to imply), the damage it caused, etc., the book does much more. It recounts the historical significance of Indonesia (and the Dutch rule there), the importance of the Sunda Strait (where Krakatoa is located), the underlying reasons for massive volcanic explosions (plate tectonics and continental drift), and the social and religious aftermath due to Krakatoa.

I enjoyed the treatment of each of these issues, but at times some of the information seemed to be a stretch in relation to the subject at hand. The first half of the book, the build-up to the massive explosion if you will, was slower and not as engaging as the second half which was absolutely a joy to read and learn. Winchester does a great job of convincing the reader that Krakatoa was truly the first major event that the world of global communication (due to the telegraph and transatlantic communication lines) came to know. Winchester also does a good job explaining why the Krakatoa legacy has endured. Interestingly, much of it has to do with the unique name itself.

Krakatoa is a very good read. From an intellectual standpoint, the book is great, everything that you want to know about Krakatoa you'll find here. From the standpoint of enjoyable reading, the first half and some of Winchester's digressions are difficult to get through, but the second half is a great read. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the subject, or just history itself, but beware if you're looking for a book solely focused on the explosion/destruction of Krakatoa on August 27, 1883.

1-0 out of 5 stars Skip it
I was looking forward to reading "The map that changed the world" by the same author after this book. However, reading "Krakatoa" has made me quite wary of any such adventure. This book is as tepid as Krakatoa was explosive. This is one of the very few instances when I have actually calculated the remaining pages of a book while reading; just to know how much longer I had to sit through it (.... "Finish thy book" is the first of my personal commandments). And mind you, I enjoy reading about the allied scientific aspects of any subject matter including geology (the discussions on petroleum geology in "Hubbert's Peak" being a case in point). The author seems to have started off with the noble aspiration of seamlessly interweaving the history, geography, social context, geopolitics, technological deveopments of the age and other issues keeping Krakatoa as the central theme. However, he ends up serving an unappetising stew with even the meaty part about the dramatic explosion somehow leaving you uninspired.

There are tidbits of interesting factual information but this is not enough to classify as saving grace for any book; especially one with such a compelling central subject, rich in possibilities.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the page-turner it's reputed to be.
I guess I'm like most people--I find forces of nature (volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.) fascinating. The review blurbs on the back cover refer to this book as "a page-turner," and "terrifying." Well...not really. I have no doubt Mr.Winchester knows his stuff. However, my experience with this book is like that of a number of people who have left reviews here--do you HAVE to go into this much set-up to talk about a volcano? Perhaps it's me. One of the best "disaster" books I ever read was John Hersey's "Hiroshima." It dealt with a few major characters, dropped you right in the middle of the situation, and you were exhausted and heartbroken for the characters when you finished--and it was less than 200 pages. Reading "Krakatoa" is like being told a story by a professor whose train of thought is easily derailed by the amount he knows. If you are interested in geology, I have no doubt you will find this book fascinating. If you are an average reader, like me, you will find this book slow at best, mind-bogglingly tedious at worst. ... Read more


27. Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage
by Kenneth S. Deffeyes
list price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691090866
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 217435
Average Customer Review: 3.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would reach its highest level in the early 1970s. Though roundly criticized by oil experts and economists, Hubbert's prediction came true in 1970.

In this revised and updated edition reflecting the latest information on the world supply of oil, Kenneth Deffeyes uses Hubbert's methods to find that world oil production will peak in this decade--and there isn't anything we can do to stop it. While long-term solutions exist in the form of conservation and alternative energy sources, they probably cannot--and almost certainly will not--be enacted in time to evade a short-term catastrophe. ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars The wolf is at the door
Deffeyes hits the nail on the head when he clearly details what petroleum industry insiders already know - it's not "if" global oil production will peak, it's "when." After years of warning about the imminent demise of cheap oil supplies, experts are now splitting hairs about whether or not inexpensive oil production will peak in this decade or the next. The author's easy-going, occasionally humorous prose makes the bad news easier to take, but either way, a serious global oil crisis is looming on the horizon.

Deffeyes energizes his readers by sweeping us easily through the denser strata of the complexities and developmental progress that built "Big Oil," but he also warns of relying on technology to save us in the future. Unlike many technological optimists, this life-long veteran of the industry concludes that new innovations like gas hydrates, deep-water drilling, and coal bed methane are unlikely to replace once-abundant petroleum in ease of use, production, and versatility. The Era of Carbon Man is ending.

A no-nonsense oilman blessed with a sense of humor, Deffeyes deftly boils his message down to the quick. Easily-produced petroleum is reaching its nadir, and although they are clean and renewable, energy systems like geothermal, wind and solar power won't solve our energy needs overnight. "Hubbert's Peak" represents an important aspect of the energy crisis, but it is only one factor in this multi-faceted problem that includes biosphere degradation, global warming, per-capita energy decline, and a science/industry community intolerant of new approaches to energy technology research and development. An exciting new book by the Alternative Energy Institute, Inc., "Turning the Corner: Energy Solutions for the 21st Century," addresses all of the components associated with the energy dilemma and is also available on Amazon.com.

Anyone who is concerned about what world citizens, politicians, and industry in the United States and international community must do to ensure a smooth transition from dependence on dangerous and polluting forms of energy to a more vital and healthier world, needs to read these books. Future generations rely on the decisions we make today.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any serious energy analyst
Ken Deffeyes, a colleague of M. King Hubbert, has written a critical book which tells the reader that global oil production will peak in the next decade. Hubbert, a geophysicist employed at Shell, first predicted in 1956 that US oil production would peak around 1970. This has come to pass. Using the same basic analytical methods for global oil production, Deffeyes makes a strong case as to why global oil production will peak in 2004-2009 timeframe. Certain variables can delay the peak in oil production but the peak is inevitable. All of this is neatly laid out in Chapter 1 and presented in detail in Chapter 7 & 8. The remainder of the book is a background in oil exploration and production and some discussion about alternative sources of energy.

Far from being an environmentalist or policy wonk, Deffeyes, as an oil professional and academic, has clearly outlined the implications of Hubbert's peak for our hydrocarbon-based society. Unfortunately, the short-sighted politicians and policymakers in Wasghington will not want to seriously debate this issue. Instead policies to support America's insatiable hunger for SUV's (and other waste) will continue until an energy supply crisis hits home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative And Well Written
Kenneth Deffeyes is a former Shell oil geologist and also a former Princeton University professor (now emeritus) so he brings a lot of expertise to the subject of the world oil supply, and at which point supply can't keep pace with demand. He cites often the famous 1956 prediction in which another Shell geologist, a M. King Hubbert, who in a paper said oil production in the United States would peak in the early 1970's, and it sure did peak, in the year 1970, and has been declining ever since. Hubbert used some statistical tools in his analysis, and for this new analysis of the world oil production peak Deffeyes draws on the work of the late Hubbert and with the addition of more up to date statistical tools. Deffeyes says that we have discovered most of the oil that is in the ground, and that drilling deeper will yield only natural gas, the reason for this is fascinating. He also says that it takes about 10 years to bring a new oil field into production, so the expected shortfall of the supply of oil Deffeyes predicts somewhere between the years 2004 and 2009 is inevitable. He also says no major oil fields have been discovered in many years and it is unlikely that another Middle East sized oil field still remains undiscovered, to save us from a bidding war for the remaining oil. The year 2009, according to Deffeyes, is the last possible year that the peak in world oil production will occur.

This book is full of wisdom and much humor, it is not a stodgy old book, it was a page turner for me. Deffeyes in one chapter says we have paid too much attention to the 'dot com' companies and how many people think our economy can run well by just selling software, etc, back and forth among ourselves, and that we should pay more attention to fundamental activities which are agriculture, mining, ranching, forestry, fisheries, and petroleum. This book is also very informative from a geological standpoint, how oil is trapped in rock layers and how it is drilled for production. Deffeyes says fossil fuels are in a sense a one time gift of nature and if we are wise this fuel will get us to the age of renewable energy. The Green River oil shale formation in the western United States is mentioned in this volume, Deffeyes states that it is roughly equal to all of the world's conventional oil, but at the present price of a barrel of crude oil it is not economical to use at this juncture. Natural gas is also mentioned and may be used more extensively in the future, as well as geothermal energy and a few others. He also says we need to get over our phobia with nuclear energy, I agree with that.

But as for the basic prediction here of a permanent oil shortage somewhere between 2004 and 2009, Deffeyes does mention that a worldwide recession could affect the time of the shortage, and we are in a worldwide recession as I type this. In addition, I saw on the news that the Russians are ramping up their oil production and this could also affect the year of the shortfall, but nevertheless whether the shortfall occurs in 2004 or 2009, or 2015, it does appear that a shortfall is coming and we should be preparing for it, at least on an individual basis if our governments aren't doing much.

2-0 out of 5 stars Yikes - Somebody get Mr. Deffeyes a Ghost Writer!
While I tend to agree with some of what Mr. Deffeyes concludes, I have to say he did a woeful job of presenting a case for his conclusions. Other authors have done much better making a case for the obvious end of rising oil production.

Deffeyes' writing style is atrocious. He constantly digresses and hopelessly abandons the reader in a morass of minutiae and gaps in written explanations. Most of the book does not even directly address his title. Too much of the book is a disjointed "explanation" of oil industry geology ... "stream of consciousness" petroleum geology/statistics if you will. It is as if he dictated the book, and didn't bother to have it proof read to see if anyone could follow his ramblings.

I would have given the book one star except for the fact that there are some usefull and understandable explanations in the book. If you are a fanatic on this subject, it may be worthwhile trying to read it. Otherwise, there are many other more persuasive, well written books on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
When a wise old codger of rural roots warns you in humble fashion, "Pardon me, sir, but I dare say you're headed down the wrong road!" something tingling there on the back of your neck warns that you'd better listen. Even more so when the old-timer has risen beyond his oil-patch roots to become a Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Kenneth S. Deffeyes doesn't have to impress anybody, and perhaps that's one reason he has written a book on oil that will never give you that scratchy sensation of wool being drawn over your eyes. Deffeyes returns to his Oklahoma City roots to point out, as any fellow atop a tractor or toting a pipe wrench might, that things just can't keep going up and up forever. The difference: Deffeyes has a lifetime of industry and academic experience behind him. So, how real is the coming energy shortage? Well, put it this way: We highly recommend this book only to those individuals and companies who rely on electricity or the internal combustion engine. Stone age denizens need not sign up. ... Read more


28. Earth : An Intimate History
by Richard Fortey
list price: $30.00
our price: $18.00
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Asin: 0375406263
Catlog: Book (2004-11-02)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 1470
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Book Description

From the acclaimed author of Life and Trilobite!, a fascinating geological exploration of the earth's distant history as revealed by its natural wonders.

The face of the earth, crisscrossed by chains of mountains like the scars of old wounds, has changed and changed again over billions of years, and the testament of the remote past is all around us. In this book Richard Fortey teaches us how to read its character, laying out the dominions of the world before us. He shows how human culture and natural history-even the shape of cities-are rooted in this deep geological past.

In search of this past, Fortey takes us through the Alps, into Icelandic hot springs, down to the ocean floor, over the barren rocks of Newfoundland, into the lush ecosystems of Hawai'i, across the salt flats of Oman, and along the San Andreas Fault. On the slopes of Vesuvius, he tracks the history of the region down through the centuries?to volcanic eruptions seen by fifteenth-century Italians, the Romans, and, from striking geological evidence, even Neolithic man. As story adds to story, the recent past connects with forgotten ages long ago, then much longer ago, as he describes the movement of plates and the development of ancient continents and seas. Nothing in this book is at rest. The surface of the earth dilates and collapses; seas and mountains rise and fall; continents move.

Fortey again proves himself the ideal guide, with his superb descriptions of natural beauty, his gripping narratives, and his crystal-clear, always fascinating scientific explanations.
Here is a book to change the way we see the world.
... Read more


29. Reliability and Statistics in Geotechnical Engineering
by Gregory Baecher, John Christian
list price: $160.00
our price: $139.20
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Asin: 0471498335
Catlog: Book (2003-10-31)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 410182
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Book Description

Probabilistic reasoning, statistical methods, and measures of engineering judgment are combined to develop a quantified approach for analyzing and managing risks in civil engineering systems and the applied earth sciences. The resulting risk analysis approach described in this book reflects an emerging trend in geotechnical engineering, natural hazards mitigation, infrastructure protection, and other civil engineering fields to directly and quantitatively deal with uncertainty. Reliability and Statistics in Geotechnical Engineering offers a much needed state-of-the-art reference for risk analysis in geotechnical engineering and geology.

Integrating theory and practical applications, this book:

  • Discusses the nature and philosophy of uncertainty in geological and geotechnical engineering.
  • Addresses fundamentals and limits of probabilistic and statistical methods in the geological and geotechnical context.
  • Develops statistical approaches to site characaterization decisions and for analyzing field and laboratory data.
  • Explains traditional and emerging risk analysis methodologies and provides guidance for their use.
  • Presents many applications of statistics, reliability, and risk techniques to practical problems.

Emphasizing both theoretical underpinnings and practical applications, this comprehensive text constitutes an invaluable reference for practising geotechnical engineers, geologists, university students, and civil engineers in general practice. ... Read more


30. Statistics and Data Analysis in Geology
by John C.Davis
list price: $89.95
our price: $89.95
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Asin: 0471172758
Catlog: Book (2002-04-19)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 394233
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Book Description

Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition of the text that helped define the field continues to present important methods in the quantitative analysis of geologic data, while showing students how statistics and computing can be applied to commonly encountered problems in the earth sciences.

In addition to new and expanded coverage of key topics, the Third Edition features new pedagogy, end-of-chapter review exercises, and an accompanying website that contains all of the data for every example and exercise found in the book.
... Read more


31. Hyperspectral Imaging: Techniques for Spectral Detection and Classification
by Chein-I Chang, ›Chein-I Chang
list price: $144.00
our price: $144.00
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Asin: 0306474832
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Sales Rank: 212237
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32. Resources of the Earth: Origin, Use, and Environmental Impact (3rd Edition)
by James R. Craig, David J. Vaughan, Brian J. Skinner, David Vaughan
list price: $94.80
our price: $94.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130834106
Catlog: Book (2001-01-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 631774
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Book Description

Extensively illustrated, balanced, broad–based, and up–to–date, this book explores the nature and critical issues of all major types of earth resources--energy, metallic, nonmetallic, water, soil--and the impacts that resource usage has on the earth environment. It provides geologic background of resource formation and occurrence of most of the various types of resources; offers an international perspective; discusses resources not only from the scientific point of view, but also from the point of economic, political, historical considerations; and considers how the extraction and use of the resources creates impacts--local or global, immediate or delayed, visible or invisible, singular or cumulative.Minerals: The Foundations of Society. Plate Tectonics and The Origins of Mineral Resources.Earth's Resources Through History. Environmental Impacts of Resource Exploitation and Use. Energy from Fossil Fuels. Nuclear Power and Alternative Energy Sources. Abundant Metals. The Geochemically Scare Metals. Fertilizer and Chemical Minerals. Building Materials and Other Industrial Minerals. Water Resources. Soil as a Resource. Future Resources.For anyone interested in earth resources. ... Read more


33. Environmental Geology (8th Edition)
by Edward A. Keller
list price: $108.00
our price: $108.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130224669
Catlog: Book (1999-10-27)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 248717
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book offers one of the most comprehensive, up-to-date treatments of environmental geology available—from fundamental geologic principles to the specifics of environmental law and geological hazards. It fully discusses both processes and environmental issues, and where appropriate, includes boxes with quantification of processes. Case Histories and examples reflect a cross-section of the United States, and Special Features boxes highlight "classic" and recent environmental disasters. Features high-quality photographs and illustrations throughout.Earth Materials and Processes. Soils and Environment. Natural Hazards: An Overview. Rivers and Flooding. Landslides and Related Phenomena. Earthquakes and Related Phenomena. Volcanic Activity. Coastal Hazards. Water: Process, Supply, and Use. Water Pollution and Treatment. Waste Management. The Geologic Aspects of Environmental Health. Mineral Resources and Environment. Energy and Environment. Global Change and Earth System Science. Air Pollution. Landscape Evaluation and Land Use.For geologists, environmental scientists, and foresters. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent New 8th Edition - the Best Seller for 2000
This new Eighth Edition of Enviromental Geology is welcomed by the geology profession in the year 2000. Professor Edward Keller, a leading geomorphologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has performed a timely update of his national best-seller to include new information in earthquake hazards, new hyperlinks for students to study geologic hazard information on the Internet, and expansion of two chapters on water supply and water pollution. Excellent color photographs and color diagrams are used throughout. The 8th Edition features use of quantification ("putting some numbers on"), case histories of cogent interest to students, closer looks at important concepts, key terms, study questions, and web hyperlinks. This textbook is highly recommended and will be most appropriate at the Freshman or Sophomore level. It does not assume prior coursework in geology or earth science. It continues to be the #1 seller in North America and is taught throughout all campuses of the University of California system.

5-0 out of 5 stars Please See the New 2000 Eighth Edition
This is the best available environmental geology book, except please do not buy this older edition. Instead, browse down the Amazon list and purchase the new Eighth edition, copyright 2000. It has substantial new information about earthquake risk, new hyperlinks to important new websites. The author, Professor Edward A. Keller, is a leading geomorphologist and engineering geologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This text is widely used throughout California and the West. We are all delighted with the new 8th edition from Prentice-Hall. ... Read more


34. Flood Geomorphology
by Victor R.Baker, R. CraigKochel, Peter C.Patton
list price: $325.00
our price: $325.00
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Asin: 0471625582
Catlog: Book (1988-04)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 1233979
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Book Description

Describes and analyzes global causes, effects and dynamics of floods and includes methods for related environmental management. Reviews recent advances in the interdisciplinary study of floods and their effects on landforms, sediments, human works, and populations. Covers the use of morphometric parameters of drainage basins and establishes standard procedures for measuring geomorphically significant variables following a major flood. Specific chapters present data on the neglected topic of sedimentation in bedrock fluvial systems, and discuss, from the viewpoint of Holocene stratigraphy, common alluvial systems leading to flood plains. Includes numerous photos, illustrations and diagrams of flood effects around the world. ... Read more


35. Applied Hydrogeology (4th Edition)
by C.W. Fetter
list price: $107.00
our price: $107.00
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Asin: 0130882399
Catlog: Book (2000-11-16)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 211961
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This best selling book, Applied Hydrogeology gives readers a balanced examination of all facets of hydrogeology. It text stresses the application of mathematics to problem solving rather than derivation of theory. It provides a balance between physical and chemical hydrogeology. Numerous case studies cultivate reader understanding of the occurrence andmovement of ground water in a variety of geologic settings.This valuable reference includes five new case histories: The Dakota Aquifer, Fractures Sedimentary Rocks—Newark basin, Faults as Aquifer Boundaries, Desert Hydrology—Azraq basin, Jordan. Uses the Internet to obtain hydrogeologic data and information. Includes well-developed case studies in most of the chapters. Contains tables covering various functions, unit conversions, and additional data for solving well hydraulics, water chemistry, and contaminant transport problems.For readers interested in advanced hydrology, groundwater hydrology, hydrogeology, and civil engineering. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Relieved to find.
I found this book the easiest to read, compaired to a few other groundwater textbooks out there. It concentrates on the practical applications as opposed to formula derivations.

3-0 out of 5 stars Did anyone proof read this text before it went to print?
I have the 3rd edition which I purchased in 1995 and although I enjoy the subject matter and use this book as a reference, I am still finding errors and making corrections to the textbook (typos in both text and problem sets). Someone should have paid closer attention to detail prior to submission to the publisher. I was going to get the 4th addition to add to my personal library, hoping there would be no errors. However, after a few minutes of research on the internet I found out that there are still errors in the 4th addition. However, the author does have a webpage with corrections posted. I wouldn't recommend this text to anyone unless they have time and are willing to go through the text to make the corrections. There are other texts in print covering the same subject matter with fewer or no errors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written, Thoroughly Explain Text
As a student I was relieved to read ideas that were explained clearly, especially in the water chemistry chapter. I also appreciated how well the formulas were presented. The problems at the end of the chapter were a great way to study for exams.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Groundwater Book
I've used two different groundwater books and I keep coming back to this one. Great examples where every term is defined under the equation. Good case studies, homeworks, the works. A must have for anyone who needs to work with groundwater.

5-0 out of 5 stars A thorough review of Hydro. A must have on every bookshelf.
This book rocks! Every needed formula and plenty of examples too ... Read more


36. Physical Geology : Exploring the Earth (with PhysicalGeologyNow and InfoTrac)
by James S. Monroe, Reed Wicander
list price: $104.95
our price: $104.95
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Asin: 0534399878
Catlog: Book (2004-03-26)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 39223
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Book Description

PHYSICAL GEOLOGY: EXPLORING THE EARTH, Fifth Edition, provides a comprehensive overview of the physical aspects of Earth's processes, not just on its surface, but above and below as well. In this acclaimed book, the authors link diverse material with the common thread of plate tectonics, an approach that provides a global perspective of Earth and allows students to recognize seemingly unrelated geologic phenomena as a continuum of interrelated events within a complete planetary system. In addition to providing students with a basic understanding of geology and its processes, the authors also demonstrate how geology relates to the human experience, affecting individuals as well as society as a whole. One of Monroe and Wicander's goals is to encourage the (primarily) non-scientists taking this course to become informed citizens. To that end, they ask the question "What would you do?" throughout the text to allow students to explore their reactions to particular situations. The authors also have an increased focus on practical, relevant applications. To further enhance the students' learning experience, this edition is now fully integrated, on a concept level and with book-specific interactivities, with a FREE brand-new, student tutorial system called Physical GeologyNow. Physical GeologyNow is Web-based, assessment-driven, and completely flexible, offering a personalized learning plan based on each student's quiz results to help students focus on the concepts they don't yet understand. The Active Figures in Physical GeologyNow animate the gorgeous, newly revised art program, drawing students in and bringing the study of physical geology to life. ... Read more


37. Our Changing Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Scienceand Global EnvironmentalChange (3rd Edition)
by Fred T. Mackenzie
list price: $82.40
our price: $82.40
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Asin: 0130651729
Catlog: Book (2002-08-07)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 159166
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Book Description

This book offers a general, interdisciplinary discussion of global environmental change oriented toward the non-specialist in science.The unifying theme of the book is consideration of aspects of both natural and human-induced global environmental change. The two part organization according to this distinction allows for easy reading on specific topics.This book is useful for anyone interested in learning more about Earth's systems. ... Read more


38. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Environmental Issues, Rev. Ed. (Taking Sides)
by Thomas A Easton, Theodore D Goldfarb, Thomas Easton, Theodore Goldfarb
list price: $24.69
our price: $24.69
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Asin: 0072933178
Catlog: Book (2003-12-08)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin
Sales Rank: 220135
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39. Geodynamics
by Donald L. Turcotte, Gerald Schubert
list price: $60.00
our price: $44.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521666244
Catlog: Book (2001-12-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 252276
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First published in 1982, Don Turcotte and Jerry Schubert's Geodynamics became a classic textbook for several generations of students of geophysics and geology. The authors bring this text completely up-to-date in this second edition. Important additions include a chapter on chemical geodynamics, an updated coverage of comparative planetology based on recent planetary missions, and a variety of other new topics. Geodynamics provides the fundamentals necessary for an understanding of the workings of the solid earth, describing the mechanics of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building in the context of the role of mantle convection and plate tectonics. Observations such as the earth's gravity field, surface heat flow, distribution of earthquakes, surface stresses and strains, and distribution of elements are discussed. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Outstanding Textbooks in Geophysics EVER
Turcotte and Schubert updated their 1982 edition to account for new developments in geoscience, and the result is the most comprehensive textbook on geophysics for the upper level undergraduate/graduate student. It is an outstanding reference, and is clear and concise in its treatment of a variety of geophysical phenomena. Stress/Strain, Elasticity and Flexure, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Gravity, Rock Rheology, and Planetology are all treated with detail and provide the student with a tremendous introduction to geophysics. I recommend it to all geologists and geophysicists!

3-0 out of 5 stars Life in the real world...
"Geodynamics" has been a classic text in the field of, well, Geodynamics since the first edition came out, and it remains a brave attempt to squeeze a large amount of detail into one volume. In many ways however, this attempt is misguided. The material suffers from overcrowding in many chapters, and different approaches are used to solve the same problem, giving wildly different answers, with no attempt made to qualify which method is accepted as the most realistic.
A fairly comprehensive set of questions are liberally sprinkled throughout each chapter, although the one-number answers at the back of the book are usually insufficient, and some brief explanation would greatly enhance user-friendliness.
The main problem I found with this textbook however, is the inability to link the numerical methods presented with real world situations. The complexities of plate deformation for example are reduced to a set of sections on beam-bending, with little or no attempt at the end to draw the lessons learnt from the exercise back into some meaningful discussion of how the earth behaves. This is a common failure of analytical approaches to Earth Science problems, that the construction of a mathematical framework becomes an end in itself, and that real data are ignored or manipulated to shoehorn them into the predictions of the model. "Geodynamics" is a good summary of the techniques used to try to understand the workings of the earth, but often leaves one with a hollow feeling that one hasn't really learned anything about the earth itself at the end of each chapter.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a magnificent book. I am pleased to see new edition.
I have known the first edition of this remarkable book, and am pleased to see the revised and improved version out. I hope that many Geophysicist will have a copy in their library eventually.

May I wish all Earth Scientists a nice research work.

Tuncay Taymaz ... Read more


40. Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana
by Richard V.Gaines, H. Catherine W.Skinner, Eugene E.Foord, BrianMason, AbrahamRosenzweig
list price: $325.00
our price: $325.00
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Asin: 0471193100
Catlog: Book (1997-10)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 817573
Average Customer Review: 2.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Following in the tradition of the "System of Mineralogy" introduced by Wiley in 1837, this one-of-a-kind reference brings mineralogy into the 21st century. It describes all of the over 3700 recognized mineral species. New features include emphasis on mineral structure, presenting descriptions of all the important species. New specially commissioned structure diagrams describe all the important mineral groups. All homologous species are classified and all polymorphic forms identified. Compact and convenient in one volume, it offers exceptional coverage on where minerals can be found and accurate, up-to-date references. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor - don't buy this book
I think the Danas would be embarrassed if they lived to see their name on the cover of this book - probably the worst compendium of mineralogical data in the history of science. Here, inaccuracies and errors are the norm rather than exception, and the quality of print and paper are no match even to a circa-1900 missionary's Bible. Sloppy sources like this one do more harm than good by perpetuating errors and introducing new ones, so do yourself a favor and spend your hard-earned $350 on something else.

3-0 out of 5 stars Long-awaited reference needs work
As a professional geologist, I use this reference often but I have found numerous errors. An example is that the mineral Pentlandite, an important ore of nickel, is not listed in the index. A German website is compiling an errata list on this book and it is many pages long of spelling, locality, formulae and indices errors. Other complaints are: The information concerning the economic use of the minerals is too sketchy and incomplete; and the page paper is too thin and fragile.

4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, essential mineral species reference
I use the book almost daily while working on a large mineral collection. It is up to date and comprehensive with valuable references to localities. The book is fragile with thin pages so must be used with care. It should be published as a CD ROM.

3-0 out of 5 stars Is the publisher nuts?
I can't believe that John Wiley & Sons (the publisher) actually tries to sell this book as "compact". It's 1100 pages! The Peterson Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals is a much better "compact" guide. This thing should really be on CD-ROM.

2-0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive, but FULL OF ERRORS
This book is a must-have for any mineralogist, but the number of errors is daunting. I can find a minimum of 2 significant (or major) errors per page of text. The errors include spelling of mineral names, errors in chemical formulas, errors in physical properties, errors in locality names, errors in state abbreviations for the USA, omissions in the indices, etc.

I recommend waiting for the 2nd or 3rd edition to be printed to allow some of the more major errors to be corrected. Also, the pages are of such thin paper that text from the opposite side is readable. This book should actually be sold as a subscription on CD-ROM, with planned updates to implement corrections and additions. ... Read more


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