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Physical Geology (15th Edition)

Physical Geology (15th Edition)

Author: Charles (Carlos) Plummer

Publisher: McGraw-Hill


Publish Date: January 6, 2015

ISBN-10: 0078096103

Pages: 672

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface


One excellent reason is that it’s tried and true. Since the book was published in 1979, over 1,000,000 students have read this text as an introduction to physical geology. Proportionately, geology instructors have relied on this text for over 5,000 courses to explain, illustrate, and exemplify basic geologic concepts to both majors and non-majors. Today, the fifteenth edition continues to provide contemporary perspectives that reflect current research, recent natural disasters, unmatched illustrations, and unparalleled learning aids. We have worked closely with contributors, reviewers, and our editors to publish the most accurate and current text possible.


Our purpose is to clearly present the various aspects of physical geology so that students can understand the logic of what scientists have discovered as well as the elegant way the parts are interrelated to explain how Earth, as a whole, works. This approach is epitomized by our treatment of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics is central to understanding how the Earth works. Rather than providing a full-fledged presentation of plate tectonics at the beginning of the textbook and overwhelming students, Physical Geology presents the essentials of plate tectonics in the first chapter. Subsequent chapters then detail interrelationships between plate tectonics and major geologic topics. For example, chapter 3, on igneous activity, includes a thorough explanation of how plate tectonics accounts for the generation of magma and resulting igneous rocks. Chapter 19, typically covered late in the course, presents a full synthesis of plate tectonics. By this time, students have learned the many aspects of physical geology and can appreciate the elegance of plate tectonics as a unifying paradigm.

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