The Planet in a Pebble: A journey into Earths deep history

Paperback | March 28, 2012

byJan Zalasiewicz

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This is the story of a single pebble. It is just a normal pebble, as you might pick up on holiday - on a beach in Wales, say. Its history, though, carries us into abyssal depths of time, and across the farthest reaches of space. This is a narrative of the Earth's long and dramatic history, as gleaned from a single pebble. It begins as the pebble-particles form amid unimaginable violence in distal realms of the Universe, in the Big Bang and in supernova explosions and continues amid the construction of the Solar System. JanZalasiewicz shows the almost incredible complexity present in such a small and apparently mundane object. Many events in the Earth's ancient past can be deciphered from a pebble: volcanic eruptions; the lives and deaths of extinct animals and plants; the alien nature of long-vanished oceans; andtransformations deep underground, including the creations of fool's gold and of oil. Zalasiewicz demonstrates how geologists reach deep into the Earth's past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter. Many stories are crammed into each and every pebble around us. It may be small, and ordinary, this pebble - but it is also an eloquent part of our Earth'sextraordinary, never-ending story.

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This is the story of a single pebble. It is just a normal pebble, as you might pick up on holiday - on a beach in Wales, say. Its history, though, carries us into abyssal depths of time, and across the farthest reaches of space. This is a narrative of the Earth's long and dramatic history, as gleaned from a single pebble. It begins as ...

Jan Zalasiewicz is a Lecturer in Geology at the University of Leicester, before that working at the British Geological Survey. A field geologist, palaeontologist and stratigrapher, he teaches various aspects of geology and Earth history to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is a researcher into fossil ecosystems and environm...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.07 inPublished:March 28, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199645698

ISBN - 13:9780199645695

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Table of Contents

Prologue1. Stardust2. From the Depths of the Earth3. Distant Lands4. To the Rendezvous5. The Sea6. Ghosts Observed7. Ghosts in Absentia8. Where on Earth?9. Gold!10. The Oil Window11. Making Mountains12. Breaking the Surface13. Futures

Editorial Reviews

"Impressively skilful narrative...Geology has a gifted new popular science writer." --New Scientist 18/09/2010