Publisher description for Oxford companion to the earth / editors Paul L. Hancock and Brian J. Skinner ; associate editor David L. Dineley ; subject editor, Alastair G. Dawson, K. Vala Ragnarsdottir, Iain S. Stewart.

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Here is a wealth of information on planet Earth, ranging from the heights of the ionsphere down to the red-hot molten core. Written by some 200 expert contributors, and illustrated with over 600 pictures, including 16 pages of color plates, The Oxford Companion to the Earth offers 900 alphabetically arranged entries that cover everything from deserts and wetlands to mountains, caves, glaciers, and coral reefs. There are articles on natural phenomena such as tornadoes and tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes, jet streams and weather fronts; on the history of Earth, including the origin of life, Burgess Shale fauna, dinosaurs, and the Ice Ages; on key figures, such as Agassiz, Cuvier, Darwin, and Lamarck; and on such important ecological concerns as acid rain, the ozone layer, industrial waste disposal, and the greenhouse effect. The Companion also examines the great sources of wealth to be found in the Earth, from coal and oil to gold, silver, and diamonds, and many curious land formations, from sinkholes and fiords to yardangs and quicksand. There are brief entries on rock types, from amber to travertine, and extensive essays on cutting-edge aspects of the earth sciences, such as seismology and marine geology. The Companion includes extensive cross-references, suggested further reading, an index, and many useful appendices, with a geological timescale, facts and figures about the Earth, and a table of chemical elements. The Oxford Companion to the Earth is a unique reference work, offering unrivaled coverage of our home planet. Generously illustrated and vividly written, it is a treasure house of information for all lovers of natural history, geology, and ecology, whether professional or amateur.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Earth sciences -- Encyclopedias.