The Earth After Us

The Earth After Us

What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks?

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
Describes how geologists reconstruct past worlds from the geological processes of the Earth, describing the author's vision of what Earth will be like one hundred million years in the future.

Blackwell North Amer
Jan Zalasiewicz shows how scientists put together clues from the rocks to understand the past, its landscapes and climate, and the nature of the creatures that inhabited it. A thin layer of silt here, a trace formed by a crawling worm there - the clues are often subtle and difficult to read. But by such clues would future geologists - whether hyper-evolved rat or alien visitor - work out our story. Zalasiewicz explores which of our structures are likely to leave traces, and what future explorers might make of us and the impact we made on our environment.

Oxford University Press
Geologist Jan Zalasiewicz takes the reader on a fascinating trip one hundred million years into the future--long after the human race becomes extinct--to explore what will remain of our brief but dramatic sojourn on Earth. He describes how geologists in the far future might piece together the history of the planet, and slowly decipher the history of humanity from the traces we will leave impressed in the rock strata. What story will the rocks tell of us? What kind of fossils will humans leave behind? What will happen to cities, cars, and plastic cups? The trail leads finally to the bones of the inhabitants of petrified cities that have slept deep underground for many millions of years. As thought-provoking as it is engaging, this book simultaneously explains the geological mechanisms that shape our planet, from fossilization to plate tectonics, illuminates the various ingenious ways in which geologists and paleontologist work, and offers a final perspective on humanity and its actions that may prove to be more objective than any other.

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2008
ISBN: 9780199214976
0199214972
Characteristics: xv, 251 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Freedman, Kim

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May 02, 2015

A really terrific book, but with two flaws: the typeface is sans-serif, the result of which the eye wanders a bit more around the page rather than following along the text, and secondly, the explanations although fairly clear, on several key points become technical and require to be reread a few times to understand them, so the book could have used some diagrams.
The geological principles, especially geomorphology, are explained and current ignorance and even controversies are admitted, and the point of view - of aliens coming to Earth 100 million years from now - is an neat angle with which to explore the topics.

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