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Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau Paperback – October 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Canyon Association (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934656038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934656037
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.8 x 14 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Truly spectacular. Convincingly shows what the ancient Southwest may have looked like. Text is lucidly written. A masterful presentation. Take this book along on your next trip and you'll be able to relive the past." --Albert W. Bally

A wonderful book combining stunning paleogeographic maps with engaging text. Easy-to-understand text eloquently summarizes the major characteristics of the rock formations and the changing depositional environments they represent. --James Kirkland

There is no finer reference than this beautifully illustrated masterpiece. Blakey and Ranney deserve high praise for thoroughly integrating so many diverse and detailed geologic studies into an elegant and easily understood story. --Mark Longman

I'm roughly 1/3 of the way through and am learning so much. The narrative is very understandable and comprehensive and the maps and overlays are fascinating and extremely informative. Thank you so much for sending me a copy. Pam Lane, Ranger Red Rock State Park, Sedona, AZ

I just finished your book, and I showed it to my husband who is not a geologist. His remark was, "This is a monumental work"! I agree with him. It is perfect for the lay person who is interested in visiting the Colorado Plateau parks but it is also monumental for the geology student (and even long-time geologists) who wish to "time-travel". It gives a whole new perspective to geology. The layout is beautifully done. And your writing is superb! Carol Hill, Albuquerque, NM

About the Author

Wayne Ranney loves southwestern landscapes! (His liberal use of exclamation marks is a dead giveaway!) A two-week vacation in 1975 led him to his first southwest residency in the bottom of the Grand Canyon where he worked as a backcountry ranger at Phantom Ranch. Living among the rocks for three years inspired him to formally study geology at Northern Arizona University, where he obtained both his bachelor's and master's degrees. While studying at NAU, he also worked as a river guide on the Colorado, San Juan, and Verde rivers. Wayne began working as a shipboard geology interpreter in 1989 and has traveled the world ever since, completing more than one hundred expeditions that took him many times to the Arctic, the Amazon, Africa, and Antarctica. These far-flung adventures allowed him to see and learn about many different kinds of landscapes but he always returned to the red rock cliffs and canyon country of his adopted home in Flagstaff, Arizona. Wayne currently works as a geology interpreter and trail guide for organizations such as the Smithsonian, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Grand Canyon Field Institute. He is an adjunct faculty member at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, where he teaches courses in southwestern geology. Wayne is an award-winning author who inspires readers to learn more about their home planet. He has written four book--all about geology of the region--and is a contributing writer for Sedona Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is a gold mine of information and exactly what I've been looking for and so much more.
Jeri Smith
The layers made much more sense and Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau definitely presented the geological history better than Grand Canyon NP does.
Brad Allen
In summary, ALCP is a great read of use to the lay public, students of geology and professionals alike.
Dr. Jack B. Share

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By One Happy Retiree on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I know both authors well. The amount of work that went into the images of the ancient geographies here [by Ron Blakey] is measured in man-years. Ron is a gifted geologist AND a gifted artist [primarily landscapes in oils] AND a gifted user of the latest imaging software. The results are one-of-a-kind spectacular. No one else on earth could have put these images together with SO much geologic knowledge [a lifetime as a professional geologist studying the sedimentary rocks of the Colorado Plateau] and could join with a former student {Wayne Ranney] who is a genius at explaining geology to laypersons. One-of-a-kind product for the only canyon on planet Earth we dare call Grand.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jeri Smith on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have been searching for over 2 years for illustrations of when seas were present in the Southwest United States, particularly New Mexico as my family lived in the mountains there and found many sea shell fossils. This book is a gold mine of information and exactly what I've been looking for and so much more. The illustrations are beautiful and the text is very informative. I highly recommend it!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Don R. Lago on June 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Millions of people know the landscapes of the Colorado Plateau very well--or at least they think they do. They've hiked over that land for years and enjoyed its contours and colors and felt its reality in their tired muscles, felt it as hard rock under their sleeping bags. But it turns out that maybe we haven't known that landscape so well after all. You can't fully know it until you can see into its past, into all of the geological action it contains. This book will come as a revelation to many who thought they knew these landscapes. Perhaps we knew abstractly that 100 million years ago there was something else going on in a particular spot. But this book brings those ages to life. Its illustrations are like being given x-ray vision into time. Whether your favorite spot is the Sedona red rocks or Bryce or Moab, you'll now be able to relate it to larger patterns both in space and time. The illustrations are backed up by a text that explains events more fully.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brad Allen on March 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Blakely and Ranney's book brings the whole geology of the Southwest into perspective. I have for years tried to visualize what was going on with continents and super-continents and oceans and inland seas (and on and on) while hiking in the Grand Canyon, Zion, Escallante, Arches, and the rest of the Southwest. Then, this last year I was at the Arches NP visitor's center and here are these remarkable paintings showing the area around Arches as it was in various stages throughout the eons. Turns out they were out of this book which I immediately bought.

What you get are unbelievably beautiful colored geography maps of the Southwest as it was in various times throughout geological history. You can see the continents move around, the seas come in and recede again, and the inland lakes and seas form. The outlines of the states are roughly shown to allow you to see what is where. I was finally able to visualize the whole thing.

From Arches we drove down to the Grand Canyon and I truly saw it in a different light. The layers made much more sense and Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau definitely presented the geological history better than Grand Canyon NP does.

It takes a while to digest this book just because there is so much there. I can not image how long it took the two authors to produce this but it is worth far more than they are charging. In the world of geology and the Southwest, this is truly Art!!! By the book a few weeks before you head to the Southwest. Set yourself aside an evening to read it then a second evening to just page through it and finally understand the whole geological story. Then go to the Southwest and find out you truly can be more in awe than you were the first time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mccomas on August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Having lived most of my life on or near the Colorado Plateau, I have been fascinated for decades with the colorful and clearly defined geologic strata and history of the Plateau. This wonderful book is a masterpiece, not just about the Plateau itself but how it's development influenced other nearby regions such as the Basin and Range. I love the beautifully rendered landscape depictions and the text itself is excellently written and easy to understand, technical enough for the amateur geologist (such as myself) to learn from but not so much as to get lost in the verbiage. I originally checked it out from the library and was so impressed I went out and bought a copy of my own. Clearly, the authors are professional geologists and deserve great credit for a very readable trip through Time. If you have spent any time in the Four Corners region and wondered about how the abundant layers and colors and fantastic erosional features got there, this book is for you!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John J. Hill on May 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is top-of-the-line stuff for someone wanting to dive into the geological past and ponder what things might have been like over the past billion-plus years. It's historical geology at its best: great landscapes, outstanding rock exposures, and all presented in excellent readable and visual formats. Major thanks to the authors for this marvelous work.
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