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Geology Underfoot in Death Valley and Owens Valley Paperback – October 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Yes, Geology Underfoot
  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing Company; 1st edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878423621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878423620
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Robert Sharp and Allen Glazner are to geology what Carl Sagan was to astronomy." --Eclectic Book Reviews

About the Author

Robert P. Sharp first visited Death Valley and Owens Valley as a child around 1920, and he continues to lead geology field trips to the are. Sharp is a professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and received the Penrose Medal of the Geological Society of America. He and Allen Glazner cowrote Geology Underfoot in Southern California. Allen F. Glazner holds a Ph.D. in geology from the University of California at Los Angeles and is currently a professor of geology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native Californian, he has done geological research in the Sierra Nevada and the Mojave Desert since his undergraduate days at Pomona College.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Certainly one of the most interesting and pleasurable books I've read in ages!
James
I visited Death Valley and Owens Valley recently and found the area to be the most beautiful and mysterious landscape I've ever seen.
Thomas R Patchen
Technical enough to be appreciated by geologists (as I am), but very understandable for the lay person.
James Capasso

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Oppel on January 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always had an interest in geology, but have had only a little formal education in the subject. I've also been to Death Valley and Owens Valley a few dozen times. The accuracy and attention to detail in this book along with the vivid descriptions often made me feel like I was back there as I read. On more than one occasion, I could replay what I had seen when I was out there as I read (in some cases picturing things that I had hardly taken notice of when physically there). The many photographs and diagrams also helped immensely. The occasional touchs of humor made reading fun, and it being a series of vignettes, it's easy to cover a chapter in a short time and not worry about setting it down until later. I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in geology and how the area got to be what it is today, and you don't have to be an expert to enjoy the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By brian@brianparkin.com on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you have visited these regions before and wondered how the land came to be shaped as it is, then this book gives you many of the answers. Written for the informed amateur the book's clear text, informative black and white photos, and route information combine to give the reader more insight into the form of the land and how it came to be that way over geological time. My own experience of the desert is that slow erosion takes place continually but is punctuated by minor and major catastrophes; once passable roads become washed out, rivers change course, and gravel beds change by feet of depth in the space of a single storm. The account of wind/ice/mud-moved rocks at Racetrack in Death Valley National Park is the best essay in this collection but all of the chapters have fascinating content. Your appreciation of landscape will change for the better if you take this book with you on your next desert adventure.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elderbear VINE VOICE on January 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most years we vacation in Mammoth. This book describes a number of convenient and interesting side trips to take with the family. We wander around, sometimes visiting the same features, sometimes visiting a new site. Always appreciating more & more of the world around us. My children have a much better feel for geological processes and their impact on the landscape than do their peers.
The book starts with a five page description of Eastern California's geological history, then jumps into 30 sites of interest, nearly evenly distributed between Death Valley & vicinity and the Eastern Sierra & vicinity. A glossary, "Sources of Supplementary Information," and an index round out the book.
Each site receives its own chapter, replete with photographs, maps, geological diagrams, and even driving directions, as needed. I'm not a serious geologist, but landscape features fascinate me. The explanations that the authors give work well for me: I can understand them well enough to explain them to children.
If you're interested in how the land has been shaped, if you're willing to turn off the tube & make contact with the natural world, then this book is for you. One of the best "field guides" to geology I own. One of my favorites, too. (The companion volume, GEOLOGY UNDERFOOT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, is also an excellent book).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James on June 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
The southwest United States is a geomorphologist's dream... There's not a lot of green stuff covering up the beautiful geology! This book details the geologic features of Death and Owens Valley, CA. It gives the geologic history of features while succinctly describing the details of the processes that brought about these features. The Tufa Pinnacles in Searles Valley, the alluvial fans in Death Valley, the interesting history and development of Gower Gulch, the mysterious ascent of desert pavement, the glacial morraines and routes of the Tahoe and Tioga Stade glaciers at Convict Lake, the Mono Craters (Domes), Fossil Falls, the Alabama Hills and more. You'll even get the heebee jeebees when you read about the monstrous explosion of Ubehebe Crater! Certainly one of the most interesting and pleasurable books I've read in ages! Highly recommended for ANYONE who plans a trip to California's awe-inspiring Death Valley and environs! A must have!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas R Patchen on October 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I visited Death Valley and Owens Valley recently and found the area to be the most beautiful and mysterious landscape I've ever seen. I became interested in learning more about the geologic processes which created this incredible region and purchased this book. Sharp & Glazner present a fascinating geologic tale which is geared toward the non-scientific reader with clear explanations and diagrams. There are many great photographs and I really enjoyed the occasional injection of humor. This book has so piqued my interest in the area that I have planned another trip to DV/OV and I will use this wonderful guide to learn even more about this dynamic, glorious part of our country.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jin on December 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read it after I came back from a trip to Owens Valley, so I can't speak on using it for directions, but it is a great book. I began reading to find a few facts to label my trip photos with but found myself reading the entire Owens Valley half, even the places I didn't see. There are some crazy things in Owens Valley! A gravity deficit, piles of rock in neat columns, lava cooling into glass, water issues with Owens Lake... I couldn't stop reading even though I had work to do - bad bad, but so good!

The chapters on each location are longer and geologic feature are more detailed than your average guide book, so you understand the background and science, but there's no technical jargon, so it's very easy to understand. Very clear simple writing by people who obviously have a genuine appreciation for what they're writing about.
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