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Geology Underfoot in Southern California Paperback – April 1, 1993


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Geology Underfoot in Southern California + Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California + California Rocks: A guide to Geologic Sites in the Golden State
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing Company; 1st edition (April 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878422897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878422890
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Written in a lucid style that is easily understood by anyone with even a smattering of interest in geology, this book is illustrated by scores of helpful photographs and maps. It is a dandy companion for any glovebox." --Lee Dye, Westways --Lee Dye, Westways

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you've used the "Roadside Geology of..." series, this is a bit different. It's more of a "sites of interest" type of book. It lists 20 sites in the southern California area, from Mammoth Lakes out to the coast, and south to Needles and San Diego. The sites are wonderfully explained, with aerial photos, illustrations, and maps. This is definitely aimed at the casual tourist, with very little knowledge of geology necessary. As a professional Geologist, it's one of those books I'd give a non-Geologist friend.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Elderbear VINE VOICE on January 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book has triggered day-trips & camping expeditions in our family. I've had the pleasure of leading my children and their friends to moments of discovery and learning & shared wonder and beauty with my father--all based on this book.
It starts with a six page description of SoCal's geological history, then jumps into 20 sites of interest. 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 IN DEATH VALLEY AND OWENS VALLEY, is also an excellent book).
(If you'd like to dialog more about this book or review, click on the "about me" link above & drop me an email. Thanks!)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best designed books of it's kind. Full of maps created by the author to help the reader locate interesting sites described along with easy to understand explanations of the covered material. Makes geology fun for all
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kcbrit on July 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A nice guide if you plan on going out into the field and exploring the world around you. It inspired me to get out of the car and do more walking so I could see geology at work for myself. If you were just looking for a book to explain geological places and processes in California it probably would not suffice. I would compare it to a travel book about the hidden places in a certain area rather than a general guide.
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Format: Paperback
GEOLOGY UNDERFOOT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA by R.P. Sharp and A.F. Glazner is a 224-page guide of some of the geological features in southern California. The book tends to avoid well-known geological areas, and instead, it concentrates on areas that are overlooked, out of the way, or that are not frequented by tourists. The book is printed on off-white paper. There is a ten-page glossary that defines terms such as, alluvial fan, basalt, Jurassic, and desert varnish. But the glossary is deficient in other terms relevant to southern California geology, such as Cambrian, gypsum, borax, and granite.

The book contains 92 black and white photographs. The tone scale of the photos is very narrow, ranging from gray to light gray. The contrast is very low. Because of the mediocre quality of the photographs, I was tempted to give the book only TWO STARS. The book also contains 40 line drawings, most of which are ordinary roadmaps, showing where to find places of interest, e.g., sand dunes, cliffs, earthquake faults, canyons, and volcanoes.

The book contains 20 chapters, for example, "A Vanished Landmass" (Chapter 3), "An Ice Age Sand Lobe" (Ch. 6)," "Wheeler Ridge" (Ch. 10), "Red Rock Canyon" (Ch. 12), and "Young Volcanoes in the Mojave Desert" (Ch. 14).

The following provides some excerpts of the content and writing.

VENTURA COUNTY. In chapter 4, which concerns an anticline located in Ventura County, we learn that an ANTICLINE is folded sedimentary rock where the fold forms an arch. In contrast, a fold that produces layers that arch downwards is called a SYNCLINE. In Ventura County, the anticline collects gas, oil, and water from underground sources, where gas floats above the oil, and oil floats above the water.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin Greenwood on March 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-prepared and engaging work provides an excellent way for the layman to appreciate points of geological interest in the area. The style is approachable and seeks to simplify, without over-simplifying, and to solicit the reader to use his or her imagination. It is well researched and practical, giving no problems finding places, parking and so on. This book is recommended.
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The Geology Underfoot Series is pretty good (especially Northern Arizona and Death Valley) but this volume disappointed. If you live in SoCal it might be worth reading, but if you're traveling in the area and wish to know more about the geology, I'd pass. There are better options.
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