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The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks? Illustrated Edition
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"What fragments of our cities, dams and factories may be detectable in, say, 100 million years' time? It is a simple but intriguing thought experiment that is explored in this neat little geological entertainment."--The Observer
"It is sobering to consider what sort of legacy we're bequeathing our planet and in this regard The Earth After Us is a thoroughly inspirational book. At all levels, it provides a fantastic introduction to the world about us taken from a highly original angle."--Nature
"The central premise of The Earth After Us is in discussing what traces might remain 100 million years in the future of our species and the civilisation we have built if we were to fall extinct. In answering this question, Jan Zalasiewicz provides an engaging and broad sweep of the science of geology, different signals preserved in the rocks, and the important inferences that can be drawn from them."--The Astrobiology Society of Britain
"[A] powerful introduction to the idea of the Anthropocene." --Asian Review of World Histories
About the Author
Jan Zalasiewicz is a Lecturer in Geology at the University of Leicester, before that working at the British Geological Survey. A field geologist, palaeontologist and stratigrapher, he teaches various aspects of geology and Earth history to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is a researcher into fossil ecosystems and environments across over half a billion years of geological time. He has published over a hundred papers in scientific journals.
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0199214983
- ISBN-10 : 9780199214983
- Dimensions : 0.6 x 5 x 7.7 inches
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; Illustrated edition (November 2, 2009)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0199214980
- Best Sellers Rank: #750,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It is one of the clearest introductions to the principles of sedimentary geology this outsider to the field has encountered. The reader will have clear mental animations of turbid mudflows offshore river deltas, sea levels rising and falling relative to nearby land masses (and why), sedimentary beds thrust up via the tectonic "up-escalator", only to be sheared off at the erosional plane near sea-level. We see only the edges of an invisible (and ghostly past) world, and many of the mechanisms are explained herein.
While the title suggests that the book is a successor of sorts to Weisman's "The World Without Us" (that book being a something of meditation on the fragility of human engineering), it is really something else entirely. Highly recommend for budding geologists to provide a paradigmatic framework for the other elements of the discipline.
Top reviews from other countries
The presently short span of life on earth of our species and the record of the changes we are responsible for are put into the geological context.
I bought this book as a geology student but found it very much more thought provoking than any text book.
Never before have I felt moved to give 5 stars to a book on Amazon but this is the one I would recommend.
I am no geology expert and I would have found this book amazing a few years ago when I had no knowledge.
I can see this book being a 5 start for a wide range of people but I would only put 4 as I found it a bit superficial but also because I was expecting a bit more on the subject that the title intended to develop. Maybe after all, the small size of the book left me hungry. I found the same amount of detail and information in larger books that were not only dealing with "after us" scenarii.
I personally think the author should have focused really on the title and try to shorten the background parts given at the start on sedimentation, tectonics, or basic palaeontology. It is understandable that he is setting up the scene but I found these initial chapters far too lengthy. Nevertheless, everything is well and clearly explained.
The idea of the alien race discovering earth is not new, other writers have used it and it is definitely a good way to present such a subject.
Overall a book of a high quality in his writing style, pedagogy and pace but readers with a bit of knowledge on geology, climatology or palaeontology should maybe look for a more detailed account.
I will probably buy other book from this author as I really liked his style but will look for more in depths studies.