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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $92.00
  • October 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-91939-4
  • 648 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Essentials of Geology

Fourth Edition


with Ebook and SmartWork registration card

Stephen Marshak (Author, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)


Superior visuals and up-to-date research help students to see the world like a geologist.

The Fourth Edition offers a streamlined, engaging approach to geologic processes, presented through visuals, photographs, and text, as well as discussions of modern science phenomena.


Carefully crafted visuals, both in print and digital formats

In Essentials of Geology, the art tells a story. Stephen Marshak combines visuals, photographs, and captions to take students step by step through a geologic process. Marshak has taken his innovative What a Geologist Sees feature online in SmartWork —with 50+ interactive exercises. A new real-world video collection (available online and on DVD) shows geology in action, and interactive animations let students experience geologic phenomena firsthand. 

A visual media package that keeps students on track

SmartWork offers a comprehensive range of questions and activities, including labeling, drag and drop, hot spot, and What a Geologist Sees questions. Norton Coursepacks include quizzes, videos, animations, and Geotours, powered by Google Earth™, that take students on virtual field trips around the globe.  

Coverage of modern science issues

The Fourth Edition of Essentials of Geology includes cutting edge content on climate change, the Japanese Tsunami, Hydrologic Fracking, and more. New monthly PowerPoint updates make it easier for instructors to cover newsworthy geologic phenomena just a few weeks after they occur.  

Streamlined and accessible

Chapter openers with chapter objectives help students prepare and understand the goals of the chapter. Take-home messages in each section help students understand the big points and summary sections at the end of each chapter make it easy to study and review. “Did You Ever Wonder” questions throughout each chapter keep students engaged. 

Free ebook

The ebook, and access to SmartWork, is automatically included with every new copy of the book.  

    Prelude: And Just What Is Geology?
    1. The Earth in Context
    2. The Way the Earth Works: Plate Tectonics
    3. Patterns in Nature: Minerals
    Interlude A: Rock Groups
    4. Up from the Inferno: Magma and Igenous Rocks
    5. The Wrath of Vulcan: Volcanic Eruptions
    Interlude B: A Surface Veneer: Sediments and Soils
    6. Pages of Earth’s Past: Sedimentary Rocks
    7. Metamorphism: A Process of Change
    Interlude C: The Rock Cycle
    8. A Violent Pulse: Earthquakes
    Interlude D: The Earth’s Interior Revisited: Insights from Geophysics
    9. Crags, Cracks, and Crumples: Crustal Deformation and Mountain Building
    Interlude E: Memories of Past Life: Fossils and Evolution
    10. Deep Time: How Old is Old?
    11. A Biography of Earth
    12. Riches in Rock: Energy and Mineral Resources
    Interlude F: An Introduction to Landscapes and the Hydrologic Cycle
    13: Unsafe Ground: Landslides and Other Mass Movements
    14. Streams and Floods: The Geology of Running Water
    15. Restless Realm: Oceans and Coasts
    16. A Hidden Reserve: Groundwater
    17. Dry Regions: The Geology of Deserts
    18. Amazing Ice: Glaciers and Ice Ages
    19. Global Change in the Earth System