Cycles of Rock and Water: At the Pacific Edge

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9780060160562: Cycles of Rock and Water: At the Pacific Edge
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Explores the geological, biological, and cultural diversity of the West Coast, describing the rich landscape, the formations, the varieties of life, and the scientists studying the area

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Journalist Brown (Newsweek, Discover, etc.) spent two years trekking the Pacific coast from Baja California to the Aleutian Islands to profile the geology of the region. Here, a cast of US Geological Survey and other government scientists, as well as oil men, academics, local citizens, historians, and anthropologists, enrich the author's already well-informed background to produce a richly detailed, up-to-date account of what happens when Pacific and North American plates meet. Some of what happens is well-known: earthquakes and tremors...vulcanism and mountain-building...fear and trembling along the San Andreas fault. But a lot isn't: The west coast of North America is one of the most complex and dynamic terrains anywhere--the Pacific Plate is moving north at a rate of six inches a year, so that eventually L.A. and San Francisco will nestle in the Arctic, where a new continent is forming. Meanwhile, plate- spreading along the East Pacific Rise (the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates) is creating an ocean between Baja California and mainland Mexico. Brown's journey started in Baja, with stops in L.A., Monterey, San Francisco, and points north, through Oregon, Western Canada, Alaska, and, finally, the Aleutians. While the bulk of his narrative is taken up with theory and explanation--why there's so much oil under L.A.; what caused the 1989 San Francisco quake (and why there's a 50 percent chance of another big one in the next 30 years)--there's also fine detail of flora and fauna, descriptions of shady characters like the early oil men, and a poignant history of the Aleuts. Regrettably, in a text that cries out for photos and illustrations, there are none. Instead, we get good science writing, in a style less didactic and assertive than McPhee and more in the spirit of the ``amateur''--the lover of the subject who wants to tell you all about it. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

"All rocks have stories to tell," writes freelance journalist Brown in this engaging account of the geological forces at work on the West Coast. Drawing on two years spent traveling with geologists and other scientists, the author moves north from Baja California (which is gradually separating from Mexico by movement of the Pacific plate) to the Aleutian Islands, where subduction--recycling of surface rocks into the earth's mantle--was first observed. He reveals the processes that shape dunes and mountains by focusing on specific phenomena: a tree that precisely straddles the San Andreas Fault, the 10,000-foot-deep midocean ridges of the Pacific Northwest, the fast-growing mountains of Cape Mendocino. His sketches of field specialists at work make the complex, ever-changing earth they explore come alive for general readers.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Brown, Kenneth A.
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Book Description HarperCollins, New York, NY, 1993. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition, First Pinting. BRAND NEW Copy w/trace soil spot to fEP. Stated First Edition, First Printing. Journalist Kenneth A. Brown the Pacific coast to profile the geology of the region. The volume, supported by geological theory and explanations, and, a cast of scientists, oil men, academics, local citizens, historians, and anthropologists, makes for a rich account of the area where Pacific waters and North American plates meet. 10 chapters describe Brown's journey. started in Baja, with stops in L.A., Monterey, San Francisco, and points north, through Oregon, Western Canada, Alaska, and, all the way to the Aleutians. While geology is the focal point, the narrative address much more --- why there's so much oil under L.A.; causes leading to the 1989 San Francisco quake and why it is likely to re-occur, and much detail of flora and fauna. First Edition, First Pinting. Seller Inventory # 011035

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