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Roadside Geology of Massachusetts (Roadside…

Roadside Geology of Massachusetts (Roadside Geology Series) (original 2001; edition 2001)

by James W. Skehan (Author)

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Title:Roadside Geology of Massachusetts (Roadside Geology Series)
Authors:James W. Skehan (Author)
Info:Mountain Pr (2001), Edition: 1st, 379 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:non-fiction, science, geology, tour, driving, Massachusetts

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Roadside Geology of Massachusetts by James W. Skehan (2001)



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For the geologist, the chance to get out in the field to explore the rocks around you is as important as eating and sleeping. While it can be fun to explore unknown areas and uncover the layers of history found in the rocks, it can be just as fun to explore places that are well covered in the geology literature. The best resources for exploring the geology near your home or vacation destinations are geology field guides.

James W. Skehan, professor emeritus in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Boston College, writes in an easy to follow manner. Dr. Skehan is able to convey many of the tougher topics in geology, like deep time, plate tectonics, and the formation of continents through accretion, in a manner that is a pleasure to read.

Dr. Skehan begins his coverage of Massachusetts’s geology with a long introductory chapter. This thorough introduction covers a diverse number of topics to familiarize the reader with the different geologic processes that have played a role in forming the state’s geology. Some of the topics covered include a unique way of using your hand to visualize the concept of “deep time”, a discussion of the rock cycle, and an overview of plate tectonics.

Dr. Skehan goes on to discuss three supercontinents (Rodinia, Laurentia, and Pangaea) that each had an impact on the geology of Massachusetts. The discussion conveys many important geologic ideas in easy to understand terms, and includes some wonderful maps to help the reader visualize these supercontinents. The Introduction continues with a coverage of the major mountain building events and the exotic terranes that all helped to “build” the State of Massachusetts. Dr. Skehan ends the Introduction with a detailed and easy to follow overview on glaciation and the types of glacial landforms and features.

The bulk of the book is filled with the geology and road guides for the state. Dr. Skehan has broken the book into three logical sections based on the geology and geography of the state. The first section covers the Easter Seaboard, followed by the Central Lowland and Bronson Hill Upland, and finally the Berkshires. Each section begins with an overview of the geology for the region, followed by the detailed Roadguides.

Each section is wonderfully illustrated with maps, figures, and pictures that all help to enhance the readers understanding of the geology they are exploring. The Roadguide includes brief directions to get the reader to the various locations, and by using the guidebook and a good road atlas (recommended by Dr. Skehan- though GPS in smartphones today are probably more helpful) the reader will be able to find the many geologic locales described in the book. (Just make sure you’ve read each section before heading out, or bring along a navigator, so you don’t have an accident while looking for the rocks.) Some of the roadguides, especially the one for the Boston area, also include a bit of the history of the region, and how the geology played a role in shaping that history.

I recommend this book interested in learning more about the geology and history of Massachusetts. ( )
  GeoffHabiger | Jun 13, 2018 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0878424296, Paperback)

Sparkling beaches, tidal estuaries, and granite headlands ornament the Massachusetts coast, while giant folds of gneiss and schist crisscross the interior, squeezed up between colliding continents like toothpaste from a tube. James Skehan explains the geologic history behind the rocks and landforms visible from the state's highways, including such well-known historic features as Bloody Bluff, Beacon Hill, Plymouth Rock, and Walden Pond. Interspersed through the guidebook are tales of pioneering geologists such as Harvard's Louis Agassiz, the first to propose that continental glaciers--not the remnants of Noah's Flood as early settlers had imagined--polished the state's bedrock and deposited its enormous boulders and sand plains. Numerous maps and photographs reveal ancient volcanoes, marble potholes, colorful minerals, dinosaur footprints, and America's first commercial railroad--built with blocks of Quincy granite. Geologic roadguides include tours of Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Cape Cod National Seashore, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Mount Greylock State Reservation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:52 -0400)

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