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Geopedia: A Brief Compendium of Geologic Curiosities

by Marcia Bjornerud

A garden of geologic delights for all Earthlings

Geopedia is a trove of geologic wonders and the evocative terms that humans have devised to describe them. Featuring dozens of entries―from Acasta gneiss to Zircon―this illustrated compendium is brimming with lapidary and lexical insights that will delight rockhounds and word lovers alike.

Geoscientists are magpies for words, and with good reason. The sheer profusion of minerals, landforms, and geologic events produced by our creative planet demands an immense vocabulary to match. Marcia Bjornerud shows how this lexicon reflects not only the diversity of rocks and geologic processes but also the long history of human interactions with them.

With wit and warmth, she invites all readers to celebrate the geologic glossary―a gallimaufry of allusions to mythology, imports from diverse languages, embarrassing anachronisms, and recent neologisms. This captivating book includes cross-references at the end of each entry, inviting you to leave the alphabetic trail and meander through it like a river. Its pocket-friendly size makes it the perfect travel companion no matter where your own geologic forays may lead you.

With whimsical illustrations by Haley Hagerman,
Geopedia is a mix of engaging and entertaining facts about how the earth works, how it has coevolved with life over billions of years, and how our understanding of the planet has deepened over time.

  • Features a real cloth cover with an elaborate foil-stamped design
in Nature + Our Planet
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Published May 2022

Princeton University Press

Hardcover, 200 pages

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"A fascinating, illuminating read. Organized alphabetically, the articles span the gamut of the sub-disciplines. Bjornerud explores both the etymology of the scientific terms and their scientific import. Readers who pick it up will learn a lot."---I. D. Sasowsky, Choice