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David S. Stevenson

Granite Skyscrapers

How Rock Shaped Earth and Other Worlds
1st ed. 2018. 2018. xii, 374 S. 11 SW-Abb., 70 Farbabb. 240 mm
ISBN: 3-319-91502-9 (3319915029)
Neue ISBN: 978-3-319-91502-9 (9783319915029)

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In this book, David Stevenson offers us a look at the evolution of planets as they move from balls of mixed molten rock to vibrant worlds capable of hosting life. Embedded in our everyday architecture and in the literal ground beneath our feet, granite and its kin lie at the heart of many features of the Earth that we take for granted. From volcanism and mountain building to shifting water levels and local weather patterns, these rocks are closely intertwined with the complex processes that continue to shape and reshape our world.

This book serves as a wonderful primer for anybody interested in our planetīs geological past and that of other planets in our Solar System and beyond. It illustrates not only how our planetīs surface evolved, but also how granite played a pivotal role in the creation of complex, intelligent life on Earth. There has long been a missing element in popular astronomy, which Stevenson now aims to fill: how geological and biological evolution work in a complex partnership, and what our planetīs own diversity can teach us about other rocky worlds.
Preface.- Chapter 1 - Our Planetīs Torrid Heart.- Chapter 2: The Formation of Granite.- Chapter 3: The Evolution of Modern Continents.- Chapter 4: Plate Tectonics, Planetary Magnetism and Life.- Chapter 5: Jotunheim: In The Realm of Giants.- Chapter 6: Mountains, Atmosphere and Long-Term Habitability.- Chapter 7: Our Island Earth: Granite Here, Granite Everywhere?.- Conclusions.- References.- Glossary.- Index.
"Stevensonīs review of the expansion and destruction of major continental masses through time is impressive, as is his projection of potential future plate tectonic events and related igneous activity based on the work of many qualified research scientists. ... This outstanding book is recommended for a wide range of upper-level Earth science students and practicing professionals. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty and professionals." (M. E. McCallum, Choice, Vol. 56 (11), July, 2019)

"This book is great reading for anybody seeking a broad introduction to recent research on our planetīs geological past and that of other bodies in the Solar System. ... The style of referencing is admirable: ... . This is essential when reporting interdisciplinary research to people unfamiliar with the field." (Simon Mitton, The Observatory, Vol. 139 (1270), June, 2019)