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A Dictionary of Earth Sciences (Oxford Paperback Reference) Paperback – 20 Mar 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 3 edition (20 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199211949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199211944
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 3.3 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

When I was about six I lived with my Grandma in Ashbourne, a market town in Derbyshire. That was where and when I made up my mind what I wanted to be when I grew up: a writer or an actor. Preferably both, because then I'd be able to write stories and declaim them. (And get paid twice, but I didn't know about that.) When I was wee, this involved standing on a chair and shouting a lot. I wrote my very first book at that time, in indelible pencil, and Grandma stitched the pages together for me. I stole all of it, naturally.
So I've been very lucky, because in my time I've been both. But for more than forty years now I've spent all my time, and earned my living, by writing, co-authoring, compiling, and editing books, almost all of them about science. It's fun, because basically what I'm doing is finding answers to questions, solving puzzles, figuring out how things work, and then telling stories about it. My boast is that if I can get to understand something I'll be able to explain it so you can understand it, too.
I also edit dictionaries. At present I'm in charge of five, all published by Oxford University Press, on plant sciences, earth sciences and geology, ecology, zoology, and environment and conservation. I collect words and phrases and whenever it's time for a new edition I insert all the new ones and revise and update the old ones. Dictionaries never end. It's all changing now, though, because all my dictionaries are online, at OUP's amazing new website. You must try it out.
The writer's life is not for everyone. I collaborate with people, but I seldom meet them. Quite a number of my books were published in New York, by people I've never met, and illustrated by a friend who lives in France, and I never get to see him, either. I sit in front of my friendly iMac, tip-tapping away or staring blankly at a blank screen.
But I have a great view. My wife and I live in the West Highlands of Scotland, overlooking a narrow stretch of sea toward one of the islands, with the mountains of another island in the distance. It's mind-numbingly beautiful, especially when a full moon shines across the water. Everything comes at a price, of course. Sometimes the midges are so fierce you have to wear a hood just to take rubbish to the dustbin or hang laundry on the line.
I'm still going strong. I have something like one hundred books to my name, but there'll be a few more yet, before I hang up my keyboard. Amazon has a list of all those that are still available and you can find a list of the whole lot at my own website (www.michaelallaby.com). Try one or two. You might enjoy them. Happy days!

Product Description

Review

I marvel at how the editors have compressed so much so clearly (Nature)

can really claim to offer comprehensive coverage of the earth sciences (Times Educational Supplement)

About the Author

Michael Allaby has written over 80 books on the environment, climatology, meteorology, and geography. He is the editor of the Oxford Dictionaries of

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on 13 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
While not an earth sciences person myself, I have had to plow through quite a number of environmental science dictionaries and textbooks over the years as references for various aspects of projects at my job (which has to do with environmental modelling, representation, and simulation). It'd be a shame to let all that "how would an educated layperson cope with this book" experience go to waste...
The authors themselves make clear in their prefaces (that for the first edition is also included) what the intended use of the book is - as a dictionary of words and terms in current use, in order to explain that usage (*not* to express an opinion on what a correct usage should be). (In compiling any sort of dictionary/glossary across multiple disciplines, believe me, it's *very* difficult to agree on The One True Definition (TM) of any term.)
The DICTIONARY isn't intended as a textbook, but might be a useful supplement. There are occasional diagrams, but not many relative to the number of entries.
A DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES doesn't *just* tackle geologic terms - if it did, it'd be titled differently. The scope includes "terms from climatology, meteorology, economic geology, engineering geology, geochemistry, geochronology, geomorphology, geophysics, hydrology, mineralogy, oceanography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, palaeogeography, palaeontology, pedology, petrology...planetary geology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, tectonics, and volcanology."
Having such a broad scope, it's good for general / introductory knowledge, on the whole, but don't expect *too* much of it for more specialized areas.
It passes my personal, idiosyncratic acid test; it not only defines the Udden-Wentworth scale of particle size (which is used to grade sands, silts, gravel, etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lucy on 3 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
As any university student of geology knows, it is almost impossible to get anything defined in a reference-able format (Wikipedia doesn't count!). This book has pretty much every definition one could need, has been an invaluable asset all the way through my course and quite frankly (even though it does not have every definition, especially in the more specialised areas) it is well worth the money. Also it has a pretty cover. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Revans729 on 27 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
This dictionary is fantastic. It is extremely detailed with diagrams and further descriptions of defined words and phrases. Not only is it fantastic for general reference (to words and significant geologists and perhaps the odd physicist) it is also compact. I use mine for A-level geography and it's amazing. It could easily be considered an appropriate level of detail at university level.

No complaints whatsoever. Absolutely love it

A Dictionary of Earth Sciences (Oxford Paperback Reference)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robbo on 8 May 2009
Format: Paperback
It was recommended to me and I wasn't disappointed.
Excellent condition, quick delivery and a really useful book - what more can I say?
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