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Planetary Geology: An Introduction Paperback – 1 Jan 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Terra Publishing (1 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903544203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903544204
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 19 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,398,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Claudio Vita-Finzi is in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the British Academy.

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"This book is not only impressive for its depth and scope, but it is what many scientists have been looking for."

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. L. MCCAFFREY on 9 July 2008
Format: Paperback
When considering our own planet, many textbooks tend to consider the various processes which have influenced the present surface composition and disposition, and put each neatly into a chapter of its own. This undergraduate textbook follows the same path but extends the subject matter to the component bodies of the solar system. So a discussion of oceans includes those of Earth (of course), but goes on to consider oceans past and putative on Venus, Mars and Europa, in the hope that a comparison of the phenomena will yield useful insights. In attempting to treat the various processes and aspects which go to form a solar system body - for instance impacts, volcanism, tectonics, oceans, icecaps and atmospheres - Vita-Finzi has produced an enjoyable book ahead of its time. The effect is a bit uneven, but the author cannot be blamed. Despite the sometimes stated truism that `we know more about the surface of Mars than our own abyssal plains', we do know more about, for example, Terrestrial tectonism than that on any other planet or satellite. The same is true (thanks to field work on Earth currently being easier than on other planets, despite H&S restrictions) for all other processes described in this book, apart perhaps from studies of impacts. And even then we have the benefit of samples from our comparatively few craters.

The book is a pleasure to read for its breadth of scope, its compact size, the useful glossary, and the few pages of colour plates. But the large amount of black and white photos in the remainder of the book do a disservice to the exquisite colour images coming out of planetary exploration. The illustrations are generous in number but meagre in splendour.
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