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on 13 November 2004
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.), but gives both its common names. (Far too many textbooks seem to assume that the scale fell out of the sky and don't even give its name.) So it's reasonably good at defining very common terms and tools that are often assumed to need no explanation.
Differences from the first edition: all terms were reviewed, many updated. There were a few removals of terms no longer considered relevant, and a great many additions (this last generated mostly by planetary exploration both in space and for natural resources).
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on 3 December 2011
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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on 27 October 2011
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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on 8 May 2009
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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on 29 December 2008
I got this as a freebie, along with the Oxford Dictionary of Biology. As a marine biologist with a foot in both camps I find I need both. There are clear definitions and useful links to the web. There are however things that fall between the cracks due to subject related idiosyncrasies e.g. Amphipoda, a significant group of crustaceans are not directly defined in either dictionary.
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on 30 October 2011
My son was recommended to get this book for his Geology GCSE. He is now doing Geology A Level and it has been useful for both.
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on 22 September 2014
bought for my son doe,st use it much shame
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