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on 6 June 2017
I love this book. Bought for students but I've enjoyed leafing through it as well. Great whenever you're heading for a walk and want to understand the area. Perfect for any budding geographer.
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on 29 March 2016
An incredibly well written book, with a great range of informative diagrams and images.
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on 28 August 2017
Great book and in great condition
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on 3 August 2017
Contains a thorough detailed and understandable explanation of the geology of Britain. A very good read.
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on 14 April 2012
Having 'done' Geography at 0 level some 50 years ago and been fascinated with physical geography ever since, (the exam questions featured Ballard down in Purbeck over which I had walked two weeks previously) this book helped to gell in my mind many of the half understood, or maybe half forgotten, principles and processes associated with the subject. Getting to grips with the time scales involved and the concept of plate tectonics is covered well, if briefly, in the introduction. This is assisted by the clear, precise and colourful diagrams which are a feature of the entire book. The mainly colour photos are also used to good effect when illustrating landform features mentioned in the text. Apart from one rather surprising exception (Mt Temple in the Canadian Rockies illustrating horizontal strata) all are what might be called 'text book' UK examples; Arthur's Seat, Brecon Beacons, Lulworth Cove, Malham limestone pavement etc.
The book explains the current structure of the UK by describing how its two parts, Scotland and N Ireland to the North and West of Cumbria and all the rest to the South and East, have journeyed across the globe since the end of the pre Cambrian. Each successive period, Cambrian, Ordovician etc, has its own map to show the progress made along with very clear appropriate cross sections. Local processes are well described, folding, deposition, metamorphosis under heat and pressure, as well as volcanic activity and effects at various types of plate boundary.
The science of dating is well covered with reference to fossils providing relative, and radiometric techniques giving absolute time scales. To end with there is perhaps a tongue in cheek account of what might happen as the Atlantic closes and Iceland is welded to Skye!
The overall quality of production of the book is excellent with all the diagrams and photographs clear and crisp. The cover reproduces the classic OS geological map of Britain, surely as much a work of art as anything else.
Thoroughly recommended to anyone with a basic understanding of how the world works and an interest in learning more.
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on 24 March 2010
I first borrowed this book from the library. I have now gone on to buy my own copy. As a beginner I found this book a revelation. The way it puts the geology of Britain in the context of plate tectonics is masterly. It certainly corrected my naive views on why Britain once had a tropical environment. The book can be read at different levels. Mt first reading was quick and gave a good overview of geological time. Re-reading (several times) I discover more and more within the text. The book is very well illustrated with clear diagrams that help to visualise the complex processes that have formed Britain. It certainly makes one realise what a geologically exciting island this is to live on. This is high quality science writing for the layman.
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VINE VOICEon 9 September 2004
The book is excellently presented, with plenty of diagrams and photographs to clarify points made in the text. It is well written but, considering it is produced with the lay person in mind it is easy to become lost in the blizzard of facts, figures and events which are presented on many pages.
The one-page diagram of the Geological time scale is great. The book would be so much easier to digest if other such information was displayed on one page (even as an appendix) for the movement of continents around the planet. Similarly for a table of the various events and the dates they occurred in Britain. Trying to keep track of it all from the text is bemusing.
The glossary, too, could be significantly expanded; as it is it's woefully inadequate and seems arbitrary. For example, dolerite is included, but not dolomite. It is far from clear why. Bearing in mind this book is primarily for lay persons it's almost impossible to remember where you last saw the term, say, ophiolite, when you see it again in the text, so you can check its meaning. A more complete glossary would eradicate this problem.
This is a great book. With additions to make it easier to cross-reference terms and events it could be a 'classic' for lay people with an interest in geology
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VINE VOICEon 7 January 2003
I bought this book because I was wanted a light introduction to the geology of the UK – nothing too technical, preferably with illustrations to make the points, and hopefully with a sense of narrative to bring 2,000 million years of geological history to life.
This book delivered. I'm not a geologist, so I can't say whether Peter Toghill incorporated the latest evidence or did justice to the complexities of geological debate that I'm sure exist, but he certainly provided the level of answers that I was looking for.
This is a work that inspired me to read more. What better praise for a self-professed introductiory work!
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on 4 November 2015
Interesting informative easy read for anyone interested in Geology with little of no knowledge. Useful easy to follow diagrams.
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on 6 March 2000
This book provides a fairly in-depth historical account of the processes and events which shaped the various lumps of rock we call Britain over geological time.
Each chapter deals with a particular period, and describes what was going on in each region. This means the emphasis is on describing the characteristics of each period rather than on the particular history of one region.
As a geology student (OU s260 this year, hello everyone), I've found this book really useful for getting a handle on the different periods - it does a good job of emphasising and contrasting each period's particular features. I feel I have some understanding of what differentiates the Devonian from the Silurian. I even know how long ago they were!
So why not five stars?
Firstly, the book makes little attempt to explain some of the terms it uses as it goes along. For a beginner, that can make it a bit of a slog at first. Having said that, you soon become used to the language and the second time you read it will be a lot more fun than the first.
Secondly, I'd have liked an additional chapter which gave a summary of the complete geological history of each of the regions. It would be nice to have been able to read in three or four paragraphs an overview of how Scotland happened. I think this would have been quite easy to do, and would have provided some useful broad context for the rest of the book.
Having said all this, the book is very useful, very informative, and packed full of exactly the sort of stuff you're interested in if you're reading a review of a book about Geology anyway!
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