This is a new edition of the classic little guide on Blue John by Trevor Ford, who has now sadly passed away. The guide provides a comprehensive overview of the geology and mineralogy of Blue John fluorite from Derbyshire and also provides a description of its mining in the past and today, and its use in the production of ornaments and jewellery.
Just a couple of days before the Covid-19 lockdown, I was with friends at Tidmoor Point collecting wonderful pyrite ammonites from the Oxford Clay with this excellent guide to the South Dorset Coast.
This is a very ambitious work. The authors discuss the geology of Britain as a “geological legacy”, that is, they believe it is “an inheritance bequeathed to 11 millennia or so of its post-glacial inhabitants”.
I have written many admiring reviews of Dunedin’s books, and this is another one. OK – I like fossils, but it is always nice to have a brief but informative guide to the actual science behind one’s finds.
Andy Gale’s update of his guide to the Isle of Wight (this is the sixth edition) is an important change to an already excellent geological guide. The Geologists’ Association has been updating several of its guides – using a modern format, and providing better colour pictures and diagrams – and this is another great example.
As this book explains, ground conditions for building depend on the history of all these aspects in connection with both the actual building site and the surrounding area. In fact, the book goes into some detail, using colour photographs and block geomodels, to bring the subject to life in what is, I suspect, a somewhat fresh way.
I reviewed some excellent previous guides in this series (Classic Geology in Europe 3: Iceland in Issue 39 and Classic Geology in Europe 12: Almeria in Issue 48), but this one is closer to home and covers an area that I have fond memories of from my Munro-bagging days.
I love the Highlands of Scotland and I am proud to say that I have climbed many of the mountains covered in the glossy hardback. But, as I say in the other book review on this page, it is more than a picture book. It contains some excellent and fascinating science explaining their outstanding beauty.
‘Sedimentary Structures’ is definitely written for professional earth scientists (but also students and non-specialists from other subject areas, where an understanding of the origin and forms of structures in sediments and sedimentary rocks would be invaluable).
This new guide in Dunedin’s ‘Introducing …’ range of books, covering the branch of geology that studies rock layers (strata) and layering (stratification), primarily in sedimentary rocks, but also layered igneous rocks.
So, Palass has published another of its excellent field guides, this time to the fossils from the Lias of the Yorkshire coast. Readers of this magazine will know that I have a soft spot for these guides.
Another issue of Deposits and another excellent addition to the “Introducing Earth and Environmental Sciences” series by Dunedin, many of which I have favourably reviewed in this magazine.
The is a second edition of Prof John Cope’s excellent geological guide to the Dorset coast for the Geologists’ Association (GA). It is slightly shorter than the first edition, with some minor corrections and some of the figures revised, together with new photographs.
Ever since Charles Darwin pointed out the problem, evolutionary biologists have been worried by the incompleteness of the fossil record. Fortunately, discoveries of formations containing exceptionally preserved fossils (conservation Lagerstätten) have provided fascinating and important information on the history life’s diversity.
As the author, John McManus, writes: “The East Neuk of Fife was blessed with a mineral resource that was relatively easy to access”. This resource was coal – the driver of the industrial revolution and, even before then, a crucial element to the area’s industrial development from medieval times (or even Roman times) to the late twentieth century.
There are several good books on the fossils of the Gault Clay and, by extension, Folkestone. However, this little guide has an advantage over the others that I have looked at.
I’ve been waiting for a book like this for a very long time and am delighted that a publication of this quality has now arrived. New books covering British palaeontology are always welcomed by this magazine and we published an article a while ago by the founder of the publisher of this book – David Penney – explaining the need for such guides.
This newly published guide is another near-perfect fossil book from Siri Scientific Press, who are rapidly becoming my favourite publisher of esoteric palaeontology.
This is a guide to the collection, preservation and display of fossils from more than 50 locations in the UK, with a forward by ichthyosaur expert, and sometime Deposits contributor and TV star, Dean Lomax.
Nebraska has an excellent geology record, which is celebrated by some fine mosaics at the Nebraska State Capitol. When the building was being constructed, and at the request of Prof Hartley Burr Alexander of the University of Nebraska Philosophy Department and from drawings by his colleague Dr Erwin H Barbour (former director of the University of Nebraska State Museum), the artist, Hildreth Meière, was asked to create a series of mosaics.
William Boyd Dawkins is an immensely fascinating character, who dominated British geology during his time, and yet is mostly forgotten today. He received a professorship and a knighthood, along with many top awards, and yet Mark Wright, in this excellent biography, describes him as “a liar and probably a cheat”.
I remember reading and enjoying this book when the first edition came out many years ago. I am also a keen hillwalker and have stood on top of many of the Scottish mountains referred to in the text. In fact, I particularly enjoyed climbing Ben More on the island of Mull, which I remember reading was the last volcano in northwest Europe.
I reviewed another of Gareth T George’s books (The Geology of South Wales: A Field Guide, Ed 2) in the last issue of Deposits (Issue 47). However, given that both these books are well worth buying and reading if you are interested (like me) in the geology of the regions of the UK, I make no apologies.
In this book, Samuel McKie has produced a guide to the most common fossils that can be found at different sites along the Yorkshire coast. And, as he says, it is written by an amateur for amateurs. At the moment, it is set out in black and white, but he is hoping to raise enough money for a full-colour print run.
In these times, when the classic discipline of palaeontology is diminishing, there is a demanding need to inspire the next generation of palaeontologists – and perhaps also to make this field of scientific research more approachable.
It is a wonderful state of affairs that we can not only now write detailed books about planetary geology and geomorphology of the bodies in the solar system, but we can also illustrate them with wonderful photographs.
I quite like regional guides books, even about areas I haven’t been to and am unlikely to visit. That isn’t the case for South Wales, which is one of my favourite areas in the UK for both scenery and geology. Therefore, this guide is another good addition to my collection and will no doubt accompany me soon on another holiday in the Principality.
Almeria is a province in southeast Spain, situated in the furthest southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a classic area for southern European and Mediterranean Neogene and Quaternary geology.
‘Introducing Natural Resources’ is the latest in the Dunedin Academic Press series of introductions to scientific subjects, in particular, the earth sciences. You will probably be aware that I have positively reviewed a large number of them for this magazine, and this new guide is no different.
The Geologists’ Association have extended their excellent series of geological guides by producing what some people (including me) would think at first was a slightly self-indulgent couple of volumes on ‘Devonshire Marbles’.