These three guides by Robert Westwood are in the same simple format. All are local geological guides to specific areas of the UK and all are illustrated by lovely full colour photographs. They all contain simple, introductory geological introductions for the uninitiated, and then more detailed expositions of what makes the regions so special.
This is the fourth book in a series published by Dunedin that I have been lucky enough to review – the others being on palaeontology, geology and volcanology. And this is as good as the others. However, it is not an easy book to read.
Normally, I wouldn’t be interested in semi-precious stones and other pretty things. Personally, I prefer grubbing around in the dirt, perhaps for those far more beautiful, elusive and perfectly formed Cretaceous terebratulids or Silurian trilobites. However, some semi-precious stones have the advantage of also providing a tangible link to the ancient history of life.
Nowadays, people don’t do geology – they do ‘earth sciences’ – and this book is very much in that mould. That’s not to say this is a problem.
Deposits magazine has covered the science and appeal of agate in some detail over the last few years. Indeed, this issue has another in Wayne Sukow’s excellent series on the science of Lake Superior agate formation.
Here at Deposits, we like our amber and this certainly isn’t the first book on the subject I have reviewed. In fact, over the years, we have published many articles on the fossilised sap and its inclusions, and have just finished publishing a short, two-article series by the authors of this excellent little publication.
Over a period of 20 years, Ian Tyler has written a series of books on the metalliferous mining industry of the English Lake District and this has clearly been a significant labour of love for him.
Terry Moxon likes his agates. It is easy to see his enthusiasm and it is just as easy to appreciate it from this short book on the science of these colourful minerals. However, his is not just a casual interest.
For many years, the Geologists’ Association has published some of the best geological guides to the UK (and a few other places). This new one, the 67th in the series, covers the Dalradian of Scotland.
The island of Cyprus is a truly classic area of geology in Europe. Perhaps nowhere else on Earth does so small an area provide such an excellent illustration of the dynamics of Earth processes through abundant exposures of spectacular and diverse geology.
The Caithness area of Scotland is important for its geology, but is also well known for its palaeontology. The area even once had its own ‘gold rush’ and you can still try your luck at panning there today at Kildonan.
For a long time Watchet has been known to be a superb location for those interested in both fossils and geology but surprisingly, the location has had little in the way of media attention. However, within the last couple of years, this area has begun to attract a lot of interest and this book will further increase its growing popularity.
Minerals of Britain and Ireland is a comprehensive account of the minerals found in Britain, Ireland and the surrounding islands. At over 600 pages and illustrated throughout by over 550 images (mostly in colour), the book provides exhaustive coverage of the remarkably wide range of minerals found in this part of the world.
Dorling Kindersley (DK) are well-known for producing popular reference media for beginners and enthusiasts. No doubt, most readers will be familiar with their ‘Eyewitness Guides’. The Eyewitness Handbook of fossils, certainly makes a useful starting point for anyone new to geology or palaeontology.