The Mountains of Saint Francis

The Mountains of Saint Francis➶ [Reading] ➸ The Mountains of Saint Francis By Walter Álvarez ➫ – Modern geologists Walter Alvarez among them showed in the last decades of the twentieth century that the history of our planet has witnessed events profoundly dramatic than even the most spectacular c Modern geologists Walter Alvarez among of Saint Epub Û them showed in the last decades of the twentieth century that the history of our planet has witnessed events profoundly dramatic than even the most spectacular chapters in human history More violent than wars life altering than revolutions—understanding the geologic events that have shaped the Earth's surface is the uest and the passion of geologists The Mountains PDF/EPUB ² In the knowledgeable and graceful prose of Alvarez general readers are led to explore the many mysteries that our planet guardsThe author has chosen Italy as a microcosm in which to explore this amazing past for several reasons First it is the land where the earliest geologists learned how to read the history of the Earth written in nature’s rock archives Mountains of Saint MOBI ò Second it is where Alvarez and his Italian geological friends have continued to decipher the rock record uncovering historical episodes from the Earth’s past And third the lovely land of Italy is unusually rich in geological treasures and offers examples of the key processes that have created the landscapes of the entire worldThe Mountains of Saint Francis begins in Rome We discover that the landscape of Rome was built by violent volcanic eruptions in the very recent past almost certainly witnessed by our human ancestors Next we travel to Siena and come face to face with a fundamental discovery of the geologists—that much of the dry land that we currently inhabit was once underwater beneath ancient seas or oceans Then we stop in the small medieval city of Gubbio and contemplate the amazing secret that the limestone rocks kept hidden for million years—that a huge asteroid smashed into the Earth disrupting the environment so severely that the dinosaurs and perhaps half of the other forms of life inhabiting the Earth at the time disappeared forever opening the way for the rise of the mammals and eventually of humansThe impact theory that came from those Italian limestones at Gubbio was one of the great geological discoveries of the twentieth century Just as important to the field of geology was the theory of plate tectonics—the understanding that the outer layer of the Earth is divided into crustal plates that move around sometimes carrying continents into collisions with one another like the great collision between Italy and Europe that built the Alps And yet to explain The Mountains of Saint Francis reuires something than a collision between continents These are mountains that are still jealously guarding the secret of their past and in this book we go along with the geological detectives as they try to uncover that secret It is a journey that has seen the land of Italy lifted out of the sea suashed and folded torn apart left high and dry when the Mediterranean Sea evaporated away and then flooded when the Atlantic waters poured back inThe story of the Earth's history is fascinating in its own right but with Alvarez as the tour guide the journey takes on a human dimension full of stories about the landscape and history of Italy and about the great geologists who uncovered the deep past of this land It is a journey recounted in warm tones and subtle colors reflecting the transcendent beauty of Italy itself. Not uite the page turner that T Rex is but a good read It reads exactly the way Walter talks Like the excruciatingly slow geologic changes that this book explains I worked my way through this book seemingly a millimeter at a time slowly laboriously But like the changing crust of the earth it revealed a number of surprises rewarding me in the end with a new outlook on the world in general and a beloved spot on earth the Apennine mountains of ItalyThe author is a renowned scholar and teacher and the books reads as a geological text book for laymen It is filled with maps graphs photographs and figures And still it took me months to finish We are invited to understand how geologists explain the past of our planet Geologic techniues that have come into commonplace knowledge are described from dating sediments based on microfossils noting magnetic reversals dating sediments based on volcanic ash using iridium levels to note extraterrestrial catastrophes etcIn the end the Apennines not only exemplify ALL these issues but revealed a special new theory that the earth's crust can even delaminate sink become pressurized and then become heavier than the actual mantle of the earth and sink into it This theory pops up late in the book after the author notes that Corsica and Sardinia look like a door on a hinge that broke off from the mainland of Europe look at a map and you will never see it any differently Indeed I will never look at a limestone church or a granite wall or any mountain range without recalling some of the lessons learned in this book A relaxed conversational tale of the geology that formed Italy told by a geologist who helped uncover parts of the story Alvarez tells the stories with an autobiograpical bent focused both on how he first experienced Italian geology and how its stories were teased out by geologists over centuries understanding one piece of the puzzle at a time Alvarez makes the stories personal and relatable which grounds the immense forces and unimaginable time in very human experience I do have some frustration with the book as an avid reader of geological works it gets tiring to have to read yet another explanation of basic concepts like deep time or thrust faults or paleomagnetism I understand why Alvarez can’t assume geologic knowledge on the part of his readers but I personally would much prefer stories of the investigations findings and epiphanies to one explanation of the three main classes of rocks But I might well be in the minority and the very readable language of the book makes it a minor complaint in any case Recommended for anyone who is curious about the geology of Italy or who is curious about how complex geological puzzles are solved by the patient accumulation of research I thought this was a nice book I’m a geologist and i thoroughly enjoy books that express the joy geologists get from understanding the earth That said I thought it was simplified a bit much As an example I’m often asked how we know such and such a rock is a certain age Alvarez does a nice job of explaining how fossils are used to obtain relative ages but not how absolute ages were determined Ages were known far before the advent of age dating That said if you are interested in geology it Italy for that material it’s worth reading Walter and his father Nobel laureate Luis are national treasures Hence it is difficult not to be effusive about this book The charm and fluidity of DrAlvarez's writing is a real gift He's a great storyteller who manages to present some fairly complicated ideas and observations in a way that entices even the most geologically uninclined will find inviting Thanks Dr Alvarez for a story well told very interesting Fascinating great to have this on my bedside table as I unwind at night He is an excellent informative writer Deep Time Geologists of the Past and unravelling the mysteries of how Italy was formed I appreciate the way he clearly discusses the research then the findings and the new research Walter Alverez is the geologist who with his father a Nobel prize winning physicist came up with the idea that the dinosaurs died off due to a large meteorite strike Here he mainly discusses another topic from his field work in Italy the origins of the Apennine mountains that run down the spine of the Italian boot Alverez says reuires ideas in addition to the standard plate tectonics He also reviews some of his findings regarding the dinosaurs in particular his his findingiof the rare element Iridium in the boundary between the Cretaeous and Teritary geological periods near the city of Gubbio I've always been interested in books about Italy I've read and seen works about Italy but have not visit the country I suppose I'm researching for the right time to be there and understand the place through others eyes The writing is sometimes poeticNotes A rock composed of fragments of ash cemented together is called tuff Rome is sitting on Ash flow tuff So Rome is a volcanic region but there are no major evidence of an exploded volcano like St Helen in Oregon So there was a bit of research to reveal its volcanic origin A good book if you're interested in geology It concentrates on Alvarez' work in Italy since the early 70's which was an important factor in understanding plate tectonics and the Great Extinction of species 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous age The extinction is generally believed to be a result of a large meteor or comet impact in the Yucatan peninsula It probably gets deeper into geology than would interest the general reader

The Mountains of Saint Francis PDF ç of Saint  Epub
  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • The Mountains of Saint Francis
  • Walter Álvarez
  • English
  • 12 February 2014
  • 9780393061857