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Physical Geology

(25 reviews)

Steven Earle, Vancouver Island University

Copyright Year: 2015

Publisher: BCcampus

Language: English

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Reviewed by Carrie Wright, Instructor, University of Southern Indiana on 7/17/23

The textbook provides an adequate foundation for basic geological topics like the minerals, the rock types, surface processes and the hydrological cycle, and internal processes related to plate tectonics. read more

Reviewed by Ryan Anderson, Assistant Professor, Idaho State University on 9/19/22

This text book covers the content that the most popular introductory physical geology textbooks cover in similar detail, and probably exceeds the detail in some areas without feeling over lengthy. For context, in my program we have divided our... read more

Reviewed by Laura Neser, Instructor, Virginia Tech on 12/30/21

The textbook layout and content are very similar to other (costly) Earth Science textbooks. It is also quite easy to view/use the index, which can be broken down into sections to quickly find a specific part. read more

Reviewed by Kathryn Tremblay, Adjunct Professor, Bristol Community College on 6/28/21

This book is fairly comprehensive, occasionally a bit advanced for introductory levels. Often, this text goes on to describe geological formations in the BC/ Vancouver area due to the author's location. read more

Reviewed by Matthew Clemens, Adjunct Professor, Massasoit Community College on 6/18/21

This text covers all of the subjects needed for an introductory geology course at a level of detail which is appropriate for both non-majors and students beginning their geology training. I used this as one of two primary texts in my Geology 1... read more

Reviewed by Angel Garcia, Assistant Professor, James Madison University on 11/24/20

The book is organized in a logical (yet, not traditional) way. I find useful that important concepts were in bold and linked to the glossary. In addition, some core ideas of the chapter are organized in a way that for students (in faculty) is an... read more

Reviewed by Chiara Elmi, Assistant Professor, James Madison University on 11/11/20

The textbook is a comprehensive introductory manual. It covers in good detail all the major aspects of physical geology. Where the discussion of certain topics is not extended, the instructor has the flexibility to add further information... read more

Reviewed by Richard Ashmore, Lecturer, University of Colorado Denver on 4/30/20

The second edition of this textbook covers all of the major areas of concentration seen in the most popular of current physical geology texts produced by the major publishing companies. In addition, the material presented in the textbook is... read more

Reviewed by Jennifer Hargrave, Geology Instructor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette on 11/10/19

The book covers the usual topics from physical geology books. It has a glossary with active links in the text. However, it does not have an index. Some of the topical sections of the book are somewhat simplified, but depth could be added as... read more

Reviewed by Adam Wenz, Adjunct Faculty - Geology, TRAILS & Helena College - University of Montana on 11/1/19

Overall, the level of material is appropriate for an introductory physical geology textbook. There are some areas where the book could delve deeper. I think the coverage of mineral resources could be expanded, especially into the background of... read more

Reviewed by Jeffrey Templeton, Professor of Geology, Western Oregon University on 4/12/19

The topics covered in “Physical Geology” by Steven Earle are broad and wide ranging. In looking at the Table of Contents, the book includes 22 chapters that cover all of the topics one would expect in a comprehensive physical geology textbook. ... read more

Reviewed by Deron Carter, Physical Sciences Faculty, Linn-Benton Community College on 3/5/19

This textbook covers almost all content found in a traditional physical geology textbook. I actually believe this text is more comprehensive than most introductory texts as it has stand alone chapters on Earth's interior, Geology of the Oceans,... read more

Reviewed by Haraldur Karlsson, Associate Professor, Texas Tech University on 3/27/18

This book covers most of the fundamental topics that you would expect to find in a regular introductory geology course. The book in its layout is very similar to commercial text that I have used in my classes throughout the years. The index and... read more

Reviewed by Jennifer Sliko, Assistant Teaching Professor, Penn State Harrisburg on 2/1/18

The textbook covers all of the standard Earth science topics in a complete manner. There are even some additional topics such as weather and soil that don't always make it into a standard Earth Science textbook. There are also a lot of... read more

Reviewed by Keith Milam, Associate Professor, Ohio University on 2/1/18

This textbook is very comprehensive, casting a wide net and providing a broad introduction to geology. read more

Reviewed by Luca Fedele, Sr. Research Associate, Virginia Tech - Geosciences on 6/20/17

This textbook covers all the material required for an introductory course in Physical Geology, to a reasonably detailed extent. At times the chapters might seem a little too schematic, lacking some at depth discussion of the topics, and might feel... read more

Reviewed by Raymond Beiersdorfer, Professor of Geology, Youngstown State University on 6/20/17

The text covers the areas traditionally covered in an Introductory Physical Geology textbook in sufficient detail. The chapter topics and chapter order is conventional. read more

Reviewed by Angela Bee, Adjunct Faculty, George Mason University on 6/20/17

It is an expansive introductory physical geology text and has a quite a thorough glossary and appendices which include answers to exercises within the chapters and review questions at the end of each chapter. There are only two areas I feel that... read more

Reviewed by Bruce Sherman, Instructor, Southeastern Louisiana University on 6/20/17

The text goes into enough detail on all the major Geologic subjects that it would be useful for an overview course. The book's Canada flavor is interesting, however as a U.S. educator, I would be supplementing with more U.S. examples. read more

Reviewed by Shannon Othus-Gault, Geology and General Science Instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 2/8/17

The text is extremely comprehensive in terms of its breadth of general geology topics that would be covered in an introductory geologic textbook. I assume, since the book is designed to address the geology of British Columbia, it covers the main... read more

Reviewed by Melinda Hutson, Adjunct Faculy, Portland State University on 2/8/17

The book covers all of the topics typically covered in a short introductory physical geology textbook. Some topics are covered more thoroughly than others. For example, plate tectonics is covered in some depth, and includes a section (10.2 -... read more

Reviewed by Noah Fay, Instructor, Pima Community College on 2/8/17

This text is comprehensive - it thoroughly covers all the topics of a typical introductory geology class, and the index and glossary are useful. read more

Reviewed by Gerald Jay Lennartson, Senior Lecturer, University of North Carolina at Greensboro on 12/5/16

The text is comprehensive and does cover all topic areas typically covered in a physical geology course. Further, the text includes a glossary. read more

Reviewed by Jerry Magloughlin, Associate Professor, Colorado State University on 12/5/16

The book covers everything one would normally look for in an Introductory Physical Geology (IPG) text, including "ocean geology" and Earth/Solar System (chapter 22...which in the index has the odd property of having the same guest author mentioned... read more

Reviewed by Michael Swaim, Instructor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro on 12/5/16

This book is comparable in scope to the priced books I have and am currently using. I was very pleased to find a book I could use for my Earth Science course that touches on the same topics I use in my class that is obviously affordable to my... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 Introduction to Geology
  • Chapter 2 Minerals
  • Chapter 3 Intrusive Igneous Rocks
  • Chapter 4 Volcanism
  • Chapter 5 Weathering and Soil
  • Chapter 6 Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks
  • Chapter 7 Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks
  • Chapter 8 Measuring Geological Time
  • Chapter 9 Earth's Interior
  • Chapter 10 Plate Tectonics
  • Chapter 11 Earthquakes
  • Chapter 12 Geological structures
  • Chapter 13 Streams and Floods
  • Chapter 14 Groundwater
  • Chapter 15 Mass Wasting
  • Chapter 16 Glaciation
  • Chapter 17 Shorelines
  • Chapter 18 Geology of the Oceans
  • Chapter 19 Climate Change
  • Chapter 20 Geological Resources
  • Chapter 21 Geological History of Western Canada
  • Chapter 22 The Origin of Earth and the Solar System

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About the Book

Physical Geology is a comprehensive introductory text on the physical aspects of geology, including rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciation, groundwater, streams, coasts, mass wasting, climate change, planetary geology and much more. It has a strong emphasis on examples from western Canada, especially British Columbia, and also includes a chapter devoted to the geological history of western Canada. The book is a collaboration of faculty from Earth Science departments at Universities and Colleges across British Columbia and elsewhere.

About the Contributors


Steve Earle PhD was born in the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia, and lived in Vancouver, London (UK) and Saskatoon before moving to Nanaimo in 1992. He has no plans to leave Vancouver Island. He has a BSc in geology from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in geochemistry from Imperial College (University of London). He worked in the mineral exploration industry from 1978 to 1995, and he still does some mineral exploration consulting.

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