Cover image for Reading the earth : landforms in the making
Reading the earth : landforms in the making
Wyckoff, Jerome.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Mahwah, NJ : Adastra West, inc., 1999.
Physical Description:
352 pages : illustrations (mostly color), maps (some color) ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 337) and index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GB401.5 .W93 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Aimed at earth science teachers, civil engineers, photographers, archaeologists, park rangers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts, this guide to landforms and landscapes provides illustrations and detailed captions of some of the most beautiful places on the planet. It features mountains, volcanoes, rivers, glaciers, plains, plateaus, and more.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 3
1 Introducing Landformsp. 6
2 Our Changing Planetp. 9
Ancestral Earth
Inside Earth
Crustal Plates in Motion
Tectonics and Landforms
Regimes of Climate
From the Depths: New Rock
Gradation: Leveling the Crust
Gravity Movements
Erosion and Deposition
Landscapes as "Personalities"
Landscape Histories
How Long Does It Take?
3 Rocks: The Substance of Landformsp. 28
Rocks as History
The Makeup of Rocks
The Chemical Influence
Originating Underground: The Intrusive Rocks
Originating Aboveground: The Extrusive Rocks
From Debris: Sedimentary Rocks
Changed Rocks: The Metamorphic Family
The Rock Cycle
4 The Works of Weatherp. 50
The Chemical Attack
Frost Prying
Shattering by Frost Action
Frost Heaving and Thrusting
Temperature Changes
Pressure Release and Sheeting
Organic Agents
Weathering vs. Time
5 Scenery of Gravity Movementsp. 64
Gravity Movements: Noticed or Not
Rockfalls, Earthfalls, Debris Falls
Talus Sheets, Aprons, Cones
Subsided Ground
Spreading and Gliding
Rockslides, Debris Slides, Mudslides
Soil Slips and Slumps
Avalanches and Lahars
Earth and Debris Flows
Rock Glaciers
Solifluction Forms
6 Hillslopesp. 82
Shaping Hillslopes
Slow But Sure: Creep
With Every Rain: Rainsplash
Runoff: Sheets and Streams
Processes Underground
Hillslope Profiles
Analyzing Hillslopes
Hillslopes Through Time
7 Sculptures by Running Waterp. 96
Draining the Continents
Rainsplash, Sheetwash, and Streams
Valley to Valley
Drainage Systems
Where Streamflow Stops
Landscape Closeups
Streams That Follow Given Surfaces
Water and Wind Gaps
Valleys within Valleys
Misfit Streams
Flooded by the Sea: Estuaries
Valley Cross Sections
Erosional Features in Valleys
Stream Deposits
8 Features of Igneous Activityp. 132
Magma and Lava
Realms of Volcanism
Principal Craters, Calderas, and Pit Craters
Sculptures in Lava
Pyroclastics: Blown Out of Cones
Hot Springs, Mudpots, Geysers
Fumaroles and Solfataras
Plutonic Landforms
Batholiths, Stocks, Lopoliths
Sills, Laccoliths, Dikes
Volcanic Necks
9 Rock Structures in Landformsp. 166
Structures Original and Acquired
Perspectives on Deformation
Horizontal Structures
Warps, Cuestas, Domes, and Basins
Monoclines, Anticlines, and Synclines
Overturned Folds and Isoclines
Folds That Plunge
Landscapes on Folds
Joints and Faults
Fault Scarps
Tilted Blocks
Fault Troughs
Rifts and Overthrusts
Klippen and Horsts
Topography on Faults
Observing Topography
10 Mountains: Landforms Supremep. 190
Many Origins - A Diversified Lot
Birth and Nature of Mountains
Folded vs. Complex Mountains
The Folded Appalachians
The Rockies
Mountains Abroad
Fault-block Mountains
Volcanic Ranges
11 Plateaus: High Tablelandsp. 208
A Form with Many Variations
Sedimentary Plateaus
The Colorado Plateau
The Appalachian Plateau
Lava Plateaus
The Columbia Plateau
Lava Plateaus in Lands Abroad
12 Plains: Wide and Mostly Flatp. 222
A Varied Gallery
Alluvial Plains
Coastal Plains
Stratum Plains
Sand-dune Plains and Sand Plains
Plains on Loess
Glacial Plains
Sites of Vanished Lakes: Lake Plains
Lava Plains
13 Works of Glaciersp. 234
An "Unlikely" Genre
Glaciers as Sculptors
Living with Glaciers
Why Glaciers?
Biography of a Glacier
Trunk and Hanging Glaciers
"Foot-of-the-mountain" Glaciers
Ice Caps, Ice Fields, Ice Sheets
Only Yesterday
Cirques, Aretes, Horns
Rock Basins and Stairs
Rock Knobs and Drumlins
Sculptures by Ice Caps and Ice Sheets
Striations and Grooves, Chattermarks and Fractures
Nivation Hollows
Lateral and Terminal Moraines
Drumlins and Fluting
Ground Moraine and Transported Drift
Lakes and Ponds in Drift
Looking Ahead
14 Realms of Dryness and Windp. 266
Why Deserts?
The Look of Deserts
Works of Weather and Gravity
Sculpturing by Rain Spatter and Streams
Blowing Sand
Desert Highlands
Sculptures on Valley Floors
Cones and Fans
Basin Fillings
Desert Varnish
Sand Ripples
Sand Dunes
Deserts and the Future
15 Scenery of Soluble Rocksp. 286
Bizarre and Beautiful
Into Solution and Out
Karst Highlands and Valleys
Sinkholes, Solution Pans, Collapse Sinks
Karst Windows, Limestone Residuals
Caverns of the World
Dripstone and Flowstone
Other Cave Features
Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns
Landscapes Through Time
16 Along Coasts and Shoresp. 306
A Realm of Change
Shore Configurations
Tides and Tsunamis
Waves and Currents
Erosion of Rock Cliffs
Wave-cut Platforms
Minor Features of Cliff Erosion
Beach Features
Spits, Tombolos, Cuspate Forelands
Organic Features
Evolution of Coasts and Shores
Acknowledgments and Creditsp. 336
Further Informationp. 337
Indexp. 338