Environmental geology / Экологическая геология

Издание 3
Автор(ы):Reichard J.S.
Издание:McGraw-Hill Book Company, 2018 г., 609 стр., ISBN: 978-0-07-802296-8
Environmental geology / Экологическая геология

Environmental Geology, 3e focuses on the fascinating interaction between humans and the geologic processes that shape Earth’s environment. Because this text emphasizes how human survival is highly dependent on the natural environment, students should find the topics to be quite relevant to their own lives and, therefore, more interesting. One of the key themes of this textbook centers on a serious challenge facing modern society: the need to continue obtaining large quantities of energy, and at the same time, make the transition from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy that do not impact the climate system. Environmental Geology provides extensive coverage of the problems associated with our conventional fossil fuel supplies (Chapter 13), and an equally in-depth discussion of alternative energy sources (Chapter 14). The two chapters on energy are intimately linked to a comprehensive overview of global climate change (Chapter 16), which is arguably civilization’s most critical environmental challenge.

Another major theme in the third edition of Environmental Geology is that humans are an integral part of a complex and interactive system scientists call the Earth system. Throughout the text the author explains how the Earth system responds to human activity, and how that response then affects the very environment in which we live. A key point is that our activity often produces unintended and undesirable consequences. An example from the text is how engineers have built dams and artificial levees to control flooding on the Mississippi River. This has caused unintended changes in the geologic environment. For thousands of years, the rate at which the river deposited sediment in the Mississippi Delta was approximately equal to the rate that the sediment compacted under its own weight. The land surface remained above sea level because the two rates had been similar. However, by using dams and artificial levees to confine the Mississippi River to its channel, humans disrupted the delicate balance between sediment deposition and compaction. Today large sections of the Louisiana coast, including New Orleans, are sinking below sea level, and at the same time sea level is rising due to global warming. This has not only caused severe coastal erosion, but greatly increased the chance that New Orleans will be inundated during a major hurricane <...>

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