Top 2015 Academic Geology Books

These are my top 5 academic geology books for 2015. Note that as a palaeontologist, my interests are heavily biased towards sedimentology and geochronology. Personal reviews available on request!

See the rest of this year’s book recommendations here!

This textbook provides an overview of the origin and preservation of carbonate sedimentary rocks. The focus is on limestones and dolostones and the sediments from which they are derived. The approach is general and universal and draws heavily on fundamental discoveries, arresting interpretations, and keystone syntheses that have been developed over the last five decades. The book is designed as a teaching tool for upper level undergraduate classes, a fundamental reference for graduate and research students, and a scholarly source of information for practicing professionals whose expertise lies outside this specialty. The approach is rigorous, with every chapter being designed as a separate lecture on a specific topic that is encased within a larger scheme. The text is profusely illustrated with all colour diagrams and images of rocks, subsurface cores, thin sections, modern sediments, and underwater seascapes.


Deep-water (below wave base) processes, although generally hidden from view, shape the sedimentary record of more than 65% of the Earth’s surface, including large parts of ancient mountain belts. This book aims to inform advanced-level undergraduate and postgraduate students, and professional Earth scientists with interests in physical oceanography and hydrocarbon exploration and production, about many of the important physical aspects of deep-water (mainly deep-marine) systems. The authors consider transport and deposition in the deep sea, trace-fossil assemblages, and facies stacking patterns as an archive of the underlying controls on deposit architecture (e.g., seismicity, climate change, autocyclicity). Topics include modern and ancient deep-water sedimentary environments, tectonic settings, and how basinal and extra-basinal processes generate the typical characteristics of basin slopes, submarine canyons, contourite mounds and drifts, submarine fans, basin floors and abyssal plains.


This volume provides an overview of (1) the physical and chemical foundations of dating methods and (2) the applications of dating methods in the geological sciences, biology, and archaeology, in almost 200 articles from over 200 international authors. It will serve as the most comprehensive treatise on widely accepted dating methods in the earth sciences and related fields. No other volume has a similar scope, in terms of methods and applications and particularly time range. Dating methods are used to determine the timing and rate of various processes, such as sedimentation (terrestrial and marine), tectonics, volcanism, geomorphological change, cooling rates, crystallization, fluid flow, glaciation, climate change and evolution. The volume includes applications in terrestrial and extraterrestrial settings, the burgeoning field of molecular-clock dating and topics in the intersection of earth sciences with forensics. The content covers a broad range of techniques and applications. All major accepted dating techniques are included, as well as all major datable materials.


The Fifth Edition of this bestselling textbook features stunning art, the most up-to-date science, and a wealth of online learning tools, all developed under the critical eyes of Stephen Marshak. Heavily revised with remarkably detailed photographs, animations, and maps, the text offers rich and engaging pedagogy, an expanded chapter on energy, and coverage of recent global events, from Hurricane Sandy and the Washington Landslide to Typhoon Haiyan and the Japanese Tsunami.


This textbook on plate tectonics is designed for students in geology and geophysics to acquire in-depth knowledge of quantitative methods in plate kinematics and dynamics. Quantitative Plate Tectonics can also be used as a reference book by geoscientists who desire to expand their knowledge beyond their own specialization, or by oil-and-gas professionals and ore deposit specialists that need to investigate the geodynamic context of formation of geologic resources.


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