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The Broken Land
Adventures in Great Basin Geology
"The desert may seem timeless from within the Yellow Circle tonight, but the permanence of the surrounding landscape is only an illusion. Even the land is alive here, constantly changing and evolving as do all living things. Nothing here is 'finished.' Everything around us—the plants, the animals, the rocks, and the terrain itself—is in the process of becoming something else. And, of course, so are we. None of us around the campfire tonight are the same people we were yesterday, or will be tomorrow."—from the book
The Broken Land surveys the geological phenomena of the magnificent Great Basin landscape of western Utah, Nevada, eastern California, and adjacent regions. Each chapter focuses on a locality or area that provides insight into the deep history of one of North America's most remote regions—one of its continental margins. It is the only book available covering the geology of the entire Great Basin. Written for anyone with a casual to serious interest in natural history, The Broken Land conveys Frank DeCourten's awe at the story written in the rock of the basin.
Frank DeCourten is professor in the department of geology and earth sciences at Sierra College in Rocklin, California, and is the author of Dinosaurs of Utah (University of Utah Press, 1998).
Table of Contents:
Prologue: The Yellow Circle
1. The Fallen Land
2. The Breaking of a Continent
3. Water Bugs in Stone Houses
4. The Sun Always Shines on the Ordovician
5. Mississippian Mayhem
6. The Sonoma Event and Other Mesozoic Convulsions
7. The Fires Below
8. The Army of Caterpillars and the Conflagration
9. Fire and Ice: The Modern Great Basin Emerges
10. Closing Circle, Unfinished Story
Praise and Reviews:
"Frank DeCourten is a skilled teacher and a master literary craftsman. His rich imagery does much to further his purposes...and [his] book might just be the standard by which other continental margins are compared. While it focuses on a specific region in North America, it has global significance."
—William T. Parry, University of Utah
"Anyone who has an interest in the geologic past and in the Great Basin in particular will enjoy reading The Broken Land."
"The subtitle of this book by DeCourten nicely conveys the feeling one gets from reading it—a sense of adventure. Highly recommended."