Rocks, Fossils and Formations
Thomas R. H. Woolrych
Anna Madeleine Raupach
CSIRO Publishing, 2023
120pp., pbk., RRP $A29.99
Travel the road between Cooma and Jindabyne in the NSW Snowy Mountains and you will see the most amazing rock formations that are as old as the planet itself. Go to New Zealand’s South Island and visit the boulders scattered along Moeraki Beach. Go anywhere in the world and you will discover the most amazing rocks and formations that spark questions such as how old they might be, how did they get there, why are they that colour, shape, texture and could they contain some unknown mineral or fossil treasure?
This new publication from CSIRO Publishing is an introduction to geoscience, which uses clues in rocks and the landscape to tell the story of the Earth. It’s a story so old and so fascinating that it’s almost hard to believe – except that the evidence can be seen all around us! It takes readers on a 4.6-billion-year-long time travel adventure to explore rocks, minerals and fossils, meet ancient plants and animals, and discover how the continent of Australia was created!
Beginning with an explanation of what geoscience is, it then navigates a 4.6 billion year history beginning with when the planet was a ball of molten magma exploring the geological timeline , enabling the independent reader who wants more than an introduction or overview be “in the driver’s seat of a time machine” so that there is a better understanding of the continent and its surrounding oceans that support our lives and lifestyles. Big-picture questions are addressed such as
- Has our continent always been the way it is today?
- What is the size and shape of our continent and the surrounding sea floor? What is our continent made of?
- How old is our continent and when did the different parts of it begin to form? What are the clues that tells us thee things?
- Why do we live where we live? Why is this town or city here?
- Does the way that Earth works make it safe to live here?
While it is more for the upper primary/ secondary student, with its accessible text, photographs and diagrams, it is one that will appeal to any reader who has an interest in this subject, perhaps a stepping stone for all those who are deeply inspired by the reign of the dinosaurs and want to know so much more than just the habits and habitats of those creatures and delve into even bigger secrets. Who knows what new careers might be launched!