Finding a Book that Rocks
September 14, 2021 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Looking for an engaging read on the geology and rock formations of Pennsylvania.

Largely what it says on the tin. I'm looking for something that's not aimed at geologists, but is for folks that like to take walks in the woods and be a little more connected to what they're seeing.

There's lots of sedimentary rock in my southwest corner of PA, but what's the story around the ancient lakes that formed them? How have things changed over time with erosion? What are the key things to look for to see that story in nature?

Wikipedia and most of the web is a bit too infodumpy. If the show Cosmos were a book on geology, what would I read?
posted by bfranklin to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh my goodness are you going to love John McPhee's Annals of the Former World.
posted by minervous at 11:07 AM on September 14 [11 favorites]

I too came here to recommend McPhee—in particular, In Suspect Terrain, which is the second (I think) of the four books plus new coda that are assembled in Annals of the Former World, and the one closest to your particular interests. (But really, read them all.)
posted by brianogilvie at 11:58 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]

I LOVE the Roadside Geology series, which does what it says on the tin- describes what you see, geologically, by roadway.
posted by aint broke at 1:09 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]

Seconding both McPhee and the Roadside Geology series.
posted by mollweide at 5:46 PM on September 14

Not to abuse the edit window, McPhee is more like Cosmos, and the Roadside Geology of Pennsylvania provides a field guide level view of the big picture.
posted by mollweide at 5:48 PM on September 14

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