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Quotations from John McPhee's Basin and Range
“Rocks are records of events that took place at the time they formed. They are books. They have a different vocabulary, a different alphabet, but you learn how to read them.”
“With their four-dimensional minds, and in their inter-disciplinary ultra verbal way, geologists can wiggle out of almost anything.”
Nevada, the Silver State, is a unique place geologically. It was formed in a time of plate tectonic collision, then stretched by tectonic extension. It became a state during a silver mining rush, but now is the home of a world-class gold rush. Thanks to plate tectonics, the rain shadow effect has made Nevada a desert, yet it has major floods. Most of its rivers flow to interior basins, rather than to the sea. It is the third most earthquake-prone state in the United States. Much of it is covered with volcanic rocks, such as those at the site of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Eastern Nevada's towering mountains contain fossils that formed in an ancient ocean. Many of the valleys of Western Nevada were filled by a much, much younger Ice Age Lake. Geology has shaped Nevada and formed the conditions that led to it's development as a state.
Refer to these other research guides for additional assistance:
How to Write a Research Paper
Geologic Map of Nevada
Geologic Map of Nevada
Significant Books in Nevada Geology
Basin and Range by
Call Number: QE79 .M28 1981
Publication Date: 1981-04-01
Great book on geology across Nevada on Interstate 80, as seen early in the acceptance of the Theory of Plate Tectonics. The first of John McPhee’s works in his series on geology and geologists, Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world—a history of vanished landscapes, enhanced by the histories of people who bring them to light. The title refers to the physiographic province of the United States that reaches from eastern Utah to eastern California.
The Great Basin by
Call Number: QE697 .G8 2011
Publication Date: 2011-04-18
"The Great Basin, centering on Nevada and including substantial parts of California, Oregon, and Utah, gets its name from the fact that none of its rivers or streams flow to the sea. This book synthesizes the past 25,000 years of the natural history of this vast region.
Minerals of Nevada by
Call Number: QE375.5.N3 C37 2004
Publication Date: 2003-10-01
Catalog of Nevada minerals, listing every mineral found in the state along with the places where each occurs. Included are essays by several distinguished scientists and collectors. Superb photographs highlight the book.