Writing with verve and clarity, Mary Hill tells the story of the magnificent Sierra Nevada—the longest, highest, and most spectacular mountain range in the contiguous United States. Hill takes us from the time before the land which would be California even existed, through the days of roaring volcanoes, violent earthquakes, and chilling ice sheets, to the more recent history of the Sierra's early explorers and the generations of adventuresome souls who followed.
The author introduces the rocks of the Sierra Nevada, which tell the mountains' tale, and explains how nature's forces, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, faulting, erosion, and glaciation formed the range's world-renowned scenery and mineral wealth, including gold.
For thirty years, the first edition of Geology of the Sierra Nevada has been the definitive guide to the Sierra Nevada's geological history for nature lovers, travelers, hikers, campers, and armchair explorers. This new edition offers new chapters and sidebars and incorporates the concept of plate tectonics throughout the text.
* Written in easy-to-understand language for a wide audience.
* Gives detailed information on where to view outstanding Sierra Nevada geology in some of the world's most beloved natural treasures and national parks, including Yosemite.
* Provides specific information on places to see glaciers and glacial deposits, caves, and exhibits of gold mines and mining equipment, many from Gold Rush times.
* Superbly illustrated with 117 new color illustrations, 16 halftones, 39 line illustrations, and 12 maps, and also features an easy-to-use, interactive key for identifying rocks and a glossary of geological terms.
Introduction: The Ever-Changing Sierra
Special Section: Geological Features and Where to See Them
A Do-It-Yourself Rock Key
Tables of Geological Features
Maps of Geological Sights
Chapter 1: Geology: Of Time and Rocks
Chapter 2: The Range Today
Chapter 3: Being First
Chapter 4: Plate Tectonics Puts the Sierra Nevada in Its Place
Chapter 5: Seas of Long Ago
Chapter 6: Great Is Granite
Chapter 7: Treasures from the Earth
Chapter 8: Landscapes of Yesteryear
Chapter 9: Days of Fire
Chapter 10: Days of Ice
Chapter 11: Mono Lake: The “Dead Sea” of the West
Chapter 12: The Yosemite “Problem”
Chapter 13: The Mountains Tremble
Suggestions for Further Reading
Sources of Figure Graphics
Geologist Mary Hill is the author of Gold: The California Story (California, 2002) and California Landscape: Origin and Evolution (California, 1984). She is coauthor of Volcanic Eruptions of 1980 at Mount St. Helens: The First 100 Days (1982). Longtime editor of the magazine California Geology, she was later Western Region Information Officer for the U.S. Geological Survey and Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at San Francisco State University.
“With her enchanting prose, Hill explains the Sierra’s many natural wonders. Her work is spiked with entertaining historical anecdotes. . . . She not only points out the many attractions (and the best places to see them) but puts them in perspective. What makes Yosemite so beautiful? She’ll tell you.”—Debbie Arrington Sacramento Bee
“A handy guide.”—Forecast
“It’s an armchair traveler’s delight and remains an authoritative guide that will well serve a new generation of hikers, campers, and explorers.”—Dan Barnett Chico Enterprise-Record