In Depth features give instructors the flexibility to expand upon select themes by providing additional background and detail about special topics that are relevant to each chapter.

Chapter 1: Foundations of Modern Geology
  • In Depth: Origin of the Universe – The Big Bang Theory

Chapter 2: Plate Tectonics
  • In Depth: Failed Rifts

Chapter 4: Origin and Evolution of Igneous Rocks
  • In Depth: Can Explosive Eruptions be Predicted?

Chapter 5: Weathering and Soils
  • In Depth: The Role of Oxidation in Earth’s History

Chapter 7: Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks
  • In Depth: Shock Metamorphism
  • In Depth: Metamorphism and the Rock Cycle

Chapter 8: Geologic Time
  • In Depth: The Quest for the Age of Earth

Chapter 9: Plates and Plate Boundaries
  • In Depth: Ophiolites—Clues to the Structure of Oceanic Crust

Chapter 10: Deformation and Mountain Building
  • In Depth: Partial Melting and the Making of Continental Crust–Nature’s Ultimate Recycling Program

Chapter 11: Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior
  • In Depth: Earth’s Magnetism and Its Dynamic Core

Chapter 12: Mass Wasting
  • In Depth: Mass Wasting on the Moon and Mars

Chapter 13: Running Water
  • In Depth: Dams and the Human Exploitation of Surface Water

Chapter 14: Groundwater
  • In Depth: Exploring for Groundwater

Chapter 15: Glaciers and Glaciation
  • In Depth: Lake Missoula and the Channeled Scablands

Chapter 16: Deserts and Winds
  • In Depth: Dust Devils

Chapter 17: Coastlines and Coastal Processes
  • In Depth: Sea Level and Plate Tectonics

Chapter 18: Mineral Deposits and Industrial Materials
  • In Depth: Mechanisms of Mineral Concentration

Chapter 19: Energy Resources
  • In Depth: Ice That Burns: Fuel of the Future?
  • In Depth: Correlation and the Search for Oil and Gas

Chapter 20: Physical Geology and Climate Change
  • In Depth: Melting of the Arctic Ice: An Omen of Global Warming?

Chapter 21: The Planets
  • In Depth: Martian Life on Earth?

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“…excellent starting point for further class discussion or for students, on their own, to dig deeper.”

Joachim Dorsch, St. Louis Community College, Meramec

“…this is great.”

Jeffrey Greenberg, Wheaton College

“Excellent means to dig a bit deeper and spark student interest by opening new doors.”

Kevin Hefferan, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

“I like these because they are good jumping off points for essays and projects. Sometimes I get students who fall in love with a topic and want to know more!”

Julie Hoover, Durham Technical Community College

“Again, I like these for the same reason as the others – great way to scaffold and reinforce information.”

Kimberly Schulte, Georgia Perimeter College