Geomedia: Books: "Aerial Geology": A stunning and informative addition to any coffee table

by Callan Bentley
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My fellow EARTH Magazine contributor Mary Caperton Morton is the author of “Aerial Geology,” a beautiful and massive tome that profiles a hundred geologically interesting locations across North America. Mary was kind enough to forward me a copy for review, and I was delighted to flip through its gorgeous pages. It’s a visual feast, with a mix of satellite imagery, aerial photography and ground-based photos. Each site is allotted two to four pages for photos and Mary’s written descriptions, which are sometimes augmented by excellent schematic illustrations by the talented Kat Cantner, the illustrator for EARTH and the American Geosciences Institute (which publishes EARTH).

The sites sometimes can be as broad as the entire Canadian Rockies or the Great Plains, or as localized as a single petite meteorite impact crater or mountain peak. And while some locations are certainly familiar, there are others I had never heard of before, so I learned a lot.

One particular strength of the collection is the profusion of craters — a fuller sense of these features' diversity and commonalities than may be familiar to many readers. In most cases, the descriptions are spot-on: informative and accurate, and written with an economy of words. In one case (the Blue Ridge Mountains), I found some errors in the description, and I’ve reported these to Mary, who assures me they will be corrected in future editions. But that’s a minor error in this large, fact-filled tome. This book would make an ideal gift for anyone who has an affinity for earth processes and breathtaking pictures.

Editor’s Note: Mary Caperton Morton has written for EARTH for the better part of 10 years, and Kat Cantner has been our illustrator for the last five years. Thus, we are not impartial in recommending this book. But we love it, and think it’s worthy of the high praise Callan and dozens of other reviewers have given it.

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