A short Book Review
By Fr. Abram Abdelmalek
A Very Short Introduction
by William Lowrie,
"Geophysics: A Very Short Introduction" by William Lowrie is a 144-page, accessible book that serves as an introduction to the field of geophysics. Lowrie, who is a geophysicist, provides a comprehensive overview of the concepts and techniques used to study the Earth's physical processes, including seismology, geomagnetism, gravity, and heat flow.
The book covers the history of geophysics, from its earliest roots to its current state, and provides insights into the ways in which geophysics intersects with other fields such as physics, geology, and engineering. It is divided into ten chapters that cover a range of topics, from the Earth's magnetic field to plate tectonics, seismic waves, and the geologic timescale.
The first chapter provides an overview of geophysics and its history. The second chapter delves into the Earth's magnetic field, including its origin and the ways in which it is measured. Chapter three explains plate tectonics and the processes that lead to earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain formation. Chapter four discusses the Earth's interior structure and the methods geophysicists use to study it, such as seismology and gravity measurements. Chapter five explains the concept of the geologic timescale, including how it was developed and how it is used to understand the Earth's history.
Chapters six and seven cover the study of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, respectively. Chapter eight explores the impact of human activity on the Earth's climate and environment. Chapter nine discusses the applications of geophysics, including mineral exploration, hydrocarbon exploration, and environmental monitoring. The final chapter looks to the future of geophysics and the challenges facing the field.
Throughout the book, Lowrie uses clear, concise, and engaging language to explain complex concepts and phenomena, making it an ideal introduction for students and general readers interested in the field of geophysics. The book is well-illustrated with diagrams, maps, and photographs, which help to clarify the text.
One strength of the book is its focus on the practical applications of geophysics, including its role in understanding and mitigating natural hazards, exploring for natural resources, and studying the Earth's interior structure. The author provides a balanced perspective on the current state of knowledge in the field, highlighting areas of agreement and ongoing debates.
Critics of the book have noted that, while it provides a good overview of the field, it may be too basic for those with a more advanced knowledge of geophysics. Others have criticized the lack of discussion of certain topics, such as geomagnetism, in more depth. However, the book remains a valuable resource for anyone looking to gain a basic understanding of geophysics.
Other than the deep time approach of the author and the secular concepts, the book is good to read from the creation science point of view to equip non geophysics creationists with the knowledge of this discipline.
Overall, "Geophysics: A Very Short Introduction" is an excellent introduction to the field of geophysics for anyone with an interest in the Earth and its physical processes. It provides a comprehensive overview of the key concepts and techniques used in the study of the Earth, making it an ideal resource for students, hobbyists, and anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of the natural world.