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Traces of Catastrophe

A Handbook of Shock-Metamorphic Effects in Terrestrial Meteorite Impact Structures

written by Bevan M. French, Research Collaborator, Smithsonian Institution
120pp., soft-cover, spiral-bound

Meteorite impacts are getting plenty of respect these days. The public regards them as the established destroyer of dinosaurs and the possible destroyer of civilization. Increasing numbers of geoscientists are coming to appreciate the importance of meteorite impact events and the extent of their influence on the geological and biological history of Earth. However, despite the growing importance of meteorite impact phenomena in terrestrial geology, the topic is still not widely addressed in general geoscience textbooks and references. This author attempts to fill this gap and provide for geoscientists a detailed introduction and overview of impact processes, crater formation, and shock metamorphism. The book is not aimed primarily at specialists actually working in impact geology. It is intended for geoscientists of all kinds: students who want to learn about the importance of meteorite impact; professors who want to add impact information to their geoscience courses; and professional geologists who may unexpectedly encounter an impact structure in the next field area or in the next drill core. Traces of Catastrophe is intended to serve as a combination of sourcebook, laboratory manual, and reference for working geologists. The chapters are designed to be read independently, depending on the background and needs of the reader. Literature references are included to help readers explore the field further.

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