Aerial Geology

Aerial Geology: A High Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks
2017 Mary Caperton Morton
308 pages



It was love at first sight, me and this book. There  I was, cruising BooksAMillion with coffee in hand, looking for a cute title to take home with me, and from across the way —  Aerial Geology, perched on the shelf.   It’s a guide to one hundred of North America’s most interesting geological spectacles.  In addition to the expected stunners (the Grand Canyon, White Sands, Niagara Falls),  other features that people may not expect, like the Mississippi delta and the Oregon coast,  also appear.    The book’s large size allows for generous spreads, and the visual information varies:  shots of the feature from multiple perspectives, yes, but there are also generated graphics to illustrate the processes at work.   Each feature’s formation is explained — or speculated on, in the case of those where there’s still debate   — and the author also includes suggestions for the best way to see them from the air. Most can be viewed from commercial liners, but a few in Alaska and the southwest are so remote that a plane would need to be chartered. Some locales, like Shiprock are strictly off-limits for in-person visitation, or highly restricted, like “The Wave” in northern Arizona. Although the writeups aren’t extensive (1-3 pages, depending), they’re most informative.   This book is definitely a joy to view and read, and one to return to:  despite my current efforts to greatly reduce my physical collection, this one is staying!


About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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5 Responses to Aerial Geology

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    Can’t beat a good coffee table book – and this looks like a good one!

  2. Absolutely! I took some photos of the interior, but they were done on the fly with my cellphone. I figured the cover would speak for itself!

  3. Mudpuddle says:

    wonderful! maybe books like this might wake people up as regards the reality they live in… i’ve had several like this in the past and found them mesmerizing… of course i was a geologist, so i have an excuse…

    • I have a couple of geo reads I’m looking at — one more for this year and another for 2021’s survey. One is “A History of the World in 50 Rocks”, and the other is “Timefulness: How Thinking like a Geologist Can Help Save the World”.

  4. Pingback: Scaling Mount Doom: 2020 | Reading Freely

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