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World of Geology: Travels to Rocky Places

Waltham World of Geology cover

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and Tony Waltham's stunning photographs of geological phenomena and landscapes, a regular and much loved feature on the back cover of the magazine Geology Today, certainly prove that point.   

World of Geology: Travels to Rocky Places showcases 110 of Waltham's wonderful photographs, each with an informative accompanying text shown on the facing page.  The book also includes an introduction that provides a clear and succinct description of the relationship between geology and landscapes and how geological processes relate to plate tectonics – complete with a very useful and informative colour diagram. In addition, there is a half-page generalised location map that gives a rough idea of where each photo was taken. The map also reveals that Waltham must be one of the most widely travelled geologists in the world. The only continent that appears to be unrepresented is Antarctica!

The photographs themselves are beautiful as works of art, and the addition of the accompanying texts turns them into informative introductions to a very wide range of geological sites and processes. Many of the photographs reflect Waltham's background in mining and engineering geology and his interest in cave exploration, illustrating recent geological phenomena and showcasing real geology in action. Shots of classic geological sites around the world are also included, along with plenty of amazing pictures of active volcanoes, landslides and erosion.

Though the layout could have been improved, and the book unfortunately lacks an index, I can't imagine you'll find a more attractive and informative book of fantastic geological and landscape photos anywhere and at any price. It's both a real feast for the eyes, and food for the geological mind.  

Reviewed by Nina Morgan

WORLD OF GEOLOGY: TRAVELS TO ROCKY PLACES by Tony Waltham, Published by Whittles Publishing, 219pp, paperback. ISBN 978-1-84995-437  List Price: £18.99 W: