Most basic undergraduate courses in geology aim to cover much of the full range of Earth Sciences, from elementary mineralogy, the basic processes involved with and the petrol-ogy of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, tectonics, geochemistry, palaeontology, stratigraphic history amongst a host of other topics. The breadth of such courses, the lack of surplus cash for many students and the unbelievably high cost of most textbooks, mean that it is simply not possible for students to buy separate books for each of these different areas.

Press & Siever’s original book Earth and the previous two editions of Understanding Earth have...

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