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Geoscientist Online

Atlas of Structural Geology


The purpose of this book would appear to be obvious - to provide the experienced geologist with a source of images to enhance their interpretation of complex geological structures.

On the other hand, the Editor has confined himself to one very short paragraph, explaining that his purpose was to provide an avenue for authors to get their images published outside of the confines of published journals.  So the book consists solely of the pictures provided by of each of its 115 contributors.

The book contains more than 250 excellent colour plates, with short  explanations and comprehensive references, covering : folds, ductile  shear zones, brittle faults , boudins and mullions. The images are mostly taken from the more complex structural areas, in particular SE Asia.

So, who is this work for?  Those who would be published, or a readership with various levels of geological experience?

The contributors have not pulled any punches in describing the structures, and most of them use a florid vocabulary typical of specialist publications.  Consequently there has been no particular effort to write for those who are not familiar with the jargon,  so that terms like  “asymmetric rotating domino boudins”  abound.  

Also, while there is an abundance of references for each chapter, there is no attempt to provide a reading list any other form of guidance for the developing structural geologist, and indeed some of the images would benefit from an interpretative sketch (along with some explanation of terms!).  Furthermore, the content is not comprehensive of all of the various facets of structural geology, but perhaps confines itself to those aspects which are most photogenic.

This book could be enjoyed as a visual delight by anybody, textile artists included, and most certainly by advanced students. However, for those who are in the process of developing the art of geological interpretation and description then perhaps they would need something more, and for the price I think that is a missed opportunity.

The concept of the ‘rock atlas’ is an excellent one,  and hopefully will be expanded to include other  specialities; but with  more consideration, I hope,  for  the needs  and objectives  of  various  types of reader to make the book  more widely  accessible , enjoyable and profitable.

Reviewed by Arthur Tingley

ATLAS OF STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY  Ed.  SOUMYAJIT MUKHERJEE  Elsevier 2015.  ISBN : 9780124201521 200pp hbk.  Ebook available.  List price: £60.99 W: