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Structural Geology – The Mechanics of Deforming Metamorphic Rocks. Volume 1: Principles.

kjhStructural geology has been informed and fundamentally transformed by significant developments made in other allied and interdisciplinary sciences. Recent advances in metamorphic petrology, tectonics and geodynamics, physical metallurgy, non-linear chemical dynamics, continuum mechanics, non-linear mechanics and thermodynamics have revealed important understandings of the deformational and metamorphic processes operating within the Earth. These insights have often been obtained independently and not integrated fully within the broader framework of metamorphic and structural geology. This book attempts to address this omission and establish a current comprehensive synthesis.

The volume initially develops the basic foundations in mechanics where thermodynamics has a pivotal contribution and then applies these principles to rock masses where factors such as deformation, fluid flow, thermal transport, mineral reactions and microstructural rearrangements influence the evolution of the rock fabric and generate the structures geoscientists observe. The volume is arranged into two main parts, each introduced with an overview section.

Part A is a modern treatment of mechanics including geometry, kinematics, non-linear dynamics and thermodynamics of deforming systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the principles of non-linear behaviour of deforming and chemically reactive systems, a significant change in approach from existing texts.

Part B considers the processes involved in the development of geological structures such as brittle and visco-plastic flow, heat and fluid flow, damage evolution, microstructural rearrangements and non-linear mineral reaction kinetics. A basic knowledge of structural geology and metamorphic petrology is assumed, with a necessary mathematical emphasis on the treatment of the subject. Brief appendices on elementary differential calculus and tensor algebra are included.

With a combined research and teaching experience of over 70 years, the volume is written by two of the pre-eminent authorities in the field. Written in a clear and concise style, the book is presented with numerous (over 300) figures, graphical drawings and photographs that appropriately supplement the accompanying text. Many of these are in colour and significantly enhance the understanding of the textual details.

The expected audience are graduate geoscientific researchers and professional structural geologists and metamorphic petrologists both in academia and industry. A long overdue treatment of the subject, this book is highly recommended and anticipated to become established as a standard reference work.

Reviewed by Mark Griffin

STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY – THE MECHANICS OF DEFORMING METAMORPHIC ROCKS. VOLUME 1: PRINCIPLES.  Bruce E. Hobbs and Alison Ord. Elsevier. 2015. ISBN 978-0-12-407820-8. Hbk. 665pp. List Price: £79.00, www.store/elsevier.com