50 Must-See Geological Sites in South Africa, by Gavin Whitfield

50 Must-See Geological Sites in South Africa, by Gavin Whitfield.  Penguin Random House South Africa, 2015. ISBN 9781920572501 / ISBN 978-1-920572-50-1

50 Must-See Geological Sites in South Africa, by Gavin Whitfield. Penguin Random House South Africa, 2015. ISBN 9781920572501 / ISBN 978-1-920572-50-1

While the main aim of 50 Must-See Geological Sites in South Africa by Gavin Whitfield is to describe and interpret places of geological interest across South Africa, the introduction offers readers an overview of the geology and its companion science of geomorphology.

Foreword by Prof. Richard Viljoen

South Africa is world renowned for its geology and mineral wealth, with mining playing a huge role in the economy of the country. There are many geological wonders such as numerous diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes; the extraordinary Witwatersrand goldfield, the world's greatest producer of gold; and the platinum-rich Bushveld Complex - all are geological superlatives that have attracted the attention of generations of geologists and world-class mining companies formed to exploit their contained mineral wealth. The importance of South Africa's lesser known geological and landscape treasures, however, which are generally not associated with minerals of economic value, but which are often of outstanding scenic, cultural and scientific value, is frequently overlooked. In this beautifully illustrated and meticulously researched publication, Gavin Whitfield, a real champion of the geological heritage of South Africa, has highlighted 50 of these outstanding sites throughout the country, and in so doing has made them accessible to the broader public, tourists and geoscientists alike. The geology that has been highlighted covers 3.5 billion years of Earth history and provides an almost continuous record of the development of Earth and of the life it supported. Each site within each of the seven regions of the country has been chosen with care, and photographs of panoramic views, details of interesting rock formations, together with simplified geological maps, geological cross-sections and descriptions make for easy reading and will assist in the understanding of many of our landscapes and geology. A useful adjunct to the geological descriptions of individual sites are lists of things to see and do, including hiking trails, and associated historical and cultural attractions. The appearance of 50 Must-see Geological Sites is timeous as it will be of great value for delegates to the 35th International Geological Conference (to be held in Cape Town in 2016) wishing to see some of our outstanding geological attractions before or after the conference. The Board of the 35th IGC Foundation and the Local Organizing Committee for the conference are proud to be associated with this publication, a fitting celebration of South Africa's rich geological heritage.

Introduction: South Africa's geological heritage

The geological sites (or geosites) described in this book are part of South Africa's incomparable geological heritage. The definition of 'geological sites' has been taken as broadly as possible in order to illustrate specific rock types, geological or structural processes, palaeo-environments, spectacular landscapes or specific landforms; and certain mines are included. Many of the sites are located within protected areas, including World Heritage Sites. Importantly, they are accessible to the public, are relatively easy to visit and can be appreciated by all without undue effort. The science of geology is commonly defined as 'the study of the origin and nature of the Earth'. Geology includes a wide variety of separate disciplines, including broad-scale mapping of geological strata to create geological maps, computer-assisted interpretation of aerial photos and satellite images, prospecting and exploration for valuable resources, environmental and mining studies, the study of fossils, and detailed microscopic and chemical investigations of rocks and minerals. Geomorphology is the study of the surface forms of the Earth or of landscapes, in particular the processes that relate to the origin and evolution of landforms. There is a fundamental relationship between the underlying geology and the landscape, and the landforms that have been created at all levels. [...]

This is an excerpt from 50 Must-See Geological Sites in South Africa, by Gavin Whitfield

Title: 50 must-see geological sites in South Africa
Author: Gavin Whitfield
Genre: Geological Guide
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa, 2015
ISBN 9781920572501 / ISBN 978-1-920572-50-1
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 320 pages, 500 photographs

Whitfield, Gavin im Namibiana-Buchangebot

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