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Physics of the Earth

4th Edition

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  • Date Published: September 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521873628

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About the Authors
  • The fourth edition of Physics of the Earth maintains the original philosophy of this classic graduate textbook on fundamental solid earth geophysics, while being completely revised, updated, and restructured into a more modular format to make individual topics even more accessible. Building on the success of previous editions, which have served generations of students and researchers for nearly forty years, this new edition will be an invaluable resource for graduate students looking for the necessary physical and mathematical foundations to embark on their own research careers in geophysics. Several completely new chapters have been added and a series of appendices, presenting fundamental data and advanced mathematical concepts, and an extensive reference list, are provided as tools to aid readers wishing to pursue topics beyond the level of the book. Over 140 student exercises of varying levels of difficulty are also included, and full solutions are available online at

    • Lays out the mathematical and physical foundations that graduate students need to pursue research in geophysics
    • Includes over 140 exercises at a range of levels for which full solutions are available online
    • Contains a series of appendices and extensive reference list to aid readers pursuing topics beyond the level of the book
    • Presents ideas that are recent, await confirmation or are even disputed in order to introduce students to the cutting edge of geophysics research
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...the book provides students with the necessary grounding to embark on geophysics research. ... perfectly edited, illustrated, and referenced...." Pure and Applied Geophysics

    "..a splendid textbook…a mine of knowledge and references"
    - Jean-Paul Poirier, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

    ‘..the book is ideal for students as it combines physical insight, basic equations and plenty of discussion…a classic book. Highly recommended’
    - David Crossley, Geophysical Journal International

    ‘..the overall balance of the work makes it a valuable survey that provokes thought, even for specialists in the field.’
    - Thorne Lay, Physics Today

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    Product details

    • Edition: 4th Edition
    • Date Published: September 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521873628
    • length: 548 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 193 x 29 mm
    • weight: 1.32kg
    • contains: 203 b/w illus. 143 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Origin and history of the Solar System
    2. Composition of the Earth
    3. Radioactivity, isotopes and dating
    4. Isotopic clues to the age and origin of the Solar System
    5. Evidence of the Earth's evolutionary history
    6. Rotation, figure of the Earth and gravity
    7. Precession, wobble and rotational irregularities
    8. Tides and the evolution of the lunar orbit
    9. The satellite geoid, isostasy and post-glacial rebound
    10. Elastic and inelastic properties
    11. Deformation of the crust: rock mechanics
    12. Tectonics
    13. Convective and tectonic stresses
    14. Kinematics of the earthquake process
    15. Earthquake dynamics
    16. Seismic wave propagation
    17. Seismological determination of Earth structure
    18. Finite strain and high pressure equations of state
    19. Thermal properties
    20. The surface heat flux
    21. The global energy budget
    22. Thermodynamics of convection
    23. Thermal history
    24. The geomagnetic field
    25. Rock magnetism and paleomagnetism
    26. Alternative energy sources and natural climate variations: some geophysical background
    Appendix A. General reference data
    Appendix B. Orbital dynamics (Kepler's laws)
    Appendix C. Spherical harmonic functions
    Appendix D. Relationships between elastic moduli of an isotropic solid
    Appendix E. Thermodynamic parameters and derivative properties
    Appendix F. An Earth model: mechanical properties
    Appendix G. A thermal model of the Earth
    Appendix H. Radioactive isotopes
    Appendix I. A geological time scale 2004
    Appendix J. Problems

  • Resources for

    Physics of the Earth

    Frank D. Stacey, Paul M. Davis

    General Resources

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Energy Science
    • Introduction to Geophysics
    • Introduction to Global Geophysics
    • Introduction to Rock Deformation
    • Planet Earth: Form & Structure
    • Principles of Geophysics
    • Solid Earth Geophysics
    • Tectonics/Advanced Tectonics
  • Authors

    Frank D. Stacey, CSIRO Division of Exploration and Mining, Australia

    Paul M. Davis, University of California, Los Angeles

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