The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Earth Science provides a compendium of more than 10,000 terms that are central to the broad range of disciplines comprising earth science. The coverage in this Second Edition is focused on the areas of climatology, geochemistry, geodesy, geography, geology, geophysics, hydrology, meteorology, and oceanography, with new terms added and others revised as necessary.
Earth science strives to understand the origins, evolution, and behavior of the earth in a broad context, including the place of the earth in the solar system and the universe. Much of the advances in earth science have resulted from the greatly improved ability to measure and analyze the complex interactions over time of the component parts of the earth, including the atmosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the lithosphere. Thus, earth science is highly interdisciplinary, and an understanding of the terminology of the fields covered in this Dictionary is important for an appreciation of its literature and applications.
All of the definitions are drawn from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, Sixth Edition (2003). Each definition is classified according to the field with which it is primarily associated. The pronunciation of each term is provided along with synonyms, acronyms, and abbreviations where appropriate. A guide to the use of the Dictionary on pages vii-viii explains the alphabetical organization of terms, the format of the book, cross referencing, and how synonyms, variant spelling, abbreviations, and similar information are handled. The Pronunciation Key is provided on page x. The Appendix provides conversion tables for commonly used scientific units as well as a revised geologic time scale, periodic table, historical information, and useful listings of data from the varioius disclriplines of earth science.
It is the editors’ hope that the Second Edition of the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Earth Science will serve the needs of scientists, engineers, students, teachers, librarians, and writers for high-quality information, and that it will contribute to scientific literacy and communication.
Mark D. Licker