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Georgia Journal of Science

Abstract

Pamela Gore (Professor of Geology at Georgia Perimeter College) and Bill Witherspoon (Fernbank Science Center Faculty) take the reader on a tour of geological sights in Georgia viewed from the numerous highways crossing the state. This book joins a series of Roadside Guides published by Mountain Press and is one of the best of the series. The book opens with an explanation of geologic time and plate tectonics. Amply illustrated, the book includes large-scale geologic maps as well as color images of various geological features. In the introduction the authors explain that Georgia is divided into several geographic divisions, Sea Islands, Coastal Plain, Blue Ridge & Piedmont, and Valley & Ridge-Appalachian Plateau. This division serves as the framework for the book, taking the reader sequentially from the coast to the northwest mountains and finishing in the Piedmont and Atlanta. In each section, the regional geology of the area is described as one would see it traveling along interstates, US highways and state highways as well as in geologically-rich parks and other attractions such as Stone Mountain, Chickamauga, Okefenokee Swamp and others. The relation of geology to the biota of each area is explained. The authors created a clever appendix composed of a listing of museums with natural history displays in Georgia.

Historically, Geology influenced the Civil War campaigns that engulfed Georgia in 1864 and the locations of early European and Native American settlements. This interplay between human history and geology is a strong point of the text. The book is clearly written at a level accessible to the layperson. It stands as an important contribution to the literature of the natural and human history of Georgia. I highly recommend it.

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