I wonder how many of you are familiar with Geo Supplies Ltd of Chapeltown, Sheffield? “The first choice of the professional geologist for 36 years” is their claim. They sell geological supplies, courses, literature and equipment and publish the quarterly magazine “Down to Earth” which a friend of mine subscribes to and sometimes passes on.

I think it was in one of these that I read a review of Paul Lyle’s book “Introducing Stratigraphy” published by Dunedin Academic Press Ltd of Edinburgh in 2019 and which I purchased from Geo Supplies earlier this year. Price £16 and no P & P. It is a book of 133 pages divided up into seven chapters plus an Epilogue, a Glossary, Further Reading (and Image Credits). And the images are very good, as are the diagrams and illustrations. Paper and print quality are excellent. The book is 22cm square so it won’t go in your pocket if you are out on a walk so you must read it before you go.

In the Preface Paul writes that “It is aimed at undergraduate students learning stratigraphy for the first time, amateur geologists wishing to understand the formalities of stratigraphic nomenclature,and the general reader who wants an explanation for the distribution of different layers of rock across the landscape”. That aim is achieved though as a ‘general reader’ by the time I got to Chapter Seven “The application of stratigraphy” a measure of concentration is required. But this is a book that I enjoyed enormously.

The author writes that his hope is “that the reader will use the book to explore and understand the concept of geological time  and see how the science of stratigraphy can be used to measure and interpret the changes that have taken place throughout Earth history”. 

The diagram of the geological succession at the Grand Canyon  and that of geological time from the origin of the Solar System to the present alone are worth the price of the book. I’m about to begin reading it  again the better to absorb it all.

Image is of Hunstanton Cliffs.

Text and Image: JimHutchinson.