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IA Earth Sciences

IA Earth Sciences - Resources

IA Collections

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The IA Collections website houses photographs and descriptions of specimens from the IA reference series, which is located at the front of the IA lab in the Earth Sciences department. This collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils is a key resource for practical material revision, but is not an exhaustive compilation of all IA practical class specimens.

The IA Collections also contains a glossary of geological terms, key references charts, and links to other useful webpages.

Virtual Microscope

The Virtual Microscope can be used to supplement the material found within the IA reference series, as it contains images of rock thin sections from several interesting collections, including:

  • Rocks from around the UK
  • Apollo lunar mission samples
  • Meteorites
  • Microfossils


CrystalMaker software can be used to visualise the 3-D structure of minerals, and is used in the Michaelmas mineralogy lecture course. A free demo version is available for download online, but can also be found on department computers. Instructions on how to use the software and CrystalMaker files for IA mineral structures can be found on Moodle.

IA Earth Sciences - Reading List

The majority of the texts in this reading list are available in the Earth Sciences Library, in your college library, or online as an eBook or journal article (links provided below).

Please contact the if you have trouble accessing any of the material, or have any queries regarding the reading list.

Michaelmas Term

Lectures 1-8 - Introduction to the Earth - What are plates?


  • Davidson, J. P., Reed, W. E., Davis, P. M., 1997. Exploring Earth: An introduction to physical geology. Prentice-Hall, 2nd edition 2002. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Kearey, P., Klepais, K. A., Vine, F. J., 2009. Global TectonicsBlackwell, 3rd edition. Available as an eBook.
  • Press, F., 2004. Understanding Earth. W. H. Freeman. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Duff, D., 1994. Holmes’ principles of physical geology. Chapman and Hall. Available from ESC Library Office.


  • Skinner, B. J., Porter, S. C., Park, J., Freeman, T., 2006. The Dynamic Earth. Wiley. Available from ESC Library Office.

Lectures 9-24 - What is the Earth made of? - From minerals to rocks: How the crust works - Earth and other planets


  • Klein, C. & Philpotts, A. R., 2013. Earth materials: Introduction to mineralogy and petrology. Cambridge Univ. Press. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • MacKenzie, W. S. & Guildford, C., 1980. Atlas of rock-forming minerals in thin section. Longman Scientific & Technical. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Brown, G. C. et al., 1992. Understanding the Earth. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Duff, D., 1994. Holmes’ principles of physical geology. Chapman and Hall. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Fowler, C. M. R., 2004. The solid Earth. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.


  • Battey, M. H. & Pring, A., 1997. Mineralogy for Students. Longman, 3rd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Cox, K. G., Price, N. B. & Harte, B., 1988. An introduction to the practical study of crystals, minerals and rocks. McGraw-Hill. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • MacKenzie, W. S. & Adams, A. E., 1994. A colour atlas of rocks and minerals in thin section, Manson. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Siever, R., 1983. The dynamic Earth. Scientific American 249(3), 46-55. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0983-46
  • Jeanloz, R., 1983. The Earth's core. Scientific American 249(3), 56-65. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0983-56
  • McKenzie, D. P., 1983. The Earth's mantleScientific American 249(3), 66-75. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0983-66

Lent Term

Lectures 25-36 - Palaeobiology

  • Raup, D. M. & Stanley, S. M., 1978. Principles of Paleontology. W. H. Freeman, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Kemp, T. S. 1999. Fossils and Evolution. Oxford Univ. Press. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Benton, M. & Harper, D. A. T., 1997. Basic palaeontology. Longman. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Foote, M. J. & Miller, A. I., 2007. Principles of Paleontology. W. H. Freeman. Available from ESC Library Office.

Lectures 37-42 - Sedimentary processes and products

  • Stow, D. A. V., 2005. Sedimentary rocks in the field: A colour guide. Available from ESC Library Office.
    • Collinson, J. D., Mountney, N., Thompson, D. B., 2006. Sedimentary structures. Allen & Unwin, 3rd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.

    Lectures 43-47 - Earth's climate system

    • Cronin, T. M., 2010. Paleoclimates: Understanding climate change past and present. Columbia Univ. Press. Available from ESC Library Office.
    • Imbrie, J. & Imbrie, K. P., 1979. Ice Ages: Solving the mystery. Harvard Univ. Press. Available from ESC Library Office.
    • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Annual Report 4, 2007. Contribution of Working Group I to IPCC AR4. (eds Solomon, S., Qin, D., Manning, M., Chen, Z., Marquis, M., Averyt, K. B, Tignor, M., Miller, H. L.), Cambridge Univ. Press.
    • Peixoto, J. & Oort, A.H., 1992. Physics of Climate, Chapter 6, AIP.
    • Ruddiman, W.F., 2001. Earth's climate: Past and future. W.H. Freeman. Available from ESC Library Office.

    Lecture 48 - Introduction to Arran

    Easter Term

    Lectures 49-53 - Britain's geology: Solving the jigsaw

    • Woodcock, N. H. & Strachan, R. A., 2012. Geological history of Britain and Ireland. Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd edition. Available as an eBook. The second edition is accessible from here during the lock down (hopefully afterwards too).
    • Hunter, A. & Easterbrook, G., 2004. The Geological history of the British Isles. Open Univ. Press. Available from ESC Library Office.

    Lectures 54-56 - Geology beyond the solar system