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IB Earth Sciences A - 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 - Maps and structures - Owen Weller

  • McClay, K. R., 2002. The mapping of geological structures. Wiley, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Maltman, A., 1998. Geological maps: An introduction. Wiley, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Park, R. G., 1997. Foundations of structural geology. Chapman & Hall, 3rd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.

Lectures 9-14 - Tectonics and seismology - Sanne Cottaar

  • Fowler, C. M., 2004. The Solid Earth. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Stein, S. & Wysession, M., 2003. An introduction to seismology, earthquakes and earth structure. Blackwell. Available from ESC Library Office.


Lectures 15-20 - Sedimentary basins - Nicky White

  • Busby, C. J. & Ingersoll, R. V., 1995. Tectonics of sedimentary basins. Blackwell Science. Available from ESC Library Office.

Lectures 21-24 - Ocean circulation and climate - Alex Piotrowski 

  • Broecker, W. S. & Peng, T. H., 1982. Tracers in the sea. Eldigio Press. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Faure, G., 1986. Principles of Isotope geology. Wiley, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Open University, 1989. Ocean chemistry and deep-sea sediments. Pergamon Press. Available from ESC Library Office.

Lent term

Lectures 25-31 - Siliclastic sedimentology and stratigraphy - Neil Davies

  • Scoffin, T. P., 1987. An introduction to carbonate sediments and rocks. Blackie. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Stow, D. A. V., 2005. Sedimentary rocks in the field: A colour guide. Manson Publishing. Available from ESC Library Office.

Lectures 32-35 - Ocean chemistry - Sasha Turchyn

Lectures 36-42 - Chemogenic and biogenic sediments - Alex Liu

Lectures 43-48 - Evolutionary palaeobiology - Liz Harper

  • Armstrong, H. A. & Braiser, M. D., 2005. Microfossils. Blackwell, 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Briggs, D. E. G. & Crowther, P. R., 1990. Palaeobiology: A synthesis. Blackwell Scientific. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Futuyma, D. J., 2005. Evolution. Sinauer Associates. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Lipps, J. H., (ed.,) 1993. Fossil prokaryotes and protists. Blackwell Scientific. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Skelton, P., (ed.,) 1993. Evolution, a biological and palaeontological approach. Addison-Wesley. Available from ESC Library Office.

Easter term

Lectures 49-50 - Micropalaeontology - Liz Harper

Lectures 51-55 - Vertebrate evolution - Dave Norman

  • Pough, F. H., Janis, C. M., Heiser, J. B., 2012. Vertebrate life. Pearson, 9th edition. Available from ESC Library Office.

IB Earth Sciences B - Reading List

Map Interpretation 

  • McClay, K. R., 2002. The mapping of geological structures. Wiley, 2nd edition. Useful for fieldwork. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Maltman, A., 1998. Geological maps: An introduction. Wiley, 2nd edition. Useful for geological map work throughout this  course. Available from ESC Library Office.

Crystallography and optical mineralogy - Principles of mineral behaviour - Michael Carpenter

  • Battey, M. H. & Pring, A., 1997. Mineralogy for students. Longman, 3rd edition. A modern revision of a long-standing text. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Deer, W. A., Howie, R. A., Zussman, J., 2013. An introduction to the rock forming minerals. Mineralogical Society, 3rd edition. Highly recommended that you buy your own copy of this book, as it is an invaluable resource for all practical classes and can be taken into the ESB practical exam. Also available from ESC Library Office.
  • Nesse, W. D., 2003. Introduction to Optical Mineralogy. Oxford Univ. Press, 3rd edition. Good description of optics theory. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Perkins, D. & Henke, K. R., 2004. Minerals in thin section. Prentice Hall. Introductory text with pictures of interference figures. Available from ESC Library Office.

Origin and evolution of meteorites and the terrestrial planets - Helen Williams

  • Allègre, C. J., 1992. From stone to star. Harvard Univ. Press. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • McSween, H. Y., 1999. Meteorites and their parent planets. Cambridge Univ. Press. 2nd edition. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Taylor, S. R., 1998. Destiny or chance: Our solar system and its place in the cosmos. Cambridge Univ. Press. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Dickin, A. P., 2005. Radiogenic isotope geology. Cambridge Univ. Press. 2nd edition. More case studies and more up-to-date than Faure, but more advanced. Available as an eBook.
  • Faure, G., 1986. Principles of isotope geology. WileyThe long-standing introductory text to stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Gill, R., 1996. Chemical fundamentals of geology. Chapman and Hall, 2nd edition. All the essential chemistry that you had forgotten. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Rollinson, H., 1993. Using geochemical data: Evaluation, presentation, interpretation. Longman Scientific and Technical. . An advanced text book but useful for understanding how to use geochemistry to model igneous processes. Available from ESC Library Office.

Magmatic settings - Metamorphic petrology - Sally Gibson - Owen Weller - Marian Holness

  • Barker, A. J., 1998. Introduction to metamorphic textures and microstructures. Thomson Science (Chapman and Hall), 2nd edition. General read on metamorphism, with an essential introduction to metamorphic textures and their interpretation. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Best, M. G. & Christiansen, E. H., 2001. Igneous Petrology. Blackwell Science. General igneous petrology textbook. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Blatt, H., Tracey, R. J., Owens, B. E., 2006. Petrology: Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Freeman, 3rd edition. General igneous petrology textbook. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Brown, G. C., Hawkesworth, C. J. & Wilson, R. C. L., 1992. Understanding the Earth. Cambridge Univ. Press. Contains some excellent review chapters. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Cox, K. G., Bell, J. D., Pankhurst, R. J., 1979. The interpretation of Igneous Rocks. Chapman and Hall. Key read for phase diagrams and their interpretation. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Fowler, C. M. R., 2004. The solid Earth. Cambridge Univ. Press. Contains most of the essential geophysics required by a petrologist. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Francis, P. W. & Oppenheimer, C., 2003. Volcanoes. Oxford Univ. Press. Entertaining read on volcanism. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Fry, N., 1993. The field description of metamorphic rocks. Wiley. Useful for fieldwork. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Gill, R., 2010. Igneous Rocks and Processes: A practical guide. WileyUseful for fieldwork. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • McBirney, A. R., 2006. Igneous Petrology. Jones & Bartlett, 3rd edition. General igneous textbook, useful for phase diagrams and petrography. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Searle, M., 2013. Colliding Continents: A geological exploration of the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Tibet. Oxford Univ. Press.good science overview of Himalayan geology.
  • Sigurdsson, H., (ed.), 1999. Encyclopedia of volcanoes. Academic Press. The volcano reference book. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Spear, F. S., 1993. Metamorphic phase equilibria and pressure-temperature-time paths. Mineralogical Society of America Monograph. The ‘Big Blue Book’ - the metamorphic petrologists’ bible, and an essential reference text. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Thorpe, R. S. & Brown, G. C., 1985. The field description of igneous rocks. Oxford Univ. PressFor fieldwork and hand-specimen work. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Wilson, M, 1989. Igneous Petrogenesis. Unwin and Hyman. The first four chapters are particularly useful. Available from ESC Library Office.
  • Yardley, B. W. D., 1989. An introduction to metamorphic petrology. Longman. Concise and clear introduction to metamorphic petrology. Available from ESC Library Office.