Recent planetary missions by NASA, the European Space Agency and other national bodies have reaffirmed that geological processes familiar from our studies of the Earth operate on many solid planets and satellites. Common threads link the internal structure, thermal evolution and surface character of both rocky and icy worlds, and volcanoes, impact craters, ice caps, dunes, rift valleys, rivers and oceans emerge as features of extra-terrestrial worlds as diverse as Mercury and Titan. The new data also reveal that many supposedly inert planetary bodies currently experience eruptions, landslides and dust storms. Moreover our understanding of the Solar System has greatly benefited from the analysis of meteorites from Mars as well as rock samples collected on the Moon.
Combining extensive use of imagery, the results of laboratory experiments and theoretical modelling, this comprehensively updated second edition of Planetary Geology provides the student reader and the enthusiastic amateur with up-to-date coverage of these recent advances and confirms that, to quote from the first edition, planetary geology now embraces conventional geology and vice versa.
Preface. 1 Planetary origins. 2 Orbits and cycles. 3 Core, mantle and crust. 4 Magnetic fields and signatures. 5 Topography and gravity. 6 Tectonics. 7 Volcanism. 8 Impacts. 9 Atmospheres. 10 Oceans and ice caps. 11 Water, wind and stratigraphy. 12 Planetary biology. References cited. Glossary. Index.
'This is a good introductory textbook for anyone with a solid background in geological sciences to the ﬁeld of planetary geology. This book is the second edition and the authors have done an excellent job in making all the materials bang up-to-date; they even include information that must have been released just prior to the book going to press. The illustrations and ﬁgures are outstanding, and, used in addition to the data tables, make a handy reference for those wanting to quickly extract basic facts (e.g. gravitational acceleration, internal structure) about the planets or other solar system bodies.' Geological Magazine
Claudio Vita-Finzi taught planetary geology at University College London (UCL) for a dozen years before moving to the Natural History Museum as a scientific associate. He is working on solar history. Dominic Fortes studied the physical properties of planetary ices under the auspices of a UCL Graduate School Scholarship and two STFC-funded Research Fellowships over a ten-year period in the UCL Department of Earth Sciences. Currently working in the Institute for Earth and Planetary Sciences at UCL and Birkbeck College, he continues this work on planetary ices and the application to understanding the evolution of these fascinating objects, and lectures on the geology of planetary bodies.