Review: Windows Into the Earth

Windows Into the Earth: The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks by Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel, Oxford University Press, 2000
Buy on amazon:

Everything you ever wanted to know about the geologic story of Yellowstone. Written for the amateur geologist/scientist.

Old Faithful

242 pages with chapters covering everything from glaciers to volcanoes. Includes two road trip tours one for Grand Teton and one for Yellowstone. The book is heavily illustrated with charts, graphs, and color photographs. However the photos on this blog post are mine.

Tetons JLS08312

Each tour section begins with a map highlighting the stops. The tour for Grand Teton starts South of the park in Jackson. The Yellowstone tour starts at the South entrance just north of Grand Teton National Park. I have found it useful to just visit the park(s) and when I find something interesting or have stopped for whatever reason, I use the index to look up the relevant pages within the chapters or the tour sections. Don’t use this book as your sole mapping source for the park. The brochures you can get at the entrance are good for driving maps.

Firehole Lake Drive

At the end of the book is a list of internet sites which are a little out of date but Google can help you find similar/the same site at its new address. One site I would add is for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory: There is also a section of references for further reading and an index.

Yellowstone Falls DSC08613

— Jenny

From the back of the book:

“Millions of years ago, the North American continent was dragged over the world’s largest continental hotspot, a huge column of hot and molten rock rising from the Earth’s interior that traced a 50-mile wide, 500-mile-long path northeastward across Idaho. Generating cataclysmic volcanic eruptions and large earthquakes, the hotspot helped lift the Yellowstone Plateau to more than 7,000 feet and pushed the northern Rockies to new heights, forming unusually large glaciers to carve the landscape. It also created the jewel of the U.S. national park system: Yellowstone. Meanwhile, forces stretching apart the western U.S. created the mountainous glory of Grand Teton National Park. These two parks, with their majestic mountains, dazzling geysers, and picturesque hot springs, are windows into the Earth’s interior, revealing the violent power of the dynamic processes within. Smith and Siegel offer expert guidance through this awe-inspiring terrain, bringing to life the grandeur of these geologic phenomena as they reveal the forces that have shaped–and continue to shape–the greater Yellowstone-Teton region. Over seventy illustrations–including fifty-two in full color–illuminate the breathtaking beauty of the landscape, while two final chapters provide driving tours of the parks to help visitors enjoy and understand the regions wonders. Fascinating and informative, this book affords us a striking new perspective on Earth’s creative forces.”

One thought on “Review: Windows Into the Earth

  1. Jenny dear, this is so interesting! Even though I will probably never be in Yellowstone again, it’s still so fascinating go read your info and consider the book just for the fun of learning more about that area where you have spent so much time taking photographs and traveling!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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