TRAVEL & GEOGRAPHY

A Slice Through America: A Geological Atlas

Princeton Architectural. Oct. 2020. 128p. ISBN 9781616898311. $60. REF
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While browsing an old bookshop in Nyack, NY, in 1977, Kassel (founder, ILevel) purchased original maps from the New York State Museum for 10 cents apiece, including two geological cross-sections that inspired him to start his own collection and, eventually, to produce this unique atlas. The main portion of this work contains plates of cross-section diagrams created over the last 100 years by the U.S. Geological Society (and a few from state geological societies). These visually appealing historic diagrams are organized by region, beginning with the Northwest and ending in the Southeast. Most of the diagrams are two-dimensional cross-sections, but some contain more complex block or isometric diagrams. The stratified layers on each illustration provide information about features, such as type of rock and geological era. Noticeably, the layers are not usually neat and are often not in sequential order. A closer look reveals a story about the movement of continental plates and the power of nature—in particular, the impact of ice, wind, and water on the earth. A helpful introduction by geology professor Joanne Bourgeois offers a brief history of geological cross-sections.
VERDICT A must for anyone who appreciates geology or antique atlases and maps.

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