The Key to Earth History introduces students to the basic tools used by geologists to reconstruct the Earth's history, and shows how these tools can be used to chart the pattern of global environmental change since the formation of the Earth some 4600 million years ago. It tells a story of mountain building, climate change and of the evolution of life, an uses the North Atlantic region (Europe and North America) as a study area to illustrate this story.
Divided into two parts, the book shows how stratigraphy is the key to understanding the history of the Earth. The first part examines the basic stratigraphical methods used to establish, date and interpret the rock record as the product of a series of events within Earth history. The second part presents the results obtained by geologists, who have used these stratigraphical tools to reconstruct the pattern of global environmental change through geological time and focuses on the geological evolution of the North Atlantic region. The Key to Earth History is essential reading for geologists, geographers and environmental scientists, as well as to all those interested in the story of the planet.