Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction xi

PART I: Cutting through Earth Time - Mr Smith's Section from

London to Snowdon i

1 Recent Earth Time - The Holocene 3

2 The Diluvium - The Flood and the Ice Ages 31

3 Below the surface - Into Tertiary times 65

4 Layer upon layer - Deeper and deeper into Earth Time 81

5 Oolites and Lias - The Jurassic before the Park 105

6 Red beds in the Midlands and Russia 137

7 Fuelling the Industrial Revolution 161

8 A boundary dispute in the Welsh Hills 183

9 The end of the line - The Precambrian 227

PART II: Major Powell's Boat Trip through the Grand Canyon 235

10 A Glimpse into the abyss of Earth Time 237

11 Signs of Life appear 263

12 The Cambrian arms race 293

13 The Upper Paleozoic - American style 313

14 The Missing Mesozoic and the Making of the Canyon 337

15 Peopling the Americas

16 Rock of ages - Dating rocks and fossils

Earth Time - Conclusion

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