Iowa's rock record is the product of more than three billion years of geological processes. The state endured multiple episodes of continental glaciation during the Pleistocene Ice Age, and the last glacier retreated from Iowa a mere (geologically speaking) twelve thousand years ago. Prior to that dozens of seas came and went, leaving behind limestone beds with rich fossil records. Lush coal swamps, salty lagoons, briny basins, enormous alluvial plains, ancient rifts, and rugged Precambrian mountain belts all left their mark. In Iowa's Geological Past, Wayne Anderson gives us a well-informed account of the state's vast geological history from the Precambrian through the end of the Great Ice Age.
The hills and valleys of the Hawkeye State are not everlasting when viewed from the perspective of geologic time. Overall, Iowa's geologic column records an extraordinary transformation over more than three billion years. Wayne Anderson's profusely illustrated volume provides a comprehensive and accessible survey of the state's remarkable geological past.
"The only authoritative overview of Iowa's geological record. Anderson is to be commended for integrating the latest geological literature into his text. His coverage is so current, comprehensive, and authoritative that professionals as well as rock and fossil enthusiasts will each need a copy."—Brian F. Glenister, A. K. Miller Professor of Geology Emeritus, University of Iowa
"For those wanting to explore the full range of Iowa's fascinating geologic past, this is a readable, comprehensive, and up-to-date source of authoritative information. Anderson presents a layer-by-layer account of Iowa's deep geological heritage, which takes readers from scenes of volcanic lava filling a tear in the continent's crust to shallow tropical seas teeming with marine life to the icy grip of glaciers and permafrost. In addition to the well-illustrated accounts of Iowa's rock and soil materials, there is useful information about mineral and water resources, interesting anecdotes about geologists and geologic features, and extensive reference sources."—Jean C. Prior, author, Landforms of Iowa