Essentials of Geology, 13th Edition © 2018

Essentials of Geology, published by Pearson, elevates the legibility, core principles, and flexibility from previous editions, so teachers and students can gain the most from the curriculum.

  • Fully integrated mobile media program
  • New animations and videos to illustrate ideas
  • Reliable, consistent framework for mastering concepts
  • This program is accompanied by Pearson’s Mastering® platform with eText

High School Geology Program for Science Students with Digital Integration

Essentials of Geology provides a unique, interactive, and engaging class for students and robust tools for teachers.


Active Learning Path

The natural progression of topics and lesson structure help students focus on key ideas while staying engaged.


Concepts in Review

Concepts in Review provides students with a structured review of the chapter. Consistent with the Focus on Concepts and Concept Checks, the Concepts in Review is structured around the learning objective for each section.


Dynamic Art Program

Illustrations, photographs, and sketches in the text show how geologists see the world and clarify unique concepts.


Rich Media Platform

Mastering® Geology from Pearson provides an online resource with links to eTexts, videos, tutorials, and additional content that can be used in class or at home.

High School Geology Curriculum Teaching Solutions

  • Teach with a Clear Learning Path
  • Current Geology Topics Straight from the Headlines
  • Engage Students in a Dynamic Art Program
  • Four-Part Learning Path
    A four-part learning path facilitates active learning, allowing students to focus on important ideas and pause to assess their progress at frequent intervals.
  • Focus on Concepts
    Focus on Concepts are numbered learning objectives that correspond to each major section of the chapter and prioritize the key concepts and skills that students should master by the end of the chapter.
  • Concept Checks
    Concept Checks conclude each major section within a chapter and allow students to monitor their understanding of significant facts and ideas.
  • Concepts in Review
    Concepts in Review is an end-of-chapter feature that coordinates with Focus on Concepts. This feature provides a concise overview of key ideas by using photos, diagrams, and questions that test students’ understanding of core concepts.
  • Give It Some Thought Questions
    Give It Some Thought questions and problems, relating back to each chapter’s learning objectives, challenge learners by involving them in activities that require higher-order thinking skills such as synthesis, analysis, and application.
  • Energy Resources
    Updated treatment of energy resources includes expanded discussion of emissions from coal combustion and changes in oil and gas production due to fracking.
  • 2015 Nepal Earthquake
    The 2015 Nepal earthquake has been added as an example of a landslide-triggering event.
  • 2014 Bingham Canyon Copper Mine
    New “Did You Know” about the 2013 Bingham Canyon Copper Mine landslide has been added.
  • Vanishing Wetlands
    The vanishing wetlands section has been updated with the loss of wetlands from the Mississippi delta and coastal Louisiana.
  • Groundwater Resources
    A new section has been added on the impact of prolonged drought on groundwater resources.
  • Superstorm Sandy
    Superstorm Sandy has now been added as an example of a decision to change how coastal land is used in Staten Island.
  • USGS Community Internet Intensity Map
    Discussion on the USGS Community Internet Intensity Map project has been included.
  • Rising CO2 Levels
    Rising CO2 levels have been updated to include current data on tropical deforestation.
  • 2013 IPCC Report
    Chapter 20, Global Climate Change, has been updated to reflect the 2013 IPCC report.
  • New and Redrawn Figures
    Dozens of figures are new or have been redrawn by the gifted and highly respected geoscience illustrator Dennis Tasa. Many new and revised figures result in a visual program that is clear and easy to understand.
  • Dynamic Visuals
    Illustrations by Dennis Tasa provide a dynamic visual story of geology. Cutting edge photorealism and photo comparisons guide students more clearly than ever before.
  • Geologist Sketches
    Geologist Sketches are incorporated into the text’s visual program, with photographs side-by-side hand “sketch” versions of the same image. This visual feature encourages students to see the world through the eyes of a professional geologist.

Take a Deeper Look at  Essentials of Geology 



Get to know Essentials of Geology with Mastering® Geology with Pearson eText.

Online Platform for your Geology Program

Mastering® Geology from Pearson provides teachers and students online access for homework, tutorials, and assessments to improve class results.

Next Generation Science Standards

Our solutions are designed to support and correlate to the Next Generation Science Standards.

View Correlation

More About This Program

  • Fred Lutgens and Ed Tarbuck Author Bios
    Fred Lutgens and Ed Tarbuck have been good friends and colleagues since 1970. Between them, they have more than 57 years of experience teaching geology to undergraduates, and both have been recognized with awards as excellent and inspiring professors. They share a special interest in introducing geology to beginning students and a belief in the value of field experiences for students of all levels.

    Tarbuck enjoys downhill skiing in Colorado, fly fishing near his childhood home in Northern Minnesota, and spending time in the Cascades. Lutgens is an avid runner, and when he can make the time, truly enjoys hiking the canyons of the Colorado Plateau. Although Lutgens and Tarbuck think alike on many issues, they don’t agree on everything. Lutgens is devoted to jazz and classical music, whereas Tarbuck prefers pop artists or a good country station.
  • Dennis Tasa Illustrator Bio
    Lutgens and Tarbuck published their first college text, Earth Science, in 1976. That book, winner of the McGuffy Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association, is now going into its 15th edition. In 1983, as the 1st edition of Earth was being prepared, gifted geology illustrator Dennis Tasa joined the author team. Since then the three have collaborated on more than 20 projects. Not only do Tarbuck, Lutgens, and Tasa work well together creatively, they also enjoy spending time in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Tasa’s New Mexico studio.
  • Table of Contents

    An Introduction to Geology

    1. Plate Tectonics: A Scientific Revolution Unfolds
    2. Matter and Minerals
    3. Igneous Rocks and Intrusive Activity
    4. Volcanoes and Volcanic Hazards
    5. Weathering and Soils
    6. Sedimentary Rocks
    7. Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks
    8. Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior
    9. Origin and Evolution of the Ocean Floor
    10. Crustal Deformation and Mountain Building
    11. Mass Movement on Slopes: The Work of Gravity
    12. Running Water
    13. Groundwater
    14. Glaciers and Glaciation
    15. Deserts and Wind
    16. Shorelines
    17. Geologic Time
    18. Earth’s Evolution Through Geologic Time
    19. Global Climate Change

    Appendix: Metric and English Units Compared

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