Beauty From the Beast

Plate Tectonics and the Landscapes of the Pacific Northwest

The same geological forces that threaten our lives with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions also nourish our spirits by forming spectacular mountains, valleys, and coastlines. Dr. Robert J. Lillie relates this “Beauty from the Beast” story of thePacific Northwest and surrounding regions by highlighting spectacular scenery in national, state and local parklands.

Dr. Lillie draws on his experience as a geology professor, park ranger and graphic illustrator to reveal plate tectonics in action. His vivid photos and color graphics explain the basics of Earth science in an easy-to-understand format. Each chapter includes fun demonstrations involving food, state quarters, decks of cards and other everyday objects to help readers appreciate the region’s landscapes and the geological forces that created them. The initial chapter introduces the reader to plate tectonics and its bearing on landforms, earthquakes and volcanoes. Subsequent chapters zoom in on landscapes at the three types of plate boundaries and a hotspot. 

Beauty from the Beast reminds Northwest residents and visitors that their hometowns and iconic parklands are subject to geologic processes that affect their lives and livlihoods. By learning to live with the beast of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions they can more-fully appreciate the beauty that surrounds them.

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lillier@geo.oregonstate.edu         © Robert J. Lillie 2015