During its 150 years of statehood, Iowa has ranked at or near the
top of states in the production of specific mineral resources; its
long record of mining lead, coal, gypsum, and limestone contains a
rich history. In addition, Iowa's minerals are valuable to
collectors, who prize their natural charm. In his carefully written
text, geologist Paul Garvin has combined scientific facts about
minerals with an appreciation of their history and beauty to
produce a book that will appeal to scholars, collectors, and the
Garvin begins with a brief treatment of the origins of Iowa's
minerals, moving from the oldest -- with ages well in excess of a
billion years -- to those most recently formed. He describes the
state's major mineral occurrences, providing detailed information
for both specialists and amateurs, including how to obtain access
to collecting sites. A history of Iowa's mineral industries
complements Garvin's more technical information; this history is
supplemented with stories about the Cardiff Giant (who now has his
own web page), Ottumwa's Coal Palace, and the meteor falls of the
nineteenth century. Sixteen striking color photos showcase the
finest of Iowa mineral specimens.
The minerals that occur most abundantly in Iowa make up the
sandstone, shale, limestone, and dolostone bedrock strata and the
soils and alluvium that blanket them. Readers of Iowa's Minerals
will come away with a greater awareness and appreciation of Iowa's
generous mineral endowment.
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