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In this concise, clear, and handy-sized volume, aimed at the introductory undergraduate level, highly respected and successful authors explain to the reader, with the help of 180 superb color photomicrographs, how to observe, describe and identify thin section samples of rocks and minerals using the polarising microscope. The book highlights important diagnostic features of minerals and deals with all rock types- igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic-with equal emphasis and authority, giving students the knowledge and confidence to begin to identify specimens for themselves. Each photograph has been specially prepared for the book and has been reproduced in a generous size to the highest quality. In addition to its value to students and instructors in geology, geography, civil engineering and materials science, the book stands on its own as a beautiful collection of photomicrographs and a permanent source of reference and fascination for all those interested in the nature and science of the world of rocks and minerals.