John Mcphee's The Control Of Nature

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The Control of Nature, by John McPhee, is a book about three different events in which humans were faced with the challenge to “control nature” in order to protect their homes and lives. The three chapters in the novel, “Atchafalaya”, “Cooling the Lava”, and “Los Angeles Against the Mountains” illustrate some of the Enduring Understandings of Earth Science, which include “Energy, from the Sun and form the Earth’s interior, drive all of the Earth’s cycles and processes.”, “Matter moves through Earth’s spheres in cyclical processes, over varying periods of time, and at different scales.”, and “Earth’s surfaces and processes are altered by human engineering.”. The first Enduring Understanding explains how all of the cycles and processes …show more content…
The process of the Mississippi River changing course was caused by the help of the water cycle, which is powered by energy from the sun. The sun’s energy evaporates water into the sky which condenses and precipitates. The rain from the water cycle caused erosion in the lakes, which increased the size of the Mississippi River and built up sediment, which clogged the river and made it change course into a new direction. The Mississippi River was also in a cycle of changing its course as it moved through the hydrosphere and solid earth at different scales. McPhee writes, “…the Mississippi River has jumped here and there within an arc about two hundred miles wide…frequently and radically changing course, surging over the left or the right bank to go off in utterly new directions…”(5). After Mississippi River was formed and moved through the hydrosphere and solid earth, it continuously changed course in a cycle as sediment in the river built up and eventually clogged the river so that it “spills to one …show more content…
The volcanic eruption resulted in the formation of a new volcano, named Eldfell, which means “mountain of fire”. Energy from the earth’s interior, or lava, created the process of the formation of volcanoes. Volcanoes form when lava from hotspots or magma chambers escape out of the crust of the Earth. On January 23, 1973, a fissure in the south-central side of the island Heimaey unexpectedly resulted in a volcanic eruption. Lava emerged out of the fissure and began to build a cone shape, which was a volcano. Also, tectonic plates moved through the solid earth in a cycle between the crust and the mantle over very long periods of time. Plate tectonics form the Earth’s crust and are floating above the mantle. The boundaries of the plate tectonics either form mountains or volcanoes from magma beneath the surface, or are subducted and recycled back into the mantle as it moves through the solid earth. Eldfell was formed when magma came up through a long fissure on the island from the mantle, which was part of the repetitive cycle of magma moving through the crust and the

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