Timeline of geology

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Timeline of geology

Early works[edit]

16th and 17th centuries[edit]

  • Portuguese and Spanish explorers systematically measure magnetic declination to estimate the geographical longitude [3][4]
  • 1556 – Agricola publishes De re metallica. This book acts as the standard mining and assaying text for the next 250 years.
  • 1596 – Abraham Ortelius, Flemish-Spanish cartographer, first envisages the continental drift theory.[3]
  • 1603 – Ulisse Aldrovandi coins the term Geology.[3][5]
  • 1669 – Nicolas Steno puts forward his theory that sedimentary strata had been deposited in former seas, and that fossils were organic in origin

18th century[edit]

  • 1701 – Edmond Halley suggests using the salinity and evaporation of the Mediterranean to determine the age of the Earth
  • 1743 – Dr Christopher Packe produces a geological map of south-east England
  • 1746 – Jean-Étienne Guettard presents the first mineralogical map of France to the French Academy of Sciences.
  • 1760 – John Michell suggests earthquakes are caused by one layer of rocks rubbing against another
  • 1776 – James Keir suggests that some rocks, such as those at the Giant's Causeway, might have been formed by the crystallisation of molten lava
  • 1779 – Comte de Buffon speculates that the Earth is older than the 6,000 years suggested by the Bible
  • 1785 – James Hutton presents paper entitled Theory of the Earth – earth must be old
  • 1799 – William Smith produces the first large scale geological map, of the area around Bath

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A. Salam (1984), "Islam and Science". In C. H. Lai (1987), Ideals and Realities: Selected Essays of Abdus Salam, 2nd ed., World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 179–213.
  2. ^ Goodfield, Stephen Toulmin, June (1999). The discovery of time. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 64. ISBN 9780226808420.
  3. ^ a b c Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel (27 November 2013). "How old is Earth Science?". Retos Terrícolas. blogspot.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. ^ Alvarez, Walter; Leitão, Henrique (March 2010). "The neglected early history of geology: The Copernican Revolution as a major advance in understanding the Earth". Geology. 38 (3): 231–234. Bibcode:2010Geo....38..231A. doi:10.1130/G30602.1.
  5. ^ Vai, Gian Battista; Cavazza, William, eds. (2004). Four centuries of the word geology : Ulisse Aldrovandi 1603 in Bologna. Bologna, Italy: Minerva. ISBN 9788873810568.