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 [4][5]

18th century[edit]

  • 1701 – Edmund 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]

  • 1809 – William Maclure conducts the first geological survey of the eastern United States
  • 1830 – Sir Charles Lyell publishes book, Principles of Geology, which describes the world as being several hundred million years old
  • 1837 – Louis Agassiz begins his glaciation studies which eventually demonstrate that the Earth has had at least one ice age
  • 1841 – August Breithaupt, Vollstandiges Handbuch der Mineralogie
  • 1848 – James Dwight Dana, Manual of Mineralogy
  • 1862 – Lord Kelvin attempts to find the age of the Earth by examining its cooling time and estimates that the Earth is between 20—400 million years old
  • 1884 – Marcel Alexandre Bertrand, Nappe and Thrust fault theory

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, p. 179-213.
  2. ^ Stephen Toulmin and June Goodfield (1965). The Discovery of Time, p. 64. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  3. ^ Toulmin, S. and Goodfield, J. (1965), ’The Ancestry of science: The Discovery of Time’, Hutchinson & Co., London, p.64.
  4. ^ a b c Geoscience blog
  5. ^ Alvarez & Leitao, 2010, Geology, 38, 231–234, doi: 10.1130/G30602.1
  6. ^ G. B. Vai et W. Cavazza, ed, Four centuries of the word 'Geology', Ulisse Aldrovandi 1603 in Bologna, Minerva Edizioni, Bologna, 2003