Chapter

The new stratigraphy (1817–25)

in Worlds Before Adam

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780226731285
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226731308 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226731308.003.0004
The new stratigraphy (1817–25)

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This chapter reviews geological research—soon to be defined as stratigraphy—that was clarifying the order of the formations yielding important fossils. It first describes the practice of geognosy, which aimed to give accurate descriptions of the three-dimensional structure of rock masses of all kinds, independently of any theoretical conjectures about their causal origin or place in geohistory. This is followed by discussions of Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt's (1769–1859) analysis of geognosy; the book Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales (1822) by Conybeare and William Phillips (1775–1828), which summarized the sequence of British formations; and the stratigraphy of Europe.

Keywords: geological research; stratigraphy; geognosy; Conybeare; William Phillips; Alexander von Humboldt

Chapter.  4913 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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