The centrality of central France (1826–28)

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:
The centrality of central France (1826–28)

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This chapter focuses on the renewed attention given to the region of Auvergne following the publication of research by George Poulett Scrope in England and by Jean-Baptiste Croizet and A. C. G. Jobert in France. The English and French authors agreed with their distinguished predecessors that valleys were excavated very slowly and gradually by the streams and rivers which still flow in them, acting through vast tracts of deep time. This particular region provided exceptionally clear evidence for such a conclusion, because here the slow and steady process had been punctuated by occasional episodes of localized volcanic activity, some of them violent enough to be called catastrophic. These had the incidental effect of preserving traces of successive phases of the continuous erosive process, thus providing crucial evidence that there had been no single episode of erosion that could be attributed to an exceptional “geological deluge.”

Keywords: George Poulett Scrope; geology; geohistory; fossils; fauna; volcanoes; erosion

Chapter.  7640 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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