Chapter

A geological Grand Tour (1828)

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/9780226731308.003.0020
A geological Grand Tour (1828)

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This chapter continues the discussion of the work of Charles Lyell, describing his trips to southern France, northern and southern Italy, and Sicily with Roderick Impey Murchison and his wife. In Velay and Vivarais, the other regions covered in Scrope's book, they found striking further evidence for the gradual erosion of valleys by purely fluvial action, without the need—or indeed the plausibility—of invoking any diluvial episode. Leaving the Massif Central for Provence and the Mediterranean coast, they also found further evidence for the sheer magnitude of the Tertiary formations and the extent to which they had since been elevated. This supported Lyell's nascent causal theory that linked crustal elevation to volcanic activity, and gave him a further incentive to travel as far as the active volcanoes in southern Italy and Sicily.

Keywords: Charles Lyell; France; Italy; Sicily; volcanoes; Roderick Impey Murchison

Chapter.  8314 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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