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Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel

Product Code: SP287
Series: GSL Special Publications - print copy
Author/Editor: Edited by P N Wyse Jackson
Publication Date: 27 September 2007
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Special Publication 287

In the last four centuries geologists have traversed the globe, searching for economically important materials or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. Geologists have often been at the vanguard of scientific exploration.

The microscopist Robert Hooke explored the Isle of Wight, and Charles Darwin the Cape Verde islands and parts of South America. The volcanic wonders of Italy and central France attracted native and foreign visitors including Lyell and Murchison. The Tyrrell brothers faced great hardship in northern Canada, as did the actor and mineralogist Charles Lewis Giesecke in Greenland. The development of Sydney, Australia depended on finding limestone for building. French geologists relied on camels in the Sahara, while Grenville Cole trusted his tricycle to carry him across Europe.

Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel focuses on the complexities of geological exploration and will be of particular interest to earth scientists, historians of science and to the general reader interested in science.

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-234-2
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 424
Weight: 1.10 kg


Global peregrinations: four centuries of geological travel, P N Wyse Jackson • The organized traveller: scientific instructions for geological travels in Italy and Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, E Vaccari • The geological observations of Robert Hooke (1635-1703) on the Isle of Wight, E T Drake • Robert Jameson on the Isle of Arran, 1797-1799: in search of Hutton's 'Theory of the Earth', C J Nicholas and P N Pearson • Writing, 'inscription' and fact: eighteenth century mineralogical books based on travels in the Habsburg regions, the Carpathian Mountains, M Klemun • Geological travellers in view of their philosophical and economical intentions: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) and Caspar Maria Count Sternberg (1761-1838), C Schweizer • Geological travellers in Auvergne, 1751-1800, K L Taylor • J. D. Forbes and Naples, D R Dean • The geological travels of Charles Lyell, Charlotte Murchison and Roderick Impey Murchison in France and northern Italy (1828), M Kolbl-Ebert • Sharing common ground: Nery Delgado (1835-1908) in Spain in 1878, A Carneiro • Grenville Arthur James Cole (1859-1924): the cycling geologist, P N Wyse Jackson • The travels and travails of Sir Charles Lewis Giesecke, A Whittaker • Alexander von Humboldt in Russia: the 1829 expedition, F Naumann • Hermann Abich (1806-1886): 'the Father of Caucasian Geology' and his travels in the Caucasus and Armenian Highlands, E E Milanovsky • On camelback: René Chudeau (1864-1921), Conrad Kilian (1898-1950), Albert Félix de Lapparent (1905-1975), and Théodore Monod (1902-2000), four French geological travellers cross the Sahara, P Taquet • Théodore Andre Monod and the lost Fer de Dieu meteorite of Chinguetti, Mauritania, U B Marvin • The geological travels of Sir Charles Lyell in Madeira and the Canary Islands, 1853-1854, L G Wilson • The German geologist Georg Hartung (1821-1891) and the geology of the Azores and Madeira islands, M S Pinto and A Bouheiry • 'Marks of extreme violence': Charles Darwin's geological observations on St Jago (Sao Tiago), Cape Verde islands, P N Pearson and C J Nicholas • Naturalists from Neuchâtel: America and the dispersal of Agassiz's scientific factory, R H Silliman • Clarence Edward Dutton (1841-1912): soldier, polymath, and aesthete, A R Orme • Two Tyrrells cross the Barren Lands of Canada, 1893, D A E Spalding • Investigating the colonies: native geological travellers in the Portuguese Empire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, S F de M Figueirôa, C P da Silva and E M Pataca • Doing and knowing: Charles Darwin and other travelers, S Herbert • The quest for limestone in colonial New South Wales, 1788-1825, W Mayer • In the footsteps of Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792-1855): soldier, surveyor, explorer, geologist, and probably the first person to compile geological maps in Australia, D Oldroyd • Nineteenth-century observations of the Dun Mountain Ophiolite Belt, Nelson, New Zealand and trans-Tasman correlations, M Johnston • Franz Hilgendorf (1839-1904): introducer of evolutionary theory to Japan around 1873, M Yajima • Geophysical travellers: the magneticians of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, G A Good.


T. J. A. Reijers

This compilation of papers draws together some remarkable stories of geological endeavour and demonstrates that “protogeology” can be traced back to end sixteenth Europe where it gradually turned into geology. This series of papers focuses on uncertainties and complexities of geological exploration, travelling and fieldwork, and shows that many of these factors have not substantially changed through time. This is a useful reminder for all of us involved in such activities, and is as such recommended reading.

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