Timeline of geology

Timeline of geology

Early works

16th and 17th centuries

  • Portuguese and Spanish explorers systematically measure magnetic declination to estimate the geographical longitude [3][4]
  • 1556 – Agricola publishes De re metallica. This book acts as the standard mining and assaying text for the next 250 years.
  • 1596 – Abraham Ortelius, Flemish-Spanish cartographer, first envisages the continental drift theory.[3]
  • 1603 – Ulisse Aldrovandi coins the term Geology.[3][5]
  • 1669 – Nicolas Steno puts forward his theory that sedimentary strata had been deposited in former seas, and that fossils were organic in origin

18th century

  • 1701 – Edmond 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

20th century

21st century

See also


  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, pp. 179–213.
  2. Goodfield, Stephen Toulmin, June (1999). The discovery of time. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 64. ISBN 9780226808420.
  3. Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel (27 November 2013). "How old is Earth Science?". Retos Terrícolas. blogspot.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. Alvarez, Walter; Leitão, Henrique (March 2010). "The neglected early history of geology: The Copernican Revolution as a major advance in understanding the Earth". Geology. 38 (3): 231–234. Bibcode:2010Geo....38..231A. doi:10.1130/G30602.1.
  5. Vai, Gian Battista; Cavazza, William, eds. (2004). Four centuries of the word geology : Ulisse Aldrovandi 1603 in Bologna. Bologna, Italy: Minerva. ISBN 9788873810568.