Timeline of geology

Timeline of geology

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