Bicentenary of the first national geological map

It’s good to know that the geosciences have had revolutionising developments to match those of the rest of science. Forget the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, which of course was ‘the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life’ when the Brits were saved from defeat by the timely arrival of the Prussians: This year we can celebrate one that literally put geology on the map, kicked-off the systematic exploration for every kind of physical resource, thereby putting a great deal of money in the pockets of coal, petroleum and metal moguls and making geology a career rather than a pastime. In 1815 William Smith published A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales with part of Scotland, which despite the title was a map showing the basic geology and structure of the whole of England and Wales: the first ever map showing accurately the distribution…

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2 thoughts on “Bicentenary of the first national geological map

  1. Paul Braterman

    Reblogged at http://wp.me/p21T1L-sR with comment: Note also Simon Winchester’s The Map That Changed The World. It was no accident that Smith was involved in the practical activity of canal digging, as was Hutton before him; the fresh exposures in cuttings rendered strata visible as they had never been before.

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