Travels in North America: With Geological Observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia

Voorkant
Cambridge University Press, 16 sep. 2010 - 304 pagina's
Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was one of the most renowned geologists of the nineteenth century. His Principles of Geology (also reissued in this series) laid the foundations of evolutionary biology, and greatly influenced Darwin. Lyell's most important contribution to modern geology was his refining and popularising of the concept of uniformitarianism, the idea that the earth has been formed through slow-acting geological forces over billions of years. These volumes, first published in 1845, are the result of Lyell's 1841 lecture tour across the United States and Canada, in the course of which he made many observations on the formation of the American landscape. Using the popular format of a travel diary, Lyell provides vivid and detailed descriptions of North American geology, with discussions of important geological sites. Volume 2 contains his travels in Canada.
 

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Inhoudsopgave

CHAPTER XV
24
Succession of Strata on the Ohio between Pomeroy
45
Alluvial Terraces at Cincinnati and their Origin Bones
58
Cincinnati Journey across Ohio to Cleveland New
72
CHAPTER XIX
85
CHAPTER XXI
115
CHAPTER XXII
135
Coal Formation of Nova Scotia Productive Coal Measures
176
CHAPTER XXV
204
DESCRIPTION OF PLATES AND MAPS
235
Map of the Niagara District
259
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Over de auteur (2010)

Lyell was born in Kinnordy, Scotland. His father was a naturalist, and Lyell grew up surrounded by books on natural history, geology, and other sciences. He entered Oxford University at the age of 19 after a boarding-school education that was periodically interrupted by poor health. There his interest in geology was heightened. Although he studied law, he gave up legal work to study rocks and fossils. His contribution to geology is twofold. First, he showed that the earth is constantly changing, not by a series of worldwide catastrophes followed by new creations, but by slow, gradual processes. Like James Hutton, he believed and taught that present-day processes were the ones that shaped the past. It was the worldwide publication of Lyell's treatises and texts that led to the general acceptance of the principle of uniformitarianism, first put forth by Hutton. Second, Lyell contributed the principle of faunal succession and the notion of the time sequence of events. These were evidenced from spatial relationships among strata, faults, and intrusions. The data on which Lyell's contributions are based were gathered on numerous field excursions, most notably in southern Europe, the United States, and Canada. During these trips, Lyell collected numerous samples that he and his wife meticulously categorized and labeled. His writings show that he was also interested in, and concerned about, human problems, as well as problems of science. He touches upon social reforms in England and the problems of slavery in the United States. Lyell was a prolific writer, summarizing his thoughts, contributions, and achievements in these major works: "Principles of Geology" (1830, 1831, 1833), "Antiquity of Man," and "Travels in America." His health and strength declined after the death of his wife in 1873, and he died two years later. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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