geology

Milutin Milanković and the Cause of the Ice Ages

Milutin Milanković and the Cause of the Ice Ages

On December 12, 1958, Serbian mathematician, astronomer, climatologist, geophysicist, civil engineer, and popularizer of science Milutin Milanković passed away. Milankovic revolutionized the understanding of climate dynamics. He put the astronomical theory of climate on a firm mathematical basis and founded cosmic climatology by calculating the temperature conditions on planets of the inner and outer solar system. Moreover, he calculated the impact of Earth’s secular orbital cycles on climate changes and explained the…
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Vasily Dokuchaev and Foundations of Soil Science

Vasily Dokuchaev and Foundations of Soil Science

On October 26, 1903, (Julian Calendar) Russian Geologist and Geographer Vasily Dokuchaev passed away. Dokuchaev is commonly regarded as the father of Soil science, the study of soils in its natural setting. He developed soil science in Russia, and was, perhaps the first person to make wide geographical investigations of different soil types. “The scientific basis of soil science as a natural science was established by the classical works of Dokuchaev. Previously, soil…
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Baron Gerard de Geer and the Varves

Baron Gerard de Geer and the Varves

On October 2, 1858, Swedish geologist Gerard Jacob De Geer was born. De Geer made significant contributions to Quaternary geology, particularly geomorphology and geochronology. But, he is best known for his discovery of varves. A varve is a seasonal coarse-fine layer of clay deposited in still water.The layers were produced by the annual melt-water sequence and can be used as a chronological evidence. Gerard de Geer – Family Background and Early Years Baron…
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Nicholas Shackleton and Paleoclimatology

Nicholas Shackleton and Paleoclimatology

On June 23, 1937, English geologist and paleoclimatologist Nicholas Shackleton was born. Shackleton was the son of the distinguished field geologist Robert Millner Shackleton and great-nephew of the explorer Ernest Shackleton.[4] He helped identify carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and studied the ancient climate changes of the Quaternary period, the last 1.8 million years, during which there were periods building up massive ice sheets and mountain ice caps alternating with warm weather when…
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Daniel Barringer and the Barringer Crater

Daniel Barringer and the Barringer Crater

On May 25, 1860, American geologist Daniel Moreau Barringer was born. Barringer is best known as the first person to prove the existence of an impact crater on the Earth, the Meteor Crater in Arizona. The site has been renamed the Barringer Crater in his honor, although this name is mainly used in the scientific community. Daniel Barringer – Family Background and Early Years Daniel Barringer was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA,…
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James David Forbes – Seismology and the Conduction of Heat

James David Forbes – Seismology and the Conduction of Heat

On April 20, 1809, Scottish physicist and glaciologist James David Forbes was born. Forbes worked extensively on the conduction of heat and seismology. He conducted experiments on the temperature of the Earth at different depths and in different soils near Edinburgh. Later he investigated the laws of heat conduction in bars and invented the seismometer. “I thank God humbly and sincerely. God, who has visited us with many trials, and led us…
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The Expeditions of John Wesley Powell

The Expeditions of John Wesley Powell

On March 24, 1834, American geologist and ethnologist John Wesley Powell was born. He published the first classification of American Indian languages and was the first director of the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, including the first known passage through the Grand Canyon. “Economy in speech is the force by which its development has…
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Gideon Mantell and the Reconstruction of the Iguanodon

Gideon Mantell and the Reconstruction of the Iguanodon

On February 3, 1790, English obstetrician, geologist and palaeontologist Gideon Algernon Mantell was born. His attempts to reconstruct the structure and life of Iguanodon began the scientific study of dinosaurs. In 1822 he was responsible for the discovery of the first fossil teeth, and later much of the skeleton, of Iguanodon. Moreover, Mantell is also famous for his contributions on the Cretaceous of southern England. Well, the Cretaceous is a geologic period…
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Arthur Holmes and the Age of the Earth

Arthur Holmes and the Age of the Earth

On January 14, 1890, British geologist Arthur Holmes was born. Holmes pioneered the use of radiometric dating of minerals and was the first earth scientist to grasp the mechanical and thermal implications of mantle convection, which led eventually to the acceptance of plate tectonics. “There are few problems more fascinating than those that are bound up with the bold question: How old is the Earth? With insatiable curiosity men have been trying…
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Sir William Hamilton and the Volcanoes

Sir William Hamilton and the Volcanoes

On December 13, 1730, Scottish diplomat, antiquarian, archaeologist and vulcanologist Sir William Hamilton was born. Hamilton served as British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples from 1764 to 1800, where he studied the volcanoes Vesuvius and also Etna on Sicily. William Hamilton – Early Years Hamilton was born in either London or at Park Place, Berkshire, the fourth son of Lord Archibald Hamilton, governor of Jamaica, and Lady Jane Hamilton. His mother…
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