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Dynamic Earth

Landscapes Below: Mapping and the New Science of Geology

The unseen forces that shaped the Earth continued to perplex geologists. Some believed that Earth formations developed under the oceans and were slowly pushed to the surface. Others argued that volcanic forces were the primary cause. The dynamic Earth had further complexities. Did change occur dramatically but infrequently, or gradually and continuously? Field observations showed that the distortions and disturbances of strata could be used to retrace the effects of forces on layers of rock.

By tracing and unravelling the landscape in this way, geologists developed localised geohistories. These they knitted together, creating a historical panorama of the geological events that shaped the Earth.