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A new forerunner for continental drift

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Abstract

Abraham Ortelius suggested the basic elements of the continental drift theory in 1596, thus antedating by more than 150 years other writers credited with early fomulations of the theory.

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... The Flemish cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) discussed Plato's Atlantis legend in the third edition of his Thesaurus Geographicus. Ortelius (1596) suggested that Plato had described an ancient separation of the continents, and used this interpretation to account for the matching coastlines of the Old and New Worlds (Romm, 1994). He suggested that the Americas were 'torn away from Europe and Africa . . . ...
... Commonly, the credit is given to Francis Bacon (1561-1626), an English philosopher, scientist, statesman and jurist, for being the first to have observed the jigsaw fit of the opposite coasts of Africa and South America. In his book Novum Organum, published in 1620, Bacon wrote about the Old and New Worlds as examples of 'conformable instances' (Carozzi, 1970;Romm, 1994). This assumption, however, is evidently false, as pointed out by Davies (1965) and Carozzi (1970). ...
Article
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Palaeogeography is the cartographic representation of the past distribution of geographic features such as deep oceans, shallow seas, lowlands, rivers, lakes and mountain belts on palinspastically restored plate tectonic base maps. It is closely connected with plate tectonics which grew from an earlier theory of continental drift and is largely responsible for creating and structuring the Earth's lithosphere. Today, palaeogeography is an integral part of the Earth sciences curriculum. Commonly, with some exceptions, only the most recent state of research is presented; the historical aspects of how we actually came to the insights which we take for granted are rarely discussed, if at all. It is remarkable how much was already known about the changing face of the Earth more than three centuries before the theory of plate tectonics, despite the fact that most of our present analytical tools or our models were unavailable then. Here, we aim to present a general conspectus from the dawn of ‘palaeogeography’ in the 16th century onwards. Special emphasis is given to innovative ideas and scientific milestones, supplemented by memorable anecdotes, which helped to advance the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics, and finally led to the establishment of palaeogeography as a recognized discipline of the Earth sciences.
... The first accurate maps of the continents provided the first clues that the continents moved relative to each other. The father of modern cartography, the geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), wrote a short statement on the fit of the Americas to Africa and Europe (Romm, 1994), and in 1620, in the Novum Organon, Francis Bacon (1561- 1626) speculated about several kinds of analogies in the forms of the continents. The seeds of future mobilism were sown (Rupke, 1970; Goodacre, 1991; Romm, 1994; Scalera, 1999). ...
... The father of modern cartography, the geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), wrote a short statement on the fit of the Americas to Africa and Europe (Romm, 1994), and in 1620, in the Novum Organon, Francis Bacon (1561- 1626) speculated about several kinds of analogies in the forms of the continents. The seeds of future mobilism were sown (Rupke, 1970; Goodacre, 1991; Romm, 1994; Scalera, 1999). Today, in the epoch of interactive digital facilities , we lack a popular cartographic tool allowing people to realize their cartographic and paleogeographic ideas with a legitimate additional degree of freedom: globe size variations. ...
... Since about 1596, scientists have long recognised that the opposing margins of continents fit together, e.g., [7] in a manner suggesting that in the past, they formed one landmass, a hypothetical supercontinent popularly known as Rodinia 2 which is thought to have formed about 1 billion years ago and to have embodied most if not all of the Earth's continents. This hypothetical supercontinent is believed to have broken up into eight continents some 600 million years ago, e.g., [8]. ...
... It is well established fact that the Moon is receding from the Earth at a rate of about 38.247 0.004 mm/yr ± [26] [27], this must lead to a loss of orbital angular momentum for both the Earth and the Moon as individual bodies. In addition to this, the Russian astronomers Krasinsky and Brumberg [7] and the American astronomer Standish [12] reported that the mean Sun-Earth-Moon distance known as the Astronomical Unit (denoted 9tively. To up-hold the law of conservation of angular momentum (i.e., the sum total of the orbital and rotational angular momentum), this lost orbital angular momentum can not be lost into the oblivious; it must be transferred to the spin of the respective bodies, thus leading to changes in the sizes and the spin periods of these celestial bodies since the spin depends on the size and the spin period. ...
Article
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Exactly 101 years ago, German scientist Alfred Lothar Wegener, sailed against the prevailing wisdom of his day when he posited that not only have the Earth's continental plates receded from each other over the course of the Earth's history, but that they are currently in a state of motion relative to one another. To explain this, Wegener set forth the hypothesis that the Earth must be expanding as a whole. Wegener's inability to provide an adequate explanation of the forces and energy source responsible for continental drift and the prevailing belief that the Earth was a rigid solid body resulted in the acrimonious dismissal of his theories. Today, that the continents are generally receding from each other is no longer a point of debate but a sacrosanct pillar of modern geology and geophysics. What is debatable is the energy source driving this phenomenon. Herein, we hold that continental drift is a result of the Earth undergoing a secular radial expansion. An expanding Earth hypothesis is currently an idea that is not accepted on a general consensus level. Be that as it may, we show herein that the law of conservation of angular momentum and energy entail that the Earth must not only expand as a consequence of the secular recession of the Earth-Moon system from the Sun, but invariably, that the Moon must contract as well. As a result, the much sort for energy source driving plate tectonics can (hypothetically) be identified with the energy transfers occurring between the orbital and rotational kinetic energy of the Earth. If our calculations are to be believed—as we do; then, the Earth must be expanding radially at a paltry rate of about +1.50 mm/yr while the Moon is contracting radially at a relatively high rate of about −410 mm/yr.
... The first accurate maps of the continents provided the first clues that the continents moved relative to each other. The father of modern cartography, the geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), wrote a short statement on the fit of the Americas to Africa and Europe (Romm, 1994), and in 1620, in the Novum Organon, Francis Bacon (1561-1626) speculated about several kinds of analogies in the forms of the continents. The seeds of future mobilism were sown (Rupke, 1970;Goodacre, 1991;Romm, 1994;Scalera, 1999). ...
... The father of modern cartography, the geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), wrote a short statement on the fit of the Americas to Africa and Europe (Romm, 1994), and in 1620, in the Novum Organon, Francis Bacon (1561-1626) speculated about several kinds of analogies in the forms of the continents. The seeds of future mobilism were sown (Rupke, 1970;Goodacre, 1991;Romm, 1994;Scalera, 1999). Today, in the epoch of interactive digital facilities, we lack a popular cartographic tool allowing people to realize their cartographic and paleogeographic ideas with a legitimate additional degree of freedom: globe size variations. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this short note I have tried to make clear the issues surrounding a recent discussion on changing-radius paleobiogeographical problems of the Pacific Ocean biotic distribution. It is stressed that such an important discussion cannot be developed in the absence of proper cartographic methods that must necessarily introduce an increasing radius parameter, highlighting the effects of a changing curvature in the continental/oceanic plates in their movements from a globe of a given radius to a new position on a globe of different radius. Many other aspects of paleogeography, paleomagnetism, paleoclimate can be faced in a new and more open-mind philosophy and considered in a legitimate additional degree of freedom: globe size increasing. The new increasing-radius Cartography can become of fundamental importance for the advancement of science – not only of Earth sciences.
... The first accurate maps of the continents provided the first clues that the continents moved relative to each other. The father of modern cartography, the geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), wrote a short statement on the fit of the Americas to Africa and Europe (Romm, 1994), and in 1620, in the Novum Organon, Francis Bacon (1561-1626) speculated about several kinds of analogies in the forms of the continents. The seeds of future mobilism were sown (Rupke, 1970;Goodacre, 1991;Romm, 1994;Scalera, 1999). ...
... The father of modern cartography, the geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), wrote a short statement on the fit of the Americas to Africa and Europe (Romm, 1994), and in 1620, in the Novum Organon, Francis Bacon (1561-1626) speculated about several kinds of analogies in the forms of the continents. The seeds of future mobilism were sown (Rupke, 1970;Goodacre, 1991;Romm, 1994;Scalera, 1999). Today, in the epoch of interactive digital facilities, we lack a popular cartographic tool allowing people to realize their cartographic and paleogeographic ideas with a legitimate additional degree of freedom: globe size variations. ...
Article
In this short note I have tried to make clear the issues surrounding a recent discussion on changing-radius paleobiogeographical problems of the Pacific Ocean biotic distribution. It is stressed that such an important discussion cannot be developed in the absence of proper cartographic methods that must necessarily introduce an increasing radius parameter, highlighting the effects of a changing curvature in the continental/oceanic plates in their movements from a globe of a given radius to a new position on a globe of different radius. Many other aspects of paleogeography, paleomagnetism, paleoclimate can be faced in a new and more open-mind philosophy and considered in a legitimate additional degree of freedom: globe size increasing. The new increasing-radius Cartography can become of fundamental importance for the advancement of science – not only of Earth sciences.
... Theories related to the movement of continents were offered by a number of researchers starting from the 16th century (Romm, 1994). Ortelius (1596) was the first to propose the basic elements of the continental drift theory. ...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous attempts have been made to understand the rules of Earth's tectonic-geodynamic processes over the past centuries. While no paradigm has offered comprehensive answers to all the questions, the present review aims to acquaint readers with the modern state of developments in the tectonic insights of Earth's evolution. A number of very fascinating and unique processes and features took place during the evolution of early Earth. However, most of these were largely erased throughout Earth's ensuing evolution; some are leaving only traces of their existence and some remnant phenomena, especially those taking place in the Hadean and Early to Late Archean. Among such processes and features are the planetary accretion of Earth, formation of unique rock complexes, initiation of the plate tectonics phenomenon, main forces driving plate tectonics, the significant influence of thermal parameters, the role of overpressure under different physical-geological environments, stratification of Earth's crust and lithosphere by density, and various other thermodynamic models. Nearly all of these remain enigmatic due to considerable uncertainty in the timing and methods of their evolution and the ambiguity of their secondary processes and tectonic-geophysical indicators. At the same time, most tectonic-geodynamic processes and features are also interrelated, and the simultaneous fluctuation of myriad factors played a significant role in their influence on the geological medium. Some of these intricate questions are discussed in this paper. For instance, what is the role of the plate tectonics phenomenon, and when did this process initiate on Earth? Especial attention is paid in the review to the sophisticated methods of understanding tectonic processes throughout various generations of geoscientists. In the conducted analyses, specific physical data derived from other planets of the Solar System were utilized as well.
... According to Romm (1994), the earliest dated recognition of the similarity, and suggestion of separation, between the coastlines of the Americas and Europe and Africa may have been in the Thesaurus Geographicus by Ortelius (1596). In effect, this early observation represents one of the first conjugate margin studies, and demonstrates the appeal of such observations. ...
Article
The prevalence of conjugate margin terminology and studies in the scientific literature is testimony to the contribution that this concept and approach has made to the study of passive margins, and more broadly extensional tectonics. However, when applied to the complex rift, transform and spreading system of the southern North Atlantic (i.e. the passive margins of Newfoundland, Labrador, Ireland, Iberia and southern Greenland), it becomes obvious that at these passive continental margin settings additional geological phenomena complicate this convenient description. These aspects include: 1) the preservation of relatively undeformed continental fragments, 2) formation of transform systems and oblique rifts, 3) triple junctions (with both rift and spreading-axes), 4) multiple failed rift axes, 5) post-breakup processes such as magmatism, 6) localised subduction, and 7) ambiguity in identification of oceanic isochrons. Comparison of two different published reconstructions of the region shows the ambiguity in conducting conjugate margin studies. This demonstrates the need for a more pragmatic approach to the study of continental passive margin settings where a greater emphasis is placed on the inclusion of these possibly complicating features in palinspastic reconstructions, plate tectonic, and evolutionary models.
... According to Romm (1994), the earliest dated recognition of the similarity, and suggestion of separation, between the coastlines of the Americas and Europe and Africa may have been in the Thesaurus Geographicus by Ortelius (1596). In effect, this early observation represents one of the first conjugate margin studies, and it demonstrates the appeal of such observations, although it was not until the early 20th century that Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift more specifically addressed the concept that movement of the continents occurred through time (Wegener, 1912). ...
Preprint
The prevalence of conjugate margin terminology and studies in the scientific literature is testimony to the contribution that this concept and approach has made to the study of passive margins, and more broadly extensional tectonics. However, when applied to the complex rift, transform and spreading system of the southern North Atlantic (i.e. the passive margins of Newfoundland, Labrador, Ireland, Iberia and southern Greenland), it becomes obvious that at these passive continental margin settings additional geological phenomena complicate this convenient description. These aspects include: 1) the preservation of relatively undeformed continental fragments, 2) formation of transform systems and oblique rifts, 3) triple junctions (with both rift and spreading-axes), 4) multiple failed rift axes, 5) post-breakup processes such as magmatism, 6) localised subduction, and 7) ambiguity in identification of oceanic isochrons. Comparison of different published reconstructions of the region show ambiguity in conducting conjugate margin studies. This demonstrates the need for a more pragmatic approach to the study of continental passive margin settings where a greater emphasis is placed on the inclusion of these possibly complicating features in palinspastic reconstructions, plate tectonic, and evolutionary models.
... The list of ancient proposers of the continental drift theory also includes names as Francis Bacon, Comte de Buffon, François Placet, Thomas Young, Richard Owen, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Heinrich Wettstein, Osmund Fisher and Charles B. Warring (Du Toit 1957;Carozzi 1970Carozzi , 1983Kasbeer 1973). Abraham Ortelius, a sixteenth century geographer, is considered the first forerunner to include two central aspects of the continental drift theory: the continental fit and the movement of landmasses (Romm 1994). In his 1596 book entitled Thesaurus geographicus, Ortelius argued that America had been "torn away from Europe and Africa, by earthquakes and flood", and that "the vestiges of the rupture reveal themselves, if someone brings forward a map of the world and considers carefully the coasts of the three aforementioned parts of the Earth, where they face each other" (cited in Romm 1994, 408). ...
Article
Full-text available
The continental drift controversy has been deeply analysed in terms of rationalist notions, which seem to find there a unique topic to describe the weight of evidence for reaching consensus. In that sense, many authors suggest that Alfred Wegener’s theory of the original supercontinent Pangea and the subsequent continental displacements finally reached a consensus when irrefutable evidence became available. Therefore, rationalist approaches suggest that evidence can be enough by itself to close scientific controversies. In this article I analyse continental drift debates from a different perspective which is based on styles of thought. I’ll argue that continental drift debate took much longer than it was usually recognized with two styles of thought coexisting for hundreds of years. These were fixism and mobilism and they were always confronting their own evidence and interpretations and functioning as general frameworks for the acceptability of a specific theory. Therefore, this text aims to bring much broader sociological elements than usually involved in the analysis of the continental drift theory.
... Olhando para o domínio da emoção na perspetiva das dissidências de ordem epistemológica, ontológica, teórica e até metodológica, não veremos mais que continentes apartados entre si por grandes oceanos. A análise dos contornos destes continentes poderá ajudar-nos, por outro lado, a recriar a visão de homens como Abraham Ortelius, imagem que viria a dar origem à teoria da deriva continental (Romm, 1994). A constatação de que as várias formas se encaixam quando reorganizadas, emerge com uma tomada de perspetiva de complementaridade. ...
Conference Paper
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Resumo A Psicologia das Emoções é herdeira de um longo debate sobre a natureza do seu objeto de análise. Em virtude das diferentes tentativas de delimitar e definir emoção, desenvolveram-se diferentes linhas teóricas, apartadas por diferendos aparentemente irresolúveis e sustentadas em dicotomias que, por definição, assumem a divisão do todo em conjuntos mutuamente exclusivos. O aparente caos torna-se amenizável e as linhas parecem não mais ser paralelas, quando consideradas e ponderadas as regularidades e os pontos de contacto entre as diferentes perspetivas. Após largos anos de um aparente desinteresse pelo estudo da emocionalidade, os recentes avanços na investigação permitem atribuir alguma coerência ao domínio, mesmo em face da sua declarada complexidade. O destaque que a emoção agora assume dentro da ciência psicológica coloca, contudo, novos desafios teóricos, epistemológicos e metodológicos. Pretende-se no presente trabalho levantar e situar o problema do estudo e da avaliação das emoções no quadro da psicologia de hoje, tomando também por referência aquelas que constituem já linhas de força previsíveis para o desenvolvimento futuro do domínio.
... Theories of the movement of continents were offered by a number of researchers starting from the 16th century (Romm, 1994). Abraham Ortelius (1596) was the first to propose the basic elements of the continental drift theory. ...
Article
Full-text available
The main problems of the plate tectonics model are discussed in the paper. It is shown that the idea of mantle-wide convection, as well as convection within any thick mantle layer, violates the laws of physics and is therefore impossible. Analysis of the forces postulated for the model reveals that their values are very low and would be incapable of forming and supporting any significant tectonic processes (e.g., obduction, orogeny, uplifting of lithospheric block, subduction, and others). There is no clear definition of the forces operating in plate tectonics and movement of plates; and even their application is incorrect, as they violate physical laws by ignoring friction and strength limits. Formation of a new oceanic lithosphere in spreading centers violates physical laws, because it is not possible to have a plate which would independently form all its main layers of the oceanic lithosphere over tens to hundreds of millions of years in underwater conditions, building up in ~1 cm long, 50 km thick and thousands of kilometers wide increments each year, all to combine into a thousands of kilometers long solid oceanic plate, separated into its layers. There are inconsistencies between the total lengths of mid-ocean ridges (total length of the mid-ocean ridge system is ~80,000 km and the continuous mountain range is 65,000 km) and the total length of trenches (30,000-40,000 km) on the sea floor, but according to the plate tectonics model the total length of trenches should be twice as long as that of mid-ocean ridges (~130,000-160,000 km). There is also data indicating the impossibility for subduction to take place around the Atlantic (except a few locations) and Arctic oceans. Any oceanic lithosphere plate (slab) with a thickness of ~50 km is composed of three main layers: brittle upper layer with a temperature less than ~573 K; elastic middle layer with temperatures within the range of ~573-873 K; and plastic lower layer with a temperature of over ~873 K, and cannot be considered rigid. Analysis of possible density of subducting slabs shows that under any circumstances the average density of an oceanic lithosphere plate cannot be greater than rocks of the upper mantle, and formation of negative buoyancy should therefore not be possible; even transformation of the entire crust of any region into eclogite would be insufficient to form a negative buoyancy of even 0.01 g/cm3. It is shown that the subduction process requires presence of gigantic external force. An oceanic plate has an average geothermal gradient of ~50-86 K/km, and a temperature of about 1573 K (or 1603 K) at the point of contact between its lithosphere and asthenosphere, so it cannot technically be considered cold. There are also numerous questions in the model unanswered thus far. Formation of UHP rocks cannot be accomplished within a subduction zone under lithostatic pressures alone. Analysis of causes for the formation of significant overpressure shows that only the decomposition of rocks (foremost the serpentinization of peridotite) can generate such giant forces capable of horizontally moving oceanic plates. It is clear that the plate tectonics model is inconsistent as a model, violates numerous physical laws, and is based on a large number of false postulates and assumptions.
... The space between the two curves can be imagined as being filled with the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the compelling similarity of the two coast lines, most geologists refused the proposition put forward by Abraham Ortelius as early as 1596 (Romm, 1994) that the two continents were originally attached to one another. By rejecting this proposal and ascribing the similarity of the two coast lines to mere chance, these scientists committed a classical Type 2 error. ...
Article
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"Not our houses, but our brains are haunted" G. M. Beard, 1879 (p. 67) Guidebooks to haunted places usually organize their contents according to geographic criteria or to the main types of "paranormal" events a visitor is invited to expect. This chapter is intended as an introductory guide to the most frequently and thoroughly haunted site, indeed, the cradle from which all hauntings ultimately emerge. It is the human brain. Localization criteria seem premature. Although we know a great deal more about the functional neuroanatomy of psychotic and paranormal belief than we did a century ago, when the American neurologist George Beard wrote about the topic (Beard, 1879; see Brown, 1983 for a review and bibliography), we are still far from being able to pinpoint, in a physical sense, those brain loci giving ghosts a permanent housing. Nevertheless, as cognitive neuroscience enters the 21st century, it is increasingly successful in identifying interactions between distributed neural systems and the experience of and the beliefs in forces whose origins some of us project into the outside world.
... The similarity of the coastal shape of South America and Africa was commented on first by 16th-century author Ortelius (Romm, 1994); the concept of ancient continuity between South America and Africa is found in the works of 18th-century authors such as von Hu¨psch-Lonzen and Buffon (Papavero et al., 2003). The existence of a southern supercontinent called Gondwanaland proposed by Suess (1885) was based on the distribution of fern fossils of Glossopteris Rafinesque in southern continents (even though Glossopteris is more properly a member of the Permian flora). ...
... Surely, insofar as explaining very well many facts about our present World, the idea of an expanding Earth has been shown to work [8]- [10]. However, in science, that is not a good enough reason to believe the Earth must be expanding. ...
Article
Full-text available
Exactly 101 years ago, German scientist—Alfred Lothar Wegener, sailed against the prevailing wisdom of his day when he posited that not only have the Earth's continental plates receded from each other over the course of the Earth's history, but that they are currently in a state of motion relative to one another. To explain this, Wegener set forth the hypothesis that the Earth must be expanding as a whole. Wegener's inability to provide an adequate explanation of the forces and energy source responsible for continental drift and the prevailing belief that the Earth was a rigid solid body resulted in the acrimonious dismissal of his theories. Today, that the continents are receding from each other is no longer a point of debate but a sacrosanct pillar of modern geology and geophysics. What is debatable is the energy source driving this phenomenon. An expanding Earth hypothesis is currently an idea that is not accepted on a general consensus level. Antipro-ponent of the expanding Earth mercilessly dismiss it as a pseudo or fringe science with their main point of rejection being the energy source to power this supposed expansion. Be that as it may, we show herein that from the well accepted law of conversation of spin angular momentum, Ste-phenson [1]'s result that over the last 2700 years or so, the length of the Earth's day has undergone a change of about +17.00 μs/yr, this result invariably leads to the plausibility the Earth may very be expanding radially at a paltry rate of about +0.60 mm/yr. If correct, this simple fact, automatically move the expanding Earth hypothesis from the realm of pseudo or fringe science, to that of plausible science.
... The origin of Pangea, as a concept, has been attributed to the 16th century geographer Abraham Ortelius, who perhaps first noted the congruency of the peri-Atlantic coasts of America, Europe, and Africa, in his 1596 Thesaurus Geographicus (Romm, 1994). Two and a half centuries later, Snider-Pellegrini (1858) drafted the first paleogeographic map of what would later be recognized as Pangea, and, notably, remarked on some geologic relics common to the peri-Atlantic continents. ...
Article
Outside of the realm of paleomagnetic studies, it has been a long held tenet that Pangea amalgamated into and disseminated from essentially the same paleogeography, the conventional Pangea reconstruction of Alfred Wegener. There is widespread geologic and geophysical support for this re-assembly during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, but global paleomagnetic data have been repeatedly shown to be incompatible with this reconstruction for pre-Late Triassic time. This discrepancy, which has endured from the late 1950's to the present day, has developed into a fundamental enigma of late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic paleomagnetism. The problem stems from a large disparity in the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of Laurussia and Gondwana when the landmasses are restored to the conventional paleogeography. If the APWPs are made to coincide while the conventional fit is maintained, a substantial crustal misfit results; a continental overlap of approximately 10° latitude (1000+ km) occurs between Laurussia and Gondwana. To resolve this problem, alternative Pangea reconstructions have been built to accommodate the late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic paleomagnetic data, but these invariably require large-scale shearing between Laurussia and Gondwana to reach the conventional Pangea re-assembly, from which it is unanimously agreed that the Atlantic Ocean opened in the Jurassic. Evidence for a megashear between these landmasses is critically lacking. Another proposed solution invokes time-dependent non-dipole fields, but challenges the working assumption that the geomagnetic field has effectively been a geocentric axial dipole through the Phanerozoic. The final alternative is that the problem is a manifestation of artifacts/contamination in the paleomagnetic data. Previous investigations of this last hypothesis have demonstrated its theoretical plausibility, but lacked the exhaustive analysis of global paleomagnetic data necessary to assuredly dispel the problem as an enduring data-artifact. Using the most recent late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic paleomagnetic data, we examine the influence of data-quality, refined continental fits, and theoretical inclination shallowing corrections, and demonstrate that the paleomagnetic data can be reconciled with Pangea without invoking alternative reconstructions or non-dipole fields.
... Observación: Se consideran brevemente las ide as movilistas esenciales. Antes de estudiar las cau sas y los argumentos, se analizan los precursores de las mismas: Orthelius, Snider-Pellegrini, Fischer, Humboldt, etc. (Romm , 1994;Rupke, 1970). De es ta forma se contribuye a situar dichas hipótesis den tro del marco de la transformación de las ideas científicas. ...
... The origin of Pangea, as a concept, has been attributed to the 16th century geographer Abraham Ortelius, who perhaps first noted the congruency of the peri-Atlantic coasts of America, Europe, and Africa, in his 1596 Thesaurus Geographicus (Romm, 1994). Two and a half centuries later, Snider-Pellegrini (1858) drafted the first paleogeographic map of what would later be recognized as Pangea, and, notably, remarked on some geologic relics common to the peri-Atlantic continents. ...
Article
Outside of the realm of paleomagnetic studies, it has been a long held tenet that Pangea amalgamated into and disseminated from essentially the same paleogeography, the conventional Pangea reconstruction of Alfred Wegener. There is widespread geologic and geophysical support for this continental configuration during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, but global paleomagnetic data have been repeatedly shown to be incompatible with this reconstruction for pre-Late Triassic time. This discrepancy, which has endured from the late 1950's to the present day, has developed into a fundamental enigma of late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic paleomagnetism. The problem stems from a large disparity in the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of Laurussia and Gondwana when the landmasses are restored to the conventional fit. If the APWPs are forced to coincide while some semblance of this fit is maintained, a substantial crustal overlap (1,000+ km) results between Laurussia and Gondwana. To resolve this problem, alternative Pangea reconstructions have been built to accommodate the paleomagnetic data, but these invariably require large-scale shearing between Laurussia and Gondwana to reach the conventional configuration, from which it is unanimously agreed that the Atlantic Ocean opened in the Jurassic. Evidence for a megashear between these landmasses is critically lacking. Another proposed solution invokes time-dependent non-dipole fields, but challenges the common assumption that the geomagnetic field has effectively been a geocentric axial dipole through the Phanerozoic. The remaining alternative is that the problem is a manifestation of artifacts/contamination in the paleomagnetic data. Here we review the historical development of this problem and conduct an up-to-date re-analysis. Using the most recent late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic paleomagnetic data, we examine the influence of data-quality, refined continental fits, and theoretical inclination shallowing corrections, and confirm that the paleomagnetic data can be reconciled with Pangea, without invoking alternative reconstructions or non-dipole fields.
... The similarity of the coastal shape of South America and Africa was commented on first by 16th century author Ortelius (Romm, 1994), whereas the concept of an ancient continuity between South America and Africa is found in the works of 18th century authors such as von Hüpsch-Lonzen and Buffon (Papavero et al., 2003). The existence of a southern super-continent called Gondwanaland proposed by Eduard Suess (1885) was based on the distribution of fern fossils of Glossopteris Rafinesque in southern continents (even though Glossopteris is more properly a member of the Permian flora). ...
Article
Abstract Most biogeographical studies propose that southern temperate faunal disjunctions are either the result of vicariance of taxa originated in Gondwana or the result of transoceanic dispersal of taxa originated after the breakup of Gondwana. The aim of this paper is to show that this is a false dichotomy. Antarctica retained a mild climate until mid-Cenozoic and had lasting connections, notably with southern South America and Australia. Both taxa originally Gondwanan and taxa secondarily on Gondwanan areas were subjected to tectonic-induced vicariance, and there is no need to invoke ad hoc transoceanic dispersal, even for post-Gondwanan taxa. These different elements with circumantarctic distributions are here called ‘allochronic taxa’– taxa presently occupying the same area, but whose presence in that area does not belong to the same time period. This model allows accommodation of conflicting sources of evidence now available for many groups with circumantarctic distributions. The fact that the species from both layers are mixed up in the current biodiversity implies the need to use additional sources of evidence – such as biogeographical, palaeontological, geological and molecular – to discriminate which are the original Gondwanan and which are post-Gondwanan elements in austral landmasses.
Article
GIS technology such as GPS loggings has become common recently. Real time route navigation can be displayed on our smartphone with high accuracy. This technology has already been applied for the tools of exploration in the E&P industry from 2000s. The exploration can utilize the plate reconstruction model and paleoclimate model more effectively by using the GIS technology for the play base exploration. This presentation mentions the change of the exploration style by the application of the plate reconstruction and paleoclimate model with GIS technology. And then, we will discuss an oil majorʼs example as a possible practice of the plate reconstruction and paleoclimate model for the exploration at the underexplored area of the Eastern Africa.
Chapter
Carbon plays a fundamental role on Earth. It forms the chemical backbone for all essential organic molecules produced by living organisms. Carbon-based fuels supply most of society's energy, and atmospheric carbon dioxide has a huge impact on Earth's climate. This book provides a complete history of the emergence and development of the new interdisciplinary field of deep carbon science. It traces four centuries of history during which the inner workings of the dynamic Earth were discovered, and documents extraordinary scientific revolutions that changed our understanding of carbon on Earth forever: carbon's origin in exploding stars; the discovery of the internal heat source driving the Earth's carbon cycle; and the tectonic revolution. Written with an engaging narrative style and covering the scientific endeavours of more than a hundred pioneers of deep geoscience, this is a fascinating book for students and researchers working in Earth system science and deep carbon research.
Book
Carbon plays a fundamental role on Earth. It forms the chemical backbone for all essential organic molecules produced by living organisms. Carbon-based fuels supply most of society's energy, and atmospheric carbon dioxide has a huge impact on Earth's climate. This book provides a complete history of the emergence and development of the new interdisciplinary field of deep carbon science. It traces four centuries of history during which the inner workings of the dynamic Earth were discovered, and documents extraordinary scientific revolutions that changed our understanding of carbon on Earth forever: carbon's origin in exploding stars; the discovery of the internal heat source driving the Earth's carbon cycle; and the tectonic revolution. Written with an engaging narrative style and covering the scientific endeavours of more than a hundred pioneers of deep geoscience, this is a fascinating book for students and researchers working in Earth system science and deep carbon research.
Chapter
The face of the Earth has changed dramatically over the last 4.5 billion years. The growth and emergence of the continental crust transformed a largely ocean-covered planet in its early days into a planet with land masses. Under the action of mantle dynamics, the first continental crusts merged with island arcs to constitute the first continents at the end of the Archean and the Paleoproterozoic.
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The theory of plate tectonics is widely accepted by scientists and provides a robust framework with which to describe and predict the behavior of Earth’s rigid outer shell – the lithosphere – in space and time. Expressions of plate tectonic interactions at the Earth’s surface also provide critical insight into the machinations of our planet’s inaccessible interior, and allow postulation about the geological characteristics of other rocky bodies in our solar system and beyond. Formalization of this paradigm occurred at a landmark Penrose conference in 1969, representing the culmination of centuries of study, and our understanding of the “what”, “where”, “why”, and “when” of plate tectonics on Earth has continued to improve since. In this Centennial review, we summarize the major discoveries that have been made in these fields and present a modern-day holistic model for the geodynamic evolution of the Earth that best accommodates key lines of evidence for its changes over time. Plate tectonics probably began at a global scale during the Mesoarchean (c. 2.9–3.0 Ga), with firm evidence for subduction in older geological terranes accounted for by isolated plate tectonic ‘microcells’ that initiated at the heads of mantle plumes. Such early subduction likely operated at shallow angles and was short-lived, owing to the buoyancy and low rigidity of hotter oceanic lithosphere. A transitional period during the Neoarchean and Paleoproterozoic/Mesoproterozoic was characterized by continued secular cooling of the Earth’s mantle, which reduced the buoyancy of oceanic lithosphere and increased its strength, allowing the angle of subduction at convergent plate margins to gradually steepen. The appearance of rocks during the Neoproterozoic (c. 0.8–0.9 Ga) diagnostic of subduction do not mark the onset of plate tectonics, but simply record the beginning of modern-style cold, deep, and steep subduction that is an end-member state of an earlier, hotter, mobile lid regime.
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Neutral Theory versus Intelligent DesignInternal Selection TheoryThe Counterintuitive Nature of Physiology and Solution to the Dead Sea Scrolls PuzzleThe Continuum from Microevolution to Macroevolutioncis Regulation and Adaptive EvolutionEvolution of cis Regulatory Mechanisms
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Continental extension causes rifting and thinning of the lithosphere that may result in breakup and eventually the initiation of seafloor spreading and passive continental margin development. Ambiguity exists regarding the roles of magmatism and structural inheritance during rifting and continental breakup during this process. This study focuses on the importance of these controls on the Mesozoic-Cenozoic separation between West Greenland and Eastern Canada. It is important to improve our knowledge of the processes that influenced breakup as the current understanding of these processes is limited and also to reduce hydrocarbon exploration risk in this tectonic setting. During this study passive margin processes were investigated using a variety of methodologies at a range of scales from that of conjugate margin pairs (Chapters 4 and 5), through margin and basin scale studies (Chapter 6) to the smallest scale on individual igneous intrusions (Chapter 7). At the largest scale an assessment of the magmatic and structural asymmetry between the conjugate margins of the Labrador Sea based primarily on field data and subsequent analysis near Makkovik, Labrador, but also other large-scale geophysical datasets demonstrated that early rifting was dominated by simple shear rather than pure shear. In such a scenario Labrador would have been the lower plate margin to the upper plate southwest Greenland margin. Further analysis of field observations indicated that rifting of the Labrador Sea region may have been aided by a favourably orientated basement metamorphic fabric and that observable onshore brittle deformation structures may be related to Mesozoic rifting. Further north in the Davis Strait, seismic interpretation at the margin and basin scale allowed a series of seismic surfaces, isochrons and a new offshore fault map to be produced. The results of this analysis demonstrated that the geometry of rift basins was primarily controlled by pre-existing structures, an assertion supported by observations of reactivation onshore in West Greenland. Finally, at the smallest scale, results of numerical modelling offshore Newfoundland demonstrated that even on non- volcanic passive margins, intrusive magmatism can influence thermal evolution. In addition, the presence of widespread igneous rocks on passive margins may be indicative of regional-scale thermal perturbations that should be considered in source rock maturation studies. Overall, the conclusion of this project is that both magmatism and structural inheritance have profoundly influenced the continental breakup between West Greenland and Eastern Canada, and that interplay between these two complex groups of mechanisms may have also contributed to the geological evolution of this area.
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Continents and ocean basins make up the planet’s crust, Earth’s outermost layer. Continental areas consist of sialic materials and ocean basins consist of simatic materials, the two main rock types, based on their mineral composition, that make up the Earth’s crust. There are several models for naming continents including a seven-continent model and a three-continent model. Both continents and ocean basins have mountain ranges and the continental ones, such as the Alps, Himalayas, Appalachians, and Rockies are better known. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is most likely the best-known oceanic one. Continental climates are moderated by nearby bodies of water and often form rain-shadows. The continents have drifted to their present locations from a supercontinent called Pangaea that straddled the equator at times past. The mechanism for drifting continents is the concept of Harry Hess’ sea-floor spreading that gave rise to the theory of plate tectonics.
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Geography, through geographic information systems (GIS), is changing science and society in fundamental, pervasive, and lasting ways. The GIS-based precision bombing of Baghdad changes the nature of warfare, foreign policy, and international relations as profoundly as did the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. In the U.S. proven applications already affect just about everything that involves location, movement or flow. Most GIS applications are beneficial, but some possess enormous power for good or evil, depending on how they are used. GIS-based human-tracking technologies, for instance, threaten to alter age-old social relationships- parent/child, husband/wife, employer/employee, and master/slave. Society cannot afford to continue “business as usual” with regard to geography and GIS, but remedies will require corrective actions as dramatic as those accorded to physics and nuclear engineering after World War II. Yet popular misconceptions about geography and simplistic views of GIS hamper public debate.
Book
The hadal zone represents one of the last great frontiers in marine science, accounting for 45% of the total ocean depth range. Despite very little research effort since the 1950s, the last ten years has seen a renaissance in hadal exploration, almost certainly as a result of technological advances that have made this otherwise largely inaccessible frontier, a viable subject for research. Providing an overview of the geology involved in trench formation, the hydrography and food supply, this book details all that is currently known about organisms at hadal depths and linkages to the better known abyssal and bathyal depths. New insights on how, where and what really survives and thrives in the deepest biozone are provided, allowing this region to be considered when dealing with sustainability and conservation issues in the marine environment.
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An integrative view of the evolution of genetics and the natural world. Even in this advanced age of genomics, the evolutionary process of unicellular and multicellular organisms is continually in debate. Evolutionary Biology, Cell-Cell Communication, and Complex Disease challenges current wisdom by using physiology to present an integrative view of the nature, origins, and evolution of fundamental biological systems. Providing a deeper understanding of the way genes relate to the traits of living organisms, this book offers useful information applying evolutionary biology, functional genomics, and cell communication studies to complex disease. Examining the 4.5 billion-year evolution process from environment adaptations to cell-cell communication to communication of genetic information for reproduction, Evolutionary Biology hones in on the "why and how" of evolution by uniquely focusing on the cell as the smallest unit of biologic structure and function. Based on empirically derived data rather than association studies, Evolutionary Biology covers. A model for forming testable hypotheses in complex disease studies. The integrating role played by the evolution of metabolism, especially lipid metabolism. The evolutionary continuum from development to homeostasis. Regeneration and aging mediated by signaling molecules. Ambitious and game-changing Evolutionary Biology suggests that biology began as a mechanism for reducing energy within the cell, defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics. An ideal text for those interested in forward thinking scientific study, the insights presented in Evolutionary Biology help practitioners effectively comprehend the evolutionary process.
Article
During the nineteenth century, Lemuria was imagined as a land that once bridged India and Africa but disappeared into the ocean millennia ago, much like Atlantis. A sustained meditation on a lost place from a lost time, this elegantly written book is the first to explore Lemuria's incarnations across cultures, from Victorian-era science to Euro-American occultism to colonial and postcolonial India. The Lost Land of Lemuria widens into a provocative exploration of the poetics and politics of loss to consider how this sentiment manifests itself in a fascination with vanished homelands, hidden civilizations, and forgotten peoples. More than a consideration of nostalgia, it shows how ideas once entertained but later discarded in the metropole can travel to the periphery-and can be appropriated by those seeking to construct a meaningful world within the disenchantment of modernity. Sumathi Ramaswamy ultimately reveals how loss itself has become a condition of modernity, compelling us to rethink the politics of imagination and creativity in our day.
Conference Paper
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It is an aim of the present paper to show that in the last century cartography was used in a way more or less complex, more or less intertwined with other disciplines and databases, not as pure representation or in the spirit of the simple 'fits' that supported continental displacements, but as experiments of greater complexity with a value of proof in favor of the planet expansion and full of suggestions for Physics, Astronomy, Cosmology.
Article
It is well known that during his lifetime Ortelius gradually filled his house with substantial collections of various forms of art. He also accumulated a large library of printed books, books with maps, loose maps, portolan charts, manuscript maps and manuscript texts. The aim in this article is to arrive at an estimate of the size of his library at the time of his death in 1598. The focus is on his maps and books, information for which comes primarily from Ortelius himself. Unusually for the time, Ortelius recorded his cartographical sources and the books and authors he consulted for his maps and writings in a Catalogus auctorum, but much can also be discovered from the texts on the verso of the maps in the Theatrum orbis terrarum, and from the Synonymia and Thesauri, his correspondence and the ledgers in the Plantin Moretus Museum, in which Ortelius’s transactions with Christophe Plantin were recorded. Some of Ortelius’s library books, identified by his signature, have survived. From all these sources it is estimated that Ortelius owned about 5,965 maps and 3,514 books written by about 2,892 authors, making his library one of the largest, if not the largest, private collection of books and maps in sixteenth-century Europe.
Geologists usually trace the history of their science back to the Geological Revolution, ca. 1800, when it was recognized that the Earth is very much more ancient than indicated in the biblical account. Geologists are thus accustomed to think that geology is a much younger science than modern astronomy and physics, which date back to the Copernican Revolution, ca. 1540-1690. We argue that this is only because geologists are neglecting a major advance in understanding the Earth that occurred a century before that. We argue that geologists should recognize the Portuguese Voyages of Discovery, later joined by the Spanish, as a major episode in the history of what would now be called geology. This revolutionary advance was driven by technological changes, yielded a cornucopia of discoveries, was marked by great excitement, and led to major changes in worldview and society. The Voyages of Discovery have been intensely studied by historians of geography, but not by historians of geology. Therefore we are at pains to show that they should be taken as part of the history of geology, as well as that of geography, for they led to central geological discoveries. These discoveries included the shape of coastlines whose match later demonstrated continental drift, the fact that there is more ocean than land, the arrangement of planetary climate zones, and the patterns of winds and the geomagnetic field. This new historical viewpoint sees geology as a science at least as old and worthy of respect as physics and astronomy, and this is an important consideration as a scientific understanding of the Earth becomes critical to the fl ourishing of the biosphere and of humanity.
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The trajectories of the permanent stations of the Global Positioning System (GPS) are effected by several seasonal climatic processes. The question is whether the trajectories of the stations in and around Iceland include a seasonal spreading signal as well. Iceland is situated, namely, on top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge that marks the plate boundary between North America and Eurasia. Nevertheless, the station trajectories on both sides of the plate boundary are almost identical for several months during the winter period. To exclude the atmosphere as having the main impact it had to be tested whether the seismicity in and around Iceland is highly correlated with the geometrical motion processes. Therefore, a semi-parametric model type had to be created to compute motions across the plate boundary using the seismicity data. A non-parametric model like an artificial neural network becomes semi-parametric, if the input data is transformed into a linear relationship to the output data by using the well-known equations of the physical laws. Within this investigation this pre-step to the modelling is put in action by transforming earthquake magnitudes into equivalents of motion via energy. These equivalents had to be weighted according to their spatial distribution to describe the impact of a tectonical feature. Volcanically induced events, for example, are assumed not to contribute to the tectonic processes. Further, the weighted earthquake data had to be brought to formal temporary equidistance to enable recursive modelling, because of the non-equidistance of the occurrence of earthquakes. To develop such a semi-parametric model, based on suitable network architecture, it is necessary to combine the rules from the statistical learning theory with the knowledge of non-linear optimisation methods from the operations research. Additionally, the development of a new robust estimator based on the limited and re-descending psi-function, is required. Several networks with a different architecture can be tested using such tools. All these methods derive from the system theory. The techniques of time series analysis, taken from the system theory as well, deliver significant correlations between climate and seismic processes in the same regions. Using synthetic data a thorough model inference was established to get rid of the typical black box character of a neural network. Using the real data it was now possible to define the temporary and spatial energy contributions of each tectonic feature. The existence of seasonality within the spreading process could only be verified sufficiently during the periods of a few years before and after the major earthquakes. Furthermore, it emerged that, in retrospect, the two major earthquakes that took place in Iceland in 2000 occurred following a cascade of observable events and reliable model patterns within the motion process. The model inference made clear that the use of the global parameters for the computation of seismic energy did not yield the optimal solution. In any future research it may be necessary to adapt these parameters to the seismicity in and around Iceland.
Article
"O Valar, ye know not all wonders, and many secret things are there beneath the Earth's dark keel" (Lost Tales I 214). So Ulmo explained the Earth's structure to the Valar. It is curious that they, having materially participated in the making of the world, should be uncertain of its form, but Tolkien was himself uncertain how to depict Arda, at this stage (c.1919) and for decades afterwards. Henry Gee has rightly observed that it is unsurprising Tolkien was interested in the earth sciences given his own view of his profession: "I am primarily a scientific philologist. My interests were, and remain, largely scientific" (Gee 34; Letters 345). Tolkien, like any educated person of his generation, was exposed to and to a degree internalized both the scientific method and the scientific worldview. For example, in "On Fairy-stories" Tolkien chose to use a geologic metaphor when discussing the preservation of ancient elements in fairy-stories: "Fairy-stories are by no means rocky matrices out of which the fossils cannot be prised except by an expert geologist" (OFS 49). As Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson note in their commentary, "The geologic comparison here is both timely and intentional: geology and mythology being coeval disciplines arising in roughly the same period and out of the same human impulse to dig into origins" (OFS 106). The same could, of course, be said of philology. Further, Tolkien was a reader of science fiction and well aware of the expectations it engendered in readers in terms of coherent world building (see Gee 23-41). Given Tolkien's insistence that Middle-earth is our Earth (Letters 220, 239, 283, 376) the inclusion of geological references is part of the "hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun" (OFS 65) which is, according to Tolkien, fantasy's essential foundation. But scientific understanding and the theories and discoveries on which it is based develop and change. The importance of scientific developments, and geology in particular, to Tolkien's account of the shaping of Middle-earth has been emphasized by Karen Wynn Fonstad, Alex Lewis and Elizabeth Currie, Henry Gee and Kristine Larsen (Larsen, A Little Earth of His Own, Shadow and Flame). The geology Tolkien knew was not static in any way; new discoveries apparently influenced him as he revised his legendarium. The most far-reaching development in geological theory in the twentieth century, though it took most of Tolkien's scholarly lifetime to establish itself, was continental drift and Tolkien's writing displays an awareness of and receptivity to it. Both Robert C. Reynolds and William Sarjeant have offered explanations of the topography of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age in terms of plate tectonics, but both articles are primarily descriptive and do not address the question of Tolkien's knowledge of geology, particularly the evidence for continental drift developing across the drafts of his legendarium. Indications of a growing concern with geological accuracy and a familiarity with continental drift emerge side by side in Tolkien's writings as they developed. Though Tolkien's geology would always have a strong catastrophist element, in the 1930s Tolkien began to incorporate into it a uniformitarian underpinning of geologic time as well as a dynamic theory of geological change. The general uniformitarian consensus in geology in the second half of the nineteenth and opening decades of the twentieth century understandably formed the basis of Tolkien's treatment of geologic time. But the particular form geological change took in his developing presentation of Middle-earth in deep time may be in part the result of Alfred Wegener's then revolutionary theory of continental drift. Briefly put, "continental drift" proposes a lateral movement of land masses across the Earth's surface over geologic time. The notion of continental drift was suggested as early as 1596 in the third edition of Abraham Ortelius' Thesaurus Geographicus where he noticed the symmetry of the African and American coasts and reinterpreted Plato's Critias as referring not to Atlantis sinking but to it being dragged westwards, a cataclysmic event marking the rupture of the Old and New Worlds (Romm 408). While Ortelius...
Article
This research tests the hypothesis that Australia and eastern North America met in rotational collision during the Palaeozoic with the corollary that the New England fold belt of Australia, rather than the Reguibat promontory of Africa, collided with the Alleghanian orogen in the central Appalachians. Identical Lancefieldian-stage, zone 1 (Early Ordovician) graptolites of the Anisograptid family are found in identical environments in Newfoundland, Norway, and the Lachlan fold belt of Australia. Palaeozoic granites are consistent with a tectonic model in which the Lachlan fold belt caused mechanical deformation of the Canadian Appalachians. The Lachlan and New England fold belts of Australia and the Alleghanian orogen of North America are tectonically consistent with the east coast hypothesis. Major deformations and magmatic episodes are coeval from Silurian to Permian. The tectonic, palaeontologic, lithologic, and geometric evidence for this position is more abundant and precise than the stratigraphic evidence for a west coast location of Australia relative to North America.
Article
Convergent plate margins occur when two adjoining tectonic plates come together to form either a subduction zone, where at least one of the converging plates is oceanic and plunges beneath the other into the mantle, or a collision zone, where two continents or a continent and a magmatic arc collide. Convergent plate margins are arguably the most complicated and dynamic plate boundaries on Earth and have been the subject of many investigations and discussions since the advent of plate tectonic theory. This paper provides a historical background and a review of the development of geological and geodynamic theories on convergent plate margins. Furthermore, it discusses some of the recent advances that have been made in the fields of structural geology, geophysics and geodynamics, which are fundamental to our understanding of this phenomenon. These include: (1) the finding that plates and plate boundaries move at comparable velocities across the globe; (2) the emerging consensus that subducted slabs are between two to three orders of magnitude stronger than the ambient upper mantle; (3) the importance of lateral slab edges, slab tearing and toroidal mantle flow patterns for the evolution of subduction zones; and (4) clear evidence from mantle tomography that slabs can penetrate into the lower mantle. Still, many first-order problems regarding the geodynamic processes that operate at convergent margins remain to be solved. These include subduction zone initiation and the time of inception of plate tectonics, and with it convergent plate margins, on Earth. Fundamental problems in orogenesis include the mechanism that initiated Andean mountain building at the South American subduction zone, the potential episodicity of mountain building with multiple cycles of shortening and extension, and the principal driving force behind the construction of massive mountain belts such as the Himalayas–Tibet and the Andes. Fundamental questions in subduction dynamics regard the partitioning of subduction into a trench and plate component, and the distribution of energy dissipation in the system. In seismic imaging, challenges include improving resolution at mid to lower mantle depth in order to properly understand the fate of slabs, and better constraining the 3-D flow-related anisotropic structure in the surrounding mantle. Future insights into such fundamental problems and into the regional and global dynamics of convergent plate margins will likely be obtained from integrating spatio-temporal data, structural geological data, geophysical data and plate kinematic data into plate tectonic reconstructions and three-dimensional geodynamic models of progressive deformation.
Article
The reason why the texts on verso of the atlas maps written by one of the best studied cartographers, viz. Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) of Antwerp in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of which the first edition appeared in 1570 have never been studied in the course of 450 years will probably remain an enigma. The research presented here tries to demonstrate that these texts contain many innovations in 16th century historical cartography. For this purpose, a sample of on verso texts as occurring on ten atlas maps from Ortelius’ Theatrum atlas has been examined and translated into modern English. In the course of making these translations, it became clear that these texts are a much more accurate method to date loose maps than by referring to the states of maps whose versos they adorn. It also became apparent that these texts belong to two types: scholarly texts which were written for the Latin atlas editions and for the Spanish, post-1573 German, Italian and English editions translated from Latin. Next to these texts, Ortelius also wrote popular or vernacular texts for all the Dutch, the 1572/1573 German and all the French atlas editions. These two types of texts were tuned to the audience for which they were intended: the Latin on verso texts and their derivatives aimed at an academic renaissance public that knew its classics. The popular or vernacular texts aimed at non-academics such as affluent merchants and civil servants. These atlases were among the most expensive but also among the most popular books of the 16th century. The texts which occur on some of the maps themselves never refer to the text on verso but the on verso texts refer continually to information on the map itself. The scholarly texts increased in size and information content with every new edition until Ortelius’ decease in 1598, while the vernacular texts hardly changed at all. The translations are well intended efforts to represent texts of the source language in the target language, but there are impediments: place names and personal names, particularly first names, were at the time translated as exonyms (Milano instead of Milan) and ‘exonames’ (Johannes, Jean, Jan, John, Giovanni etc.), which does not benefit transparence between languages. Ortelius was well aware of this disadvantage and on verso of his Low Countries map he provides a lengthy list of place names in as many as six different languages to prevent confusion. Moreover, differences between different language areas of a cultural, social or political nature often require a translation that is true to function, rather than to form. An inventory of all bibliographical sources mentioned by Ortelius in his on verso texts together constitute a part of Ortelius’ large personal library. This inventory shows that Ortelius had greatest confidence in his classical authors, less confidence in his contemporaries, and least confidence in medieval authors in terms of their reliability and credibility. The influence exerted by Ortelius’ on verso on his successors is diverse. For some cartographers, including his good friend Mercator, there was no influence at all. But other cartographers such as Hondius, Janssonius and the Blaeu family, correspondences are clearly evident, and sometimes entire paragraphs have been copied verbatim, (as were some of his maps). The conclusion of this study is that texts on verso of Ortelius’ atlas maps are of an innovative nature, and have been ignored for a long time without good reasons, for they present a vivid picture how Ortelius, a self-made encyclopaedic Renaissance scholar, experienced the world he lived in. Finally, Ortelius was also the first to popularise academic knowledge by fine-tuning his texts to the interests and mental grasp of his prospective readers.
Article
The idea that Francis Bacon and other seventeenth and eighteenth century thinkers first conceived the notion of continental drift does not stand up to close scrutiny. The few authors who expressed the idea viewed the process as a catastrophic event.
Thesaurus Geographicus Leaf Nnn verso
  • A. Ortelius
La Creation et ses mysteres devoiles
  • A. Snider-Pellegrini
Our Wandering Continents
  • A. L. Du Toit
La corruption du grand et petit monde
  • F. Placet
Die Gute Sache der Gottlichen Offenbarung
  • T. Lilienthal
Our Wandering Continents Ch
  • A L Du Toit
  • AL Du Toit