Tag Archives: catastrophism

The geological story told by Iceland

Iceland is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean, slightly below the Arctic Circle. The island is situated on a mid-ocean ridge at the boundary between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. In Iceland, we find evidence of horizontal movements, in which two plates spread apart as the crust dilates with intrusion of new magma. Iceland, however, is also associated with a mantle plume (a narrow stem of upwelling of magma from deep in the mantle) that has maintained volcanism high and vigorous. Continue reading

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The role of catastrophes in scientific thinking

The cathedral was crowded; this was All Saints’ Day! Unexpectedly, the building started shaking and the parishioners tried to rush out through the arched entrance. Others were trying to escape from another church located on one side of the cathedral, … Continue reading

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Catastrophism: discussion of its current status in geology, and a prediction

In the last two centuries catastrophism has had its ups and downs in the scientific world of geology. At the time of Charles Lyell and before, many geologists explained geological history in catastrophist terms: geological processes were often described as … Continue reading

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