Principles of Geology

An Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface, by Reference to Causes now in Operation Volume 1

Principles of Geology

In 1830–33, Charles Lyell laid the foundations of evolutionary biology with Principles of Geology, a pioneering three-volume book that Charles Darwin took with him on the Beagle. Lyell championed the ideas of geologist James Hutton, who formulated one of the fundamental principles of modern geology – uniformitarianism. This proposed that natural processes always operate according to the same laws, allowing us to understand how features of the Earth's surface were produced by physical, chemical, and biological processes over long periods of time. Volume 1 consists of 26 chapters, a comprehensive index and woodcut illustrations of various mechanisms of geological change. Lyell begins with a definition of geology and then reviews ancient theories of the successive destruction and renovation of the world. He mentions James Hutton's ideas in chapter four, and goes on to discuss the effects of climate change, running water, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on the Earth's crust.

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Principles of Geology Volume 2

Charles Lyell

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Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511701566

Principles of Geology Volume 3

Charles Lyell

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Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511701573