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Resolution of the sixty year debate over continental drift, culminating in the triumph of plate tectonics, changed the very fabric of Earth Science. This four-volume treatise on the continental drift controversy is the first complete history of the origin, debate and gradual acceptance of this revolutionary theory. Based on extensive interviews, archival papers and original works, Frankel weaves together the lives and work of the scientists involved, producing an accessible narrative for scientists and non-scientists alike. This third volume describes the golden age of marine geology and geophysics. Fuelled by the Cold War, US and British workers led the way in making discoveries and forming new hypotheses, especially about the origin of oceanic ridges. Discovery of transform faults in the ocean crust and symmetric patterns of geomagnetic reversals either side of mid-oceanic ridges in the mid 1960s led to the rapid acceptance of seafloor spreading and the birth of plate tectonics. Other volumes in this set: Volume 1: Wegener and the Early Debate Volume 2: Paleomagnetism and Confirmation of Drift Volume 4: Evolution into Plate Tectonics 4 Volume SetRead more
- The most thorough account ever written of the most fundamental theory in the geosciences
- Includes material from first-hand interviews with many of the leading scientists involved
- Frankel's accessible writing style will appeal to Earth scientists of all disciplines, as well as historians and philosophers of science
Reviews & endorsements
"Because the volumes synthesize many sources, one may indeed be capable of understanding the growth of the theory even better than those who participated in the research!..for someone interested in how the theory came about, this set is irreplaceable, fascinating, and illuminating, Essential." - I.D Sasowsky, CHOICE, December 2012See more reviews
“Henry Frankel has a fine eye, and ear, for the interlocking aspects of the emergence, recognized evolution, and acceptance of that flowering of a worldwide phenomenon, continental displacement.” - Robert L. Fisher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Emeritus Professor)
"Detailed and painstakingly researched, this account is the culmination of the author's research into this topic over more than thirty years. It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive analysis of the relevant literature and of the attitudes of the scientists involved." - Fred Vine, University of East Anglia (Emeritus Professor)
“This is an incredible book - the most interesting account of history that I have ever read. It will be a classic: the scholarship is exhaustive, it is well written and has an excellent historical background, drawing the reader into the whole story.” - John G. Sclater, University of California, San Diego (Distinguished Professor)
Praise for the series "...an unparalleled study of remarkable depth, detail and quality of a key development in our ideas about how the Earth functions. ..because Frankel draws on his extensive oral historical work with the key players in the development of plate tectonics, this is a study which can never be repeated in terms of its proximity to the events narrated, so many of those key players now being deceased." - Antonio D. del Campo, Progress in Physical Geography
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- Date Published: May 2012
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521875066
- length: 492 pages
- dimensions: 253 x 177 x 27 mm
- weight: 1.12kg
- contains: 24 b/w illus. 13 maps
- availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
Table of Contents
1. Extension and reception of paleomagnetic/paleoclimatic support for mobilism, 1960–6
2. Reception of the paleomagnetic case for mobilism by several notables, 1957–65
3. Seafloor spreading, the first version: Harry Hess develops seafloor spreading
4. Another version of seafloor spreading: Robert Dietz
5. The Pacific as seen from Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Menard's changing views about the origin and evolution of the ocean floor
6. Fixism and Earth expansion at Lamont Geological Observatory
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