Joseph Lucas (1846–1926) – Victorian polymath and a key figure in the development of British hydrogeology
J. D. Mather, H. S. Torrens, K. J. Lucas, 2004. "Joseph Lucas (1846–1926) – Victorian polymath and a key figure in the development of British hydrogeology", 200 Years of British Hydrogeology, J. D. Mather
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Joseph Lucas joined the Geological Survey in 1867 and spent almost 9 years mapping in Yorkshire. Forced to resign in ignominious circumstances, for the rest of his life he earned his living advising on groundwater supplies. In 1874 he was the first to use the term hydrogeology in its modern context and defined this new subject in a series of papers in the 1870s. He drew the first British maps showing groundwater contours and described how to carry out a hydrogeological survey. For many years he lobbied for such a survey to be carried out over the whole country and for it to be used as a basis for water resource planning. He was an accomplished linguist, translating material from a variety of European languages, and wrote books on natural history and genealogy. He and his family lived at Tooting, in south London, where he is buried in the Churchyard of Saint Nicholas.
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The collection of papers in this volume records the development of hydrogeology in Britain over the last 200 years. Following the application, by William smith, of stratigraphic principles to the sinking of wells, Victorian engineers and scientists established groundwater as a major contributor to public water supplies. In the twentieth century, the development of groundwater continued rapidly, controlled by an ever-changing regulatory regime. The 25 papers in this volume review the progrss which has been made, and the lives and work of some of those who were intimately involved.