Evolution of the theory of continental glaciation in northern and eastern Europe
The theory of continental glaciation was worked out independently in different countries, but the idea that glaciers had formerly expanded over much larger areas than today was born in Switzerland (Venetz-Sitten, von Charpentier, Agassiz et al.). From the region of ‘living glaciers’ in the Alps, scientists could make direct comparisons between areas now occupied by ice and those evidently abandoned by ice. Otto Torell in northern Europe and Piotr Kropotkin in Russia are most often named the ‘fathers’ of the glacial theory. But, in fact, Karl Eduard Eichwald (1795–1876) was the first in the Russian Baltic provinces to consider the possibility of the wide distribution of ice in lowland areas. The glacial theory was strongly supported by the academician Friedrich Schmidt (1832–1908), and features of several glaciations in northern and eastern Europe were first mentioned by Constantin Grewingk in 1879.
Figures & Tables
This book deals with various interesting aspects of the histories of geomorphology and Quaternary geology in different parts of the world. The papers cover a range of topics: the origin of the term ‘Quaternary’, histories of ideas and debates relating to aspects of fluvial geomorphology (USA and Australia), glacial geomorphology and glaciation (Northern Europe, the Baltic countries, Russia, Iceland, and New Zealand), desert dunes and the geology of Australia, peneplains in China, a palaeo-Tokyo Bay in Japan, together with biographies of Charles Cotton (New Zealand), Valerija Čepulytė (Lithuania) and Česlovas Pakuckas (Lithuania and Poland) that highlight their respective contributions to the disciplines of geomorphology and Quaternary geology. There is an autobiographical contribution from E. E. Milanovsky (Russia) on his work in Siberia, the Caucasus and Iceland, illustrated by his sketches made in the field.