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New observations on a geological hotspot track: 'Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo' (1825) by Mrs T. Edward Bowdich

New observations on a geological hotspot track: 'Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo' (1825) by Mrs T. Edward Bowdich
New observations on a geological hotspot track: 'Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo' (1825) by Mrs T. Edward Bowdich
This paper works with the modern concept of the geological hotspot track – the building processes and movements of volcanic island chains – applied strategically to one of its illustrative formations, the Madeira Archipelago. By analogy, however, the concept works equally well to describe the important early 19th-century scientific knowledge-building activity that produced Charles Lyell's On the Geology of Some Parts of Madeira (1854). A central section of the paper uncovers the contributions to knowledge of this geology before Lyell's, and in particular, Excursions of Madeira and Porto Santo (1825) by Mr [sic] T. Edward Bowdich. A thorough examination of this text then constitutes an important case study for literal and figurative investigation of geological hotspot tracks. The main argument proposed is that current specialist research forgets its submerged and longer histories to its detriment. Insights contained in older information often supply reminders of the key questions and contributions from the past that provide checks and balances for further developments of a field. By promoting multi-level, multi-stranded and multi-lingual investigation of the history of 19th-century geology in Madeira before Lyell (1854) as central to hotspot track research, this paper marks nodal conditions that constitute advancement in critical knowledge-building within and outside the discipline of geology.
Charles Lyell, history of geology of Madeira, hotspot track, ‘Notes’ by Alexander von Humboldt, Sarah Bowdich, women in geology
0008-8994
135-166
Orr, Mary
3eec40eb-479c-4c9a-b2da-7388a27f9d5c
Orr, Mary
3eec40eb-479c-4c9a-b2da-7388a27f9d5c

Orr, Mary (2014) New observations on a geological hotspot track: 'Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo' (1825) by Mrs T. Edward Bowdich. Centaurus, 56 (3), 135-166. (doi:10.1111/1600-0498.12060).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper works with the modern concept of the geological hotspot track – the building processes and movements of volcanic island chains – applied strategically to one of its illustrative formations, the Madeira Archipelago. By analogy, however, the concept works equally well to describe the important early 19th-century scientific knowledge-building activity that produced Charles Lyell's On the Geology of Some Parts of Madeira (1854). A central section of the paper uncovers the contributions to knowledge of this geology before Lyell's, and in particular, Excursions of Madeira and Porto Santo (1825) by Mr [sic] T. Edward Bowdich. A thorough examination of this text then constitutes an important case study for literal and figurative investigation of geological hotspot tracks. The main argument proposed is that current specialist research forgets its submerged and longer histories to its detriment. Insights contained in older information often supply reminders of the key questions and contributions from the past that provide checks and balances for further developments of a field. By promoting multi-level, multi-stranded and multi-lingual investigation of the history of 19th-century geology in Madeira before Lyell (1854) as central to hotspot track research, this paper marks nodal conditions that constitute advancement in critical knowledge-building within and outside the discipline of geology.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 30 June 2014
Published date: August 2014
Keywords: Charles Lyell, history of geology of Madeira, hotspot track, ‘Notes’ by Alexander von Humboldt, Sarah Bowdich, women in geology
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 370597
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/370597
ISSN: 0008-8994
PURE UUID: 7ce910ce-c8d7-4171-a571-fa2be3f05c2a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Oct 2014 16:58
Last modified: 10 Jul 2020 16:40

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