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Questions tagged [earth-sciences]

For questions about geology, volcanology, seismology and related fields of science.

3
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0answers
33 views

Looking for references to an experiment on the evaporation rate of water in sunlight

I remember reading a long time ago about some experiments measuring evaporation rate of water in large open containers (tubs) sitting on open ground. It was a simple experiment, each day the water ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

What was the scientific explanation of earthquakes in the 18th century?

I'd like to know what western scientists thought about the causes of earthquakes in the mid to late 18th century (especially pertaining to the one in Lisbon in 1755). I've read that the ancient greeks ...
2
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0answers
80 views

How widespread was the belief that the earth is round in Europe until the Renaissance?

Already Greek mathematicians in antiquity b.C. realized that the earth was round, and the idea was operative in Europe ever since. But how widespread was this belief in the centuries until the ...
11
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5answers
473 views

Has science fiction ever caused scientists to do real research?

Has science fiction ever caused scientists to do real research? Science fiction here means fiction that tries to explain things in the world rather than speculate about the future or unexplorable ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

How Copernicus figured out that it took 7 parts of water and 1 part earth until the entire Earth was submersed in water

In chapter 3 of "The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres" where Copernicus defines "how the Earth forms a single sphere with water", the Edward Rosen translation of the book states this. For they ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

How would land “mount steadily in a continuous rise” if there was no difference between center of gravity and magnitude, according to Copernicus

In chapter 3 of "The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres" where Copernicus defines "how the Earth forms a single sphere with water", the Edward Rosen translation of the book states this. Moreover, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

When was the mechanism behind seasons on Earth discovered

When was the mechanism behind seasons on Earth discovered? I'm talking about the angle between the Earth's rotational axis and its orbital axis. I read on Wikipedia here that Earth's obliquity ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Why don't geologists adopt Alfred Wegener as the founder of Continental Drift

I've been told personally by a well-known (even famous) geologist that Alfred Wegener doesn't get credit for continental drift because he didn't elucidate a correct mechanism, or even a mechanism. ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Old perception of the sunset: the sun is going ABOVE the horizen. does anyone heard such a thing?

I would like to know if there was an approach of ancient astronomers to describe what happens during sunset in the following way: that the sun is going toward west during the day and in the end moving ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

What is the most mature observational science?

With enough experimentation to test observational results, a science could be thought of as 'maturing' into prediction. Some sciences, however, remain absent from meaningful experiment due to ...
12
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3answers
595 views

Why and when did some areas separate themselves from philosophy and some not?

When the Greeks invented science and mathematics in around 600 BC, it was considered as a part of philosophy. Thales of Miletus was a mathematician and philosopher. Aristotle was a philosopher, ...
14
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1answer
372 views

When did we first begin to suspect that the Earth had an Iron Catastrophe?

I've searched, and found some interesting articles on the subject such as the Wikipedia article, which is a nice summary. But most of the references in these articles are to other popular culture ...
8
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1answer
141 views

On the use of $\mathrm{\delta^{18}O}$ as temperature proxy

$\mathrm{\delta^{18}O}$ (i. e. the ratio of $\mathrm{^{18}O/^{16}O}$ compared to a standard) is massively used today in paleoclimatology as a global temperature proxy. But how did it become a proxy ...
11
votes
1answer
411 views

Who pitched in the theory of Hollow Earth?

Initially our ancestors believed of Earth as a flat place. Then after scientific discussions and experiments over a period of time, it was established that our Earth is round. But, there exists one ...
4
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0answers
45 views

Significance of partial melting as a form of melt production

How and when was the significance of partial melting understood to be a significant form of melt production and could explain the variability in melt (and hence igneous rock) composition?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why was the Tertiary period dropped but the Quaternary retained?

The terms Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Quaternary were coined by early geologists as they tried to make sense of the rocks around them. As they began to understand what was going on, they found "...
8
votes
1answer
68 views

How and when was it realized that ophiolites represented pieces of ocean crust?

Ophiolites are distinctive sequences of rock, typically capped by sediments followed by basic rocks (pillow lavas, sheeted dykes, and gabbro) followed by ultramafics (eg. dunite). Although the exact ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Why was the continental drift theory of Alfred Wegener so controversial in the first part of the 20th century?

I frequently hear and read that Wegener's theory was very controversial at the time it was suggested. Why was this so? Was it due to Wegener himself, to evidence that was erroneously interpreted at ...
11
votes
1answer
88 views

How did Sedgwick explain the succession of species?

Adam Sedgwick was a master structural geologist and was one of the primary participants in the early days of stratigraphy - working out how rocks could be distinguished, extrapolated, etc. Although ...
10
votes
1answer
98 views

Discovery of magnetic field reversals?

Inspired by the question Discovery of Earth's magnetic field, the article from New Zealand's webpage Discovery of the Earth’s magnetic field, also states that The earth's dynamo is unstable, as is ...
15
votes
3answers
484 views

Discovery of Earth's magnetic field

Compasses are used for various reasons since the 2nd century BC, and for navigation in particular since the 11th century. When did people realize that the reason it indicated North have something to ...