ARTICLE: Buckland, Darwin and the attempted recognition of an Ice Age in Wales, 1837–1842 ☆

From the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association in August 2012:

Buckland, Darwin and the attempted recognition of an Ice Age in Wales, 1837–1842

Michael B. Roberts

Abstract The concept of a former Ice Age was introduced to Britain by Agassiz, first, through Buckland in 1838 and then by his tour of Britain in 1840. The reception was mixed due to the Iceberg theory, which was held by Darwin, Lyell and Murchison and others. After 1840, Murchison looked for a compromise between Glaciers and Icebergs and this came in the work of Bowman and Buckland in 1841 and Darwin during 1842 in Snowdonia and the Marches. There were three geologists visiting Wales, all familiar with glaciation; Bowman failed to find any glaciation and Buckland and Darwin, who identified both alpine-glacier and “ice-berg” glaciation and reinterpreted their previous work. Thus both a Catastrophist and a Uniformitarian came to similar conclusions, but it was several decades before a consensus was found, which was delayed by Darwin’s emphasis on submergence.

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