Volcanoes, Basalt, and the Discovery of Geological Time
96 pp., 91 color illustrations, soft cover ISBN: 0-9763590-0-6
Vulcan's Forge was a name given to the eruptive island of Vulcano, just north of Sicily, while Fingal's Cave is a spectacular formation of basalt columns on the island of Staffa in the Scottish Hebrides. The idea of a geological time scale of immense duration developed in the early nineteenth century as a direct result of the realization that basalt is a volcanic rock. This catalog of a rare book exhibition tells the story of the role of volcanoes and basalt in the discovery of geological time through a selection of rare books and journals spanning the period 1565-1835. The stunning illustrations from the early books on volcanoes and basalt are some of the most beautiful, and influential, in all of geology.