Swiss countryside

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He had become a protege of von Humboldt. He had worked in Paris for Georges Cuvier. And like von Humboldt, von Buch-like everybody else who had heard about the theory of the ice-he thought it absurd. When von Humboldt went on field trips to look at rocks, he wore a top hat, a white cravat, and a black double-breasted frock coat that reached to his knees. He was imitated by, among others, Cuvier and von Buch. Agassiz was less formal, but in no particular did he resemble a co-working space amsterdam zuidas scuffed-booted, blue-jeaned, twentieth-century field geologist when he set out with Charpentier to stroll through the valley of the upper Rhone. What Agassiz saw forever altered his life, as ice had altered the valley. When he left, he had no remaining doubt of the truth of what Perraudin, Venetz, and Charpentier believed. Wandering the Swiss countryside low and high, he found further evidence everywhere he went-grooved rock, polished rock, moraines where ice had long been gone, boulders rounded off and set where water never could have shoved them. He visited similar landscapes in enough places to spread far in his imagination the contiguity they implied, and in one spark of intuition he saw the ice covering more than the valley, the canton, the nation. The idea of continental glaciation fell into place-a stunning moment of realization that ice many thousands of feet thick had been contiguous from Ireland to Russia. When the Helvetic Society co-working space hilversum met in Neuchatel in the summer of i837, Louis Agassiz-as its president-elect-addressed the savants. Instead of reading an expected discourse in paleontology, he outlined at great length the evidence and chronology of glacial history as he had come to see it, announcing to the Society and to the world at large what would before long be known as the Ice Age.

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