Anniversaries for the two founding fathers of geology occurring in the same year prompted a comparative evaluation of how the two contributed to establishing the basic principles of the discipline. To do so, passages from their publications, codices and manuscripts have been quoted directly. The Stenonian principles (‘original horizontality’, ‘original continuity’, and ‘superposition of individual strata’) are present in Leonardo’s notebooks amazingly formulated, using similar wording when studying the same area more than 150 years earlier. Also, Stenonian priority in naming and explaining geological concepts and processes (e.g., faulting, folding, angular unconformity, relative chronology) are mirrored in Leonardo’s writings and pictorial works. While Steno enjoys priority in stepwise restoration of the geological history of a given region, Leonardo was the first to construct a 3D geological profile representation and geomorphologic maps. Lastly, the paper focuses on diverging stances of the two savants about the Noachian Deluge and the age of the Earth. Already 500 years ago, Leonardo had solved the question of marine fossil remains of organic origin found in the mountains implying the possibility of deep geologic time in a statement of ‘eternalism’. 350 years ago, Steno solved the same question in a different way in which he retained a basic role for the Deluge and assumed a short age for the Earth by focusing mainly on short-lived sedimentary and geomorphologic processes.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| October 29 2021
LEONARDO DA VINCI’S AND NICOLAUS STENO’S GEOLOGY
Earth Sciences History (2021) 40 (2): 293–331.
GIAN BATTISTA VAI; LEONARDO DA VINCI’S AND NICOLAUS STENO’S GEOLOGY. Earth Sciences History 1 July 2021; 40 (2): 293–331. doi: https://doi.org/10.17704/1944-6187-40.2.293
Download citation file:
Don't already have an account? Register
You could not be signed in. Please check your email address / username and password and try again.
Could not validate captcha. Please try again.
Sign in via your InstitutionSign in via your Institution
Citing articles via
Warren D. Allmon, Jesús I. Catalá-Gorgues, Rasoul Sorkhabi
OPALIZED WOOD FROM CLOVER CREEK, IDAHO: HOW AN 1895 FOSSIL TREE DISCOVERY BECAME THE STANDARD OF QUALITY FOR WOOD-OPAL IN MINERALOGICAL COLLECTIONS
MIKE VINEY, DAGMAR DIETRICH, JIM MILLS, SHARON CHENEY, MIKE RUMSEY, ROBIN HANSEN