This article focuses on the transnational debate on the effects of earthquakes on land elevation after the seismic events in Chile in 1822 and 1835. It explores two main ideas. First, it examines how the Chilean territory became a transnational testing ground for geological theories about land elevation in the 1820s and 1830s. Second, it explores how social features such as gender, place and a scientist’s personal connections affected the validation of scientific knowledge. It introduces a wide network of actors, from well-known figures in the geological field, such as Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin and George B. Greenough, to lesser-known actors, such as Peruvian mineralogist Mariano de Rivero and British travel writer Maria Graham. By doing so, this paper addresses the social dimension of science-making, highlighting the asymmetries of power in knowledge circulation in global scientific networks in the mid-nineteenth century.