Geology, ethnology, and history collaborated in the past two decades to provide us with a complete picture of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadian subduction zone and its past high-magnitude earthquakes. As an excellent article in The New Yorker makes clear, this information could not have come at a better time, as the next big quake may strike in the next few decades and we remain woefully underprepared for its disastrous consequences.
Amidst the many events this year celebrating William Smith and the publication of his map, comes another less well-known anniversary. The acceptance of continental drift led to a seismic shift in 20th century geology, the development of the theory of plate tectonics. This was the result of many technological and conceptual advances, one of which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year: the first mathematical joining of the trans-Atlantic continents by Sir Edward Bullard, Jim Everett, and Alan Smith.
William Smith: Colours Beneath Your Feet is an exhibition exploring the life of William Smith and the making of his 1815 geological map, including the first public display of a very rare, canvas-mounted travelling copy of the map (series b, 22). See the exhibition at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, from 23rd May to 19th September 2015.