Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Catastrophism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_243

This school of geology is related to the catastrophe theory, which was founded by the French biologist and palaeontologist Georges Curier (1769–1832). Based on his palaeontological studies, he determined that some biological species had experienced periods of sudden extinction over geologic history. This finding indicated the occurrence of multiple sudden catastrophes, each of which destroyed numerous biomes and caused the complete transformation of surface terrains. After the devastating changes, new and completely different biomes developed, and a new world formed. The theory of catastrophism prevailed for a short period of time before it was challenged by the theory of phyletic evolution. In the 1970s, several geologists made new discoveries based on satellite photographs, astronomical observations, geological surveys and palaeontological research that proved that catastrophic events caused by meteorite impacts had occurred over geological time. This renewed the interest of...

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020