“Every shower of rain and gust of wind, if we could only watch them narrowly enough, would be found to have done something towards modifying the surface of the land.”
Sir Archibald Geikie (1835-1924)
Sir Archibald Geikie’s passion for rocks was kindled when he was a young boy, searching for fossils in a quarry near Edinburgh. In later years, as one of the leading geologists of the Victorian era, he was fascinated by the effect of water and ice on the landscape, and he travelled to Norway to watch glaciers in action. For Geikie, the countryside posed a never-ending supply of questions, and he believed that the evidence was all there, ready to be interpreted:
“We can hardly take any country walk… in which with duly observant eye we may not detect either some geological operation in actual progress, or the evidence of one which was completed long ago.”
Sir Archibald Geikie was Edinburgh University’s first ever Professor of Geology. He was appointed Director of the Scottish Geological Survey and later became Director-General of the British Geological Survey; he was honoured with the Livingstone Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1905.
Quotes from ‘Class-book of Geology‘ (1890) by Archibald Geikie
Photos: Boulder with glacial striations, Glen Quaich; Ammonite at Carsaig, Isle of Mull © Jo Woolf