The poet and scientist Goethe was a very gifted observer who made several important discoveries in anatomy and botany. Nevertheless, although he had the chance to personally observe evidence for higher temperatures below the Earth’s surface, having visited Vesuvius and also Etna in Sicily, he still sided with A.G. Werner in the heated debate between the Neptunists and the Volcanists during the late eighteenth century (Chap. 1). However, in order to clarify his mind about the true nature of volcanoes and the source of the fire in the Earth, Goethe repeatedly visited an area of young scoria cones near Cheb in the west of the Czech Republic. Outcrops of the Late Pleistocene nephelinitic scoria cone Železná Hůrka are well-preserved, some 20 km south of the city of Cheb (Fig. 12.1). These show a textbook unconformity between strongly water-influenced eruption products, forming the outer initial tephra ring, overlain by partly welded lava spatter and scoria representing the hotter later stage of the eruption. It took almost 200 years, however, before scientists were able to correctly interpret the eruptive and fragmentation mechanisms based on this type of lithological evidence.
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
- Fire and Water
Professor Hans-Ulrich Schmincke
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg