Reference Work Entry

Structural Geology and Tectonics

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Science pp 817-828

Undation theory

  • R. W. Van Bemmelen
The undation theory gives a synthesis of the terrestrial evolution, uniting geological, geophysical, and geochemical data into a comprehensive model. It accepts the major views of the new global tectonics (plate tectonics) and gives full attention to the geochemical evolution of the Earth (Fig. 1). In this way the undation theory strives for a complete integration of the earth sciences into the general spectrum of the sciences of nature (Table 1).

The triangle of the earth sciences (geonomy). (From van Bemmelen, 1975a)

TABLE 1. Central Place of the Earth Sciences (Geonomy) in the United States

This model of terrestrial evolution has been developed more or less systematically in the course of half a century (1927–1977) by means of the prognosis-diagnosis method of verification. Available basic facts of observation have been arranged into tentative hypotheses of interrelationships, and the rational consequences of that supposition are checked by independent data. This process oft ...

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