DARWIN's geological publications are overshadowed by his theory of evolution. But
HUMBOLDT, who died in 1859 when DARWIN's Origin of Species was published and who thus
knew him only as a geologist, highly appreciated his geological publications about volcanos in South
America and his theory of the origin of coral reefs, as becomes evident from frequent citations of
DARWIN in his "Kosmos".|
Conversely DARWIN early knew the English translation of HUMBOLDT's travel report about the equinoctial areas of South America and also read LEOPOLD VON BUCH's description of the Canary Islands and the publications of ELIE DE BEAUMONT. Although he was very much impressed by LYELL's geology, he could not give up BUCH's theory of elevation craters.
He rather considered the huge earthquake at the west coast of South America in Chile that destroyed the city of Concepción in the morning of 20 February 1835 as evidence of the link between volcanic forces and the forces elevating continents and forming mountains. Due to his own research results concerning the earthquake of Valdivia and the reports collected and interpreted from the destroyed city of Concepción, he was convinced that
"the earthquake of Chile, the activity of the train of neighbouring volcanos, the elevation of the land araound Concepcion and the submarine eruption at Juan Fernandez, took place simultaneously, and were parts of one and the same great phenomenon."
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