Leonardo da Vinci—Pioneer Geologist

Leonardo da Vinci—Pioneer Geologist
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Leonardo da Vinci—Pioneer Geologist

Author Daniel J. Jones

The fame of Leonardo da Vinci as one of the greatest minds of the Renaissance, indeed of all time, is well known to scholars in many fields; artists are familiar with his painting and sculpture, architects, and engineers have marveled at his designs for churches, basilicas, etc., and students of mechanical, aeronautical, and civil engineering are familiar with his many inventions and mechanical devices including the airplane, helicopter, parachute, screw propeller, lathe, drill press, pile-driver, and many others; students of medicine and anatomy have studied carefully his anatomical drawings and notes, and realize his many contributions to our knowledge of the human body.

His brilliant contributions to the science of geology are less well known, however, although they are contained in his many notebooks, in a great profusion of observations, measurements, and brilliant deductions concerning such diverse subjects as the origin of fossils, the true nature of sedimentary rocks containing marine organisms, the laws of hydrology, the origin of sediments, and the nature of internal earth forces.