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A Geological Globe

Nature volume 142, page 745 (22 October 1938) | Download Citation



A TERRESTRIAL globe, believed to be the largest yet prepared to show both orographical detail and the distribution of the main geological formations, was formally installed in the Geological Museum at South Kensington on October 10 by Sir Frank Smith, secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. The globe was modelled by Mr. C. d'O. Pilkington Jackson, of Edinburgh, from data compiled by Mr. D. L. Lint on. It consists of a sphere of fibrous plaster, 5 ft. 11 in. in diameter, strengthened internally by steel stays arranged around a steel tube which forms an axis from pole to pole and is tilted at 23½° from the vertical. The globe is supported by a steel spindle which is electrically rotated at a rate of one revolution in 2½ minutes. The linear scale is approximately 1: 7,000,000, and relief is exaggerated twenty times. The geological colouring has been carried out in the Museum by Mr. C. Keefe under the direction of Mr. A. J. Butler. The colour scheme is designed to demonstrate the broad outlines of the geological structure of the continents in a fashion sufficiently simple to appeal to the non-geological visitor, and at the same time to reveal on closer inspection sufficient detail to render the globe of special use to teachers and students of geology and geography. Six distinct colours are used to indicate the sedimentary deposits of the geological eras, and the systems formed during each era are distinguished by graduated shades of the appropriate colour ; the lightest shade represents the newest system, the darkest represents the oldest. A system of stipples is used to show the age-limits of rock-groups which cannot be divided into systems. Igneous rocks appear in scarlet and orange ; and icecaps, rivers and lakes are also marked. Provision is made for corrections and additions as new information comes to light. The geological globe bears no lettering or symbols. Two small physical globes which are mounted near it act as geographical indexes, and a sphere some 19 inches in diameter and 60 yards away demonstrates the relative size and distance of the moon.

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