Content Description top ↑
This work treats of those islands long known before the age of tourism has made many almost household words. Of all the islands spread out across the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean, none are so well known to the world at large, none have captivated adventurer, scholar, traveller to the same extent. The motives propelling such people to these islands have differed, yet all who have known them have been unanimous in their enthusiasms, whether for material gain, scholarly acquisition or relaxation, that these Atlantic archipelagoes have an attraction, from many points of view, which can scarce be met anywhere else in the world. Travel brochures should rightly be scanned with a jaundiced eye, but as regards natural attractions, of climate, seascape and landscape, for once such blurbs come very near the truth.
Since the publications of Gagel in 1910 and von Wolff in 1931, no book has appeared treating of the geology of these Middle Atlantic islands. In the past 45 odd years, a great amount,of new knowledge has come into our hands, as perusal of the bibliography will show. Further, the pace of geological and geophysical interest is quickening, at this time several projects are under way by institutions and scientific groups, the tempo of new publications increases. It is with the intention of providing an appreciation of geological studies ranging over a period of 170 years," condensing into the limits of a convenient-sized volume, that the writing of this book has been undertaken.
As these are all volcanic islands, the importance of the volcanics and all aspects of such must obviously take a prominent place in what follows. But because the petrography, petrochemistry, petrogenesis of igneous rocks looms so large in the literature, the writer intentionally has tried to give a fair coverage of other geological considerations, in order to present a more balanced account. Slowly a start is being made in geophysical and geochronological studies, the new global tectonic approach no less is paying attention to the general region, though at times, some schemes proposed often seem rather akin to special pleadings.