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In order to arrive at a minimum age of the Earth, Reade starts from the hypothesis that the fundamental rocks were granitic and trappean. After considering borings, mines, faults, natural gorges and proved thicknesses of the strata of certain mountain chains, Reade concludes that the sedimentary crust of the Earth is at least of an average actual thickness of one mile, and infers from the proportionate amount of carbonates and sulphates of lime to materials in suspension in various river waters flowing from a variety of formations, that one-tenth of the thickness of this crust is calcareous.

Marked on front as 'Archives Apr 3/79'.

Subject: Geology / Petrology

Received 24 December 1878. Read 23 January 1879. Communicated by A C [Andrew Crombie] Ramsay.

Written by Reade in Liverpool [England].

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 28 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'Limestone as an index of geological time'.

A version of this paper was published by Reade in 'Chemical Denudation in Relation to Geological Time' (London: David Bogue, 1879).

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Ink on paper
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32 pages

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Thomas Mellard Reade

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Thomas Mellard Reade, Unpublished paper, 'Limestone as an index of geological time' by T M [Thomas Mellard] Reade, 1878, AP/60/14, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 28 May 2024

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  • Archived Papers

    Dates: 1768-1989

    The 'Archived Papers' collection is comprised of original manuscript scientific papers and letters submitted to the Royal Society which remained unpublished or were abstracted in the journal 'Proceedings of the Royal Society' published from 1830 onwards.

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