Treasure's description

Geological section

Geological section

To elucidate his pioneering geological map, ‘A delineation of the strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland’, published in 1815, William Smith executed a series of beautiful cross sections. Our image is part of the one entitled, ‘Section of the strata through Hampshire and Wiltshire to Bath, on the road from Bath to Salisbury’, published in 1819. Beginning, appropriately, enough in Somerset, where Smith made his earliest observations in collieries, and where he made his first geological map (of the country around Bath) the image extends as far as the beginning of the chalk hills near Warminster. The numbers against the strata refer to their place in Smith’s ‘Geological table of British organized fossils’. It was through the identification of characteristic fossils that Smith was able to distinguish the various strata and make his great contribution to geological science.