Alan Smith

Alan Smith (1937-), geologist, worked with Jim Everett, using an early computer program, to carry out (at the request of Edward Bullard) the first quantification of the closeness of the ‘fit’ between continents either side of the Atlantic Ocean. The now famous coloured maps of this fit were published in 1965 in Nature, two years before the revelation of platetectonics. Through the rest of his career, Alan has conducted detailed geological studies in Greece, combined extensive palaeomagnetic data sets to produce Phanerozoic World Maps showing the changing positions of continents and continental crust over the past c.545 million years, and worked on the revision of the geological time scale. After his PhD at Princeton University, US, his career was spent in the department of Geology (now Earth Sciences) at the University of Cambridge. He continues to work after formal retirement, and has recent developed an interest in walking Cambridgeshire’s rivers.

  • Alan Smith
  • 1937 Middlesex, UK
  • Geologist
  • Geology
  • St John's College, University of Cambridge; Princeton University, USA

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