Nicolas Steno facts for kids
by 1659 he questioned the knowledge of the natural world accepted in his time. He questioned the idea that fossils grew in the ground, and the explanations of rock formation. His investigations made him one of the founders of modern stratigraphy and modern geology.
Geology and stratigraphy
Steno, in his Dissertationis prodromus of 1669 is credited with four of the defining principles of the science of stratigraphy. Much simplified, his ideas were:
- the law of superposition: Lower strata were laid down earlier than upper strata.
- the principle of original horizontality: when one of the upper strata was being formed, the lower stratum had already become a solid.
- the principle of lateral continuity: when any given stratum was being formed it was encompassed on its sides by another solid substance.
- When any stratum was being formed, all the matter resting upon it was fluid, so at the time when the lowest stratum was being formed, none of the upper strata existed.
Images for kids
Portrait of Nicolas Steno (1666–1677). Unsigned but attributed to court painter Justus Sustermans. (Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy)
Nicolas Steno Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.