Traditional geology holds that stable platforms and mobile geosynclines evolve essentially in situ. Vertical movements predominate, horizontal displacements being merely a corollary derived therefrom. Episodic orogenies were separated by long periods of quiescence; each of them occurred simultaneously in different geosynclinal regions of the world. The earth, thus depicted, is composed of stereotyped, horizontally immobile, laterally isolated and mutually independent crustal blocks. The nature and evolution of our highly complicated planet are, to say the least, drastically distorted by geologists of older generations.China learned modern geology from the west and was consequently doomed to hold the same views prevalent in the west. Now, the more and more firmly established plate tectonics begins to shed light on different branches of geology and the latter should deservingly be labelled plate geology. Albeit plate geology is yet in its infant stage of development, a promising future can already be visualized. This overwhelming breakthrough may be compared with that of physics, flourishing since the last decade of the nineteenth century and with that of the recently blooming molecular biology.The plate theory results from the collaboration of a host of sciences and technologies, chiefly geophysics and geology. Further advances require closer collaboration of these and other disciplines in the elucidation of the present state and the origin and evolution of the whole earth, including the solid body, the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. A new and more comprehensive science will emerge from wider and closer collaborations, which should be named geosomatology instead of geonomy. The latter term, beside the equivocal etymology of its second half, may easily be confounded with ’geonemy’, or wrongly affiliated with the greek word ’geonomos’, both bearing quite different meaning, should better be discarded. Traditional geology is a part of natural history, essentially limited in two dimensions of the earth’s surface. The new emerging geology tries to steepen its third dimension and begins to tackle materials beneath the crust and to speculate on the properties of the inner spherical layers of the earth. Traditional geophysics acts in its three dimensions, but is confined to the present day status. Paleomagnetism which begins to enter into the remote geological past, is the first branch of true palegeo-physics, while other branches, lagging for behind, still await further progress.Continental drift-sea floor spreading-plate tectonics-plate geology-geosomato-logy: they mark the big steps of the present century geology in the long march toward a comprehensive understanding of our planet.
. 1978, 板块构造说的发生与发展. 地质科学, 13(2): 99-112.
. EMERGENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF PLATE TECTONICS[J]. Chinese Journal of Geology, 1978, 13(2): 99-112.