Alexander Du Toit

Alexander Logie du Toit ( born March 14, 1878 in Rondebosch, Cape Town today, † February 25, 1948 in Cape Town) was a South African geologist. As one of the few scientists in the first half of the 20th century, he supported the requirement imposed by Alfred Wegener 's theory of continental drift.

Du Toit was educated at the University of Cape Town ( University of the Cape of Good Hope) and the Royal Technical College in Glasgow, where he earned his degree in 1899 as a mining engineer. After that, he studied briefly at the Royal College of Geology Science and Royal School of Mines in London and then returned as a lecturer back to Glasgow, where he, Mining and Geology taught at the University and at the Royal Technical College geodesy. In 1903 he was geologist at the Geological Survey in Cape Town, where he mapped large parts of the Cape Province geology. In 1920 he was hydrogeologist at the Union Irrigation Department and Chief Consulting Geologist at De Beers in 1927. In 1941, he went there to retire.

His work for the Geological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope and his 1937 published book Our Wandering continents contributed significantly to the fact that the concept of "wandering continents" by Alfred Wegener was increasingly accepted until the plate tectonics in the course of the 60 years for general accepted theory of the processes in the Earth's crust was. He included in addition to the geology of South Africa and from 1923 with support from the Carnegie Foundation in Washington, DC the geology of South America in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

According to him, a mountain was a crater on Mars and Antarctica named.

Selected Works

  • The Geology of South Africa, Edinburgh 1926 (several reprints )
  • Robert Broom commemorative volume (special publication of the Royal Society of South Africa). Cape Town, Royal Society of South Africa, 1948 ( here as Editor)
  • Geological map of southern Africa ( 1:5.000.000 ). Edinbourgh, published by J. Bartholomew, 1950 ( revisions of Sidney Henry Haughton )
  • Our wandering continents: an hypothesis of continental drifting, Hafner Publ, 1937