Definition of Neptunism in English:



  • The erroneous theory that rocks such as granite were formed by crystallization from the waters of a primeval ocean. The chief advocate of this theory was Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749–1817).

    Compare with plutonism
    • ‘The similarity of the shape of the columns to those of quartz crystals was once used to support the theory (called Neptunism) that volcanic rocks precipitated from water.’
    • ‘This Swedish scientist made the first chemical classification of minerals (torbernite is named for him) and devised a scheme for the world's rocks that Werner later perfected as Neptunism.’
    • ‘As the science of mineralogy progressed, it became clear that Neptunism was flawed.’
    • ‘An enthusiastic fossil digger, he was influenced by his friend James Hutton, though he accepted elements of both Neptunism and Vulcanism.’
    • ‘C. is noted for the development of the concept of Neptunism.’