Expanding Earth hypothesis

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The Expanding Earth hypothesis (or Growing Earth hypothesis) may refer to several different but similar and related observations about the geological life of the planet, all essentially holding that the volume of the Earth (and potentially other planets) has increased through history, and that this change in volume can explain phenomena such as continental drift. Advocates have proposed several distinct causes of the increased volume, including: thermal expansion; a change in the gravitational constant; increasing mass; a ballooning effect, producing a hollow cavity in the Earth's interior.

Prior to the wide-spread acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics, variations of this hypothesis (and even its direct opposite, the Contracting Earth hypothesis) were widely discussed in the conventional geologic circles.


in English

  • Carey, S. W. (1961), "Palaeomagnetic evidence relevant to a change in the Earth's radius", Nature 190: 36 
  • Carey, S. W. (1963), "The asymmetry of the Earth", Aus. Jour. Science 25: 369-383, 479-488 
  • Hilgenberg, O. C. (1962), "Rock magnetism and the Earth's palaeopoles", Geofisica pura e applicata (Milano: Istituto Geofisico Italiano) 53 (1): 52-54 
  • Hilgenberg, O. C. (1966), "Earth Expansion, deep-sea trenches, and the inclination of the shelf-sea floors", Neues Jahrb. Geol. Palaeontol. Monatsh, (Stuttgart: Schweizerbart) 3: 138-145 
  • Hilgenberg, O. C. (1967), Why Earth Expansion? Rheologic Evidence of the Earth's Expansion, Berlin: Published by the author 
  • Carey, S. W. (1970), "Australia, New Guinea, and Melanesia in the current revolution in concepts of the evolution of the Earth", Search 1 (5): 178-189 
  • Carey, S. W. (1976), The Expanding Earth, Amsterdam, etc.: Elsevier 
  • Carey, S. W. (1988), Theories of the Earth and Universe: A History of Dogma in the Earth Sciences, Stanford: Stanford University Press 
  • Adams, Neal (2006), Gravity and Pressure and Why the Earth Doesn't Have a Molten Iron Core,, 

in German

  • Hilgenberg, O. C. (1933), Vom wachsenden Erdball, Berlin: Giessmann & Bartsch  — [English: "The Expanding Earth"]
  • Hilgenberg, O. C. (1966), "Die Paläogeographie der expandierenden Erde vom Karbon bis zum Tertiär nach paläomagnetischen Messungen", Geologische Rundschau 55 (3): 878-924  — [English: "The paleogeography of the Expanding Earth from the Carboniferous to the Tertiary after paleomagnetic measurements"]


  • Carey, S. W. (1982), Planet Earth: A Question Of Expansion, Tasmanian Film Corp.,  — "Reference: AB869/1/2110: An illustrated presentation by Professor S. W. Carey, of his long held theory that the earth's expansion provides an explanation of continental drift and other geological phenomena. Produced and distributed by the Tasmanian Film Corporation. 25m 53s."