Math Rules: Thompson Webb
Thompson Webb studies the ecology of the Midwest ten thousand
years ago by analyzing a one-dimensional slice of space and time. But
boring straight down into a lake bed, he obtains a sample of the
pollen from trees that grew there millennia ago, and maps the ranges
of forests and grasslands. From this he and his colleagues in
paleoecology can tell the temperature variations that indicate
patterns in global warming and cooling. Although this science begins
with one-dimensional samples, ultimately the analysis leads
to scientific visualization in three and four dimensions, studying the
migration of the prarie-forest boundary over time, then slicing the
data set a different way to see variations along a ridge through time
and space. For a further description of the way different dimensions
enter into the work of Prof. Webb, see chapter five of Beyond
the Third Dimension"
In that chapter there is an extended discussion of the way
dimensions enter into paleoecology .
The Grand Canyon provides a slice through a large
block of rocks representing the geological history of the region. This
site gives maps and cross
sections and even photos of the rocks from Bryce Canyon down to the Grand
Here is a site with
Global Earth History maps to illustrate each
geological period and its global geography.
If your stack those global maps up on top of each other, then a
space-time box emerges.