Ott Christoph Hilgenberg (1896-1976)

Maps of the world only began to resemble our modern satellite-imaged, global view of Earth after the voyages of Christopher Columbus between 1492 and 1504 . Then observations of the similarities of opposing coastlines led to suggestions, beginning in 1596, that the continents had been previously joined, but subsequently broke apart and separated. In 1912, Alfred Wegener presented compelling evidence and advanced his theory of continental drift, which was resurrected fifty years later and recast as plate tectonics. But plate tectonics is problematic, depending critically upon physically-impossible mantle convection. Ott Christoph Hilgenberg, pictured at right, conceived a fundamentally different possibility which he published in 1933, image at left, download pdf. Hilgenberg envisioned Earth at some earlier time being smaller and without ocean basins. Then, for unknown reasons the Earth began to expand, fracturing the uniform continental rock crust and forming interstitial ocean basins.

Hilgenberg's concept became the basis for Earth expansion theory which offered a different explanation for geophysical phenomena, but neither were complete theories possessed problematic elements. Yet both served as stepping stones to a more fundamental and inclusive geoscience theory, published by J. Marvin Herndon, which he calls Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics and which is a consequence of Earth's early formation as a Jupiter-like gas giant; for a quick overview, click here.

Ott Christoph Hilgenberg's concept stands as one of the most important in the geoscience. Hilgenberg proposed the only logical, causally-related explanation why the Earth's surface is composed of two different types of matter, continental rock and ocean-floor basalt.

Acknowledgements: We appreciate permission given by Helge Hilgenberg, daughter of O. C. Hilgenberg, to allow free reproduction of Vom wachsenden Erdball. Helge is pictured at right with her father, Ott Christoph Hilgenberg.

We thank Professor Karl-Heinz Jacob for graciously loaning his copy of the book to Norbert T. Rempe whom we thank for scanning the book and providing this pdf for downloading.