Since then, the term has gradually gained widespread acceptance including an extensive entry in the Encyclopedia of Geology(a). The status of the subject has been consolidated by its inclusion as a separate course at the University of Puget Sound(b). Apart from Vitaliano other writers, such as Gerald Wells, have applied geomythology to the study of Atlantis without necessarily using the term(e). I should point out that mythology is also used to transmit details of spectacular astronomical events as well as more mundane political or military exploits.
Patrick Nunn, an Australian geologist, who although an Atlantis sceptic has begun to reconsider the possibility of ancient myths containing important geological information(c).
Cindy Clendenon, presumably inspired by Vitaliano, has launched a related new specialised field of study, which she has named ‘hydromythology’ in her 2009 book, Hydromythology and the Ancient Greek World, a review of which is available online(d).
*(e) https://www.wrl-inc.org/tag/geomythology (link broken Aug.2019)*
Dorothy B. Vitaliano (1916-2008) was a geologist who published Legends of the Earth in 1973 in which she discussed how catastrophic seismic or volcanic events were retained for posterity in the legends of the peoples who experienced them. She invented the term ‘geomythology’ to describe what she considered to be a distinct field of study.
Probably inspired by Vitaliano, Cindy Clendenon has promoted a new related field of study(c) that she calls ‘hydromythology’.
Vitaliano’s book included a chapter on Atlantis in which she expresses her opinion that there is nowhere in the Atlantic Ocean that Atlantis could have existed. Understandably, sceptics of an Atlantic Atlantis seized upon this statement, while those that adhere to the idea that it had been a large island in that ocean were understandably dismayed. Vitaliano also discussed the biblical Plagues of Egypt and their connection with the eruption of Thera in the second millennium BC.
Dorothy’s husband, Charles J. Vitaliano (1910-2000) was also a professor of geology and together they pursued the study of major geological events and their effect on ancient cultures.
There are two of Vitaliano’s papers that are available online(a)(b).