South African geologist whose work was to form one of the foundations for the synthesis of continental drift theory and plate tectonics that created the geological revolution of the 1960s.
Du Toit was born near Cape Town and studied there, then went to the UK and studied at Glasgow and the Royal College of Science, London. He spent 1903–20 mapping for the Geological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope.
The theory of continental drift put forward by German geophysicist Alfred Wegener inspired Du Toit’s book A Geological Comparison of South America and South Africa 1927, in which he suggesting that they had probably once been joined. In Our Wandering Continents 1937, he maintained that the southern continents had, in earlier times, formed the supercontinent of Gondwanaland, which was distinct from the northern supercontinent of Laurasia.