is this correct?

I would like to know if in the following text both options would be correct:

That Space, as our mathematicians have it, is spoken of as having three dimensions, which one may call length, Breadth, and Thickness, and is always definable by reference/referring to three planes, each at right angles to the others.

Other than the capitalisation of ‘space’, the sentence looks okay to me, though ‘depth’ seems more mathematically correct to me than ‘thickness’.

So either reference or referring would match, right?