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Jean de Charpentier
German-Swiss geologist

Jean de Charpentier

Jean de Charpentier
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German-Swiss geologist
Was Geologist Educator
From Germany
Field Academia Science
Gender male
Birth 8 December 1786, Freiberg, Mittelsachsen, Saxony, Germany
Death 12 December 1855, Bex, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland (aged 69 years)
Jean de Charpentier
The details (from wikipedia)


Jean de Charpentier or Johann von Charpentier (8 December 1786 – 12 December 1855) was a German-Swiss geologist who studied Swiss glaciers. He was born in Freiberg, Saxony, Germany and died in Bex, Switzerland.

After following in his father's footsteps as a mining engineer he excelled in his field while working in the copper mines in the Pyrénées and salt mines in western Switzerland.

In 1818 a catastrophic event changed his life focus when an ice-dammed lake in the Val de Bagnes above Martigny broke through its barrier, causing many deaths. Afterwards, he made extensive field studies in the Alps. Using evidence of erratic boulders and moraines and drawing on the works of Goethe, he hypothesized that Swiss glaciers had once been much more extensive. These boulders, characteristic of glaciers, were strewn as if they were brought there by glaciers that no longer existed. Even so, he wasn't sure how glaciers first formed, moved, or how they disappeared. His ideas were later taken up and developed by Louis Agassiz.


The glacier of Charpentierbreen in Nathorst Land at Spitsbergen, Svalbard is named after him.

See also: Ice age

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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