Leopold von Buch, German geologist and geographer, mid-19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photogravure after an earlier painting. Buch (1774-1853) travelled and wrote extensively on geology. He proposed the idea of volcanism: that granite and many other rocks are formed by igneous (volcanic) action rather than just by sedimentation, refuting Abraham G Werner's Neptunism theory of rocks' aqueous origins. He concluded that the formation of the Alps was due to vast upheavals of the Earth's crust. His research on Scandinavia was published in 'Travels Through Norway and Lapland', 1813. From a collection of portraits of scientists published by Photographische Gesellschaft, Berlin, 1910. Dimensions: 460mm x 340mm.