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Christian Leopold von Buch

Christian Leopold von Buch, by Carl Joseph Begas (1850)
Born April 26, 1774
Stolpe an der Oder, now a part of Angermünde
Died March 4, 1853
Nationality German
Fields geology

Christian Leopold Freiherr von Buch (April 26, 1774 – March 4, 1853) was a German geologist and paleontologist born in Stolpe an der Oder (now a part of Angermünde, Brandenburg) and is remembered as one of the most important contributors to geology in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Statue, sculpted by Richard Ohmann

He studied together with Alexander von Humboldt under Abraham Gottlob Werner and travelled widely afterwards. His scientific interest was devoted to a broad spectrum of geological topics: volcanism, fossils, stratigraphy and more. His most remembered accomplishment is the scientific definition of the jurassic system. He died in Berlin.

In 1815, he visited the Canary Islands. During his time in the Canary Islands, he visited the Las Cañadas Caldera on Tenerife and the Caldera de Taburiente on La Palma. When he published his memoirs and observations about his excursion, he introduced the Spanish word "Caldera" for "Bowl" into the geological and scientific vocabulary.

In 1825, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Elected as the first foreign member of the Geological Society of London

The German Geological Society (DGG) named its Leopold-von-Buch-Plakette after him.

Regarding personal names: Freiherr is a title, translated as Baron, not a first or middle name. The female forms are Freifrau and Freiin.


  • C. L. v. Buch, "Über den Jur in Deutschland", 1839


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