Desmarest, Nicolas

Desmarest, Nicolas

▪ French geologist
born Sept. 16, 1725, Soulaines, France
died Sept. 28, 1815, Paris

      French geologist whose discovery of the volcanic origin of basalt disproved the Neptunist theory that all rocks were formed by sedimentation from primeval oceans.

      From 1757 Desmarest was employed by the government to help spread better manufacturing methods throughout France. By 1788 he had risen to the post of inspector general and director of manufactures. In 1792, during the French Revolution, Desmarest was imprisoned and narrowly escaped execution; he was later recalled to government service.

      In 1763–74 he studied the Auvergne of central France, where he found large basalt deposits that he traced as lava flows from nearby ancient volcanoes. His investigations revealed that many valleys are formed by the erosion of the rivers that flow in them. His numerous maps and essays showing the igneous origin of basalt were instrumental in reforming much of geological theory.

      By the time he died, Desmarest had prepared four volumes of a planned five-volume work, Dictionnaire de géographie physique, which later appeared, with the posthumously edited fifth volume, in Encyclopédie méthodique (1781–1832).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Desmarest , Nicolas — (1725–1815) French geologist Desmarest was the son of a school teacher from Soulaines Dhuys in France. He first came to notice when he won a prize essay set by the Amiens Academy in 1751 on whether England and France had ever been joined together …   Scientists

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  • Nicolas Desmarest — (* 16. September 1725 in Soulaines; † 28. September 1815 in Paris) war ein französischer Geologe. Sein Sohn war der Zoologe Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest. In den 1760er Jahren wies er den vulkanischen Ursprung des Basalts nach (siehe auch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Nicolas Goupillet — also Coupillet or Goupillier (Senlis, c. 1650 Paris, c. 1713) was a French Baroque composer albeit a composer who may not have himself composed all of his works.[1] In 1683 the then fifty year old Sun King Louis XIV commanded that a competition… …   Wikipedia

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  • Anselme Gaetan Desmarest — Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest (* 6. März 1784 in Paris; † 4. Juni 1838 in Maisons Alfort) war ein französischer Zoologe und Schriftsteller. Er war der Sohn des berühmten Geologen Nicolas …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Saint-Nicolas la Chapelle — (Savoie) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Saint Nicolas la Chapelle. Saint Nicolas la Chapelle Admi …   Wikipédia en Français

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