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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Hubert-Andre Dumont

Belgian geologist, b. Feb. 15, 1809; d. Feb. 28, 1857

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Dumont, HUBERT-ANDRÉ, Belgian geologist, b. at Liège, February 15, 1809; d. in the same city, February 28, 1857. When only twenty years old he received the gold medal of the Academy of Brussels for his "Description géologique de la province de Liège". This memoir marked an important advance in stratigraphical geology. In 1835 he won a doctorate in mathematical and physical science and in the same year was appointed professor of geology and mineralogy at the University of Liège. He held this position until his death, serving also for a time as rector of the university. His native city has erected a statue in his honor. Dumont was a devout Catholic, and one of his sons entered the Society of Jesus. His principal achievement was his geological map of Belgium, the preparation of which engaged his attention for a number of years. The first edition was issued in 1849. Later and more complete editions followed, the last being "La carte géologique de la Belgique et des contrées voisines représentant les terrains qui se trouvent en dessous du limon hesbayen et du sable campinien au 800,000 e".

Dumont's work, together with that of Gosselet on the palaeozoic rocks of Belgium, served as a foundation for a subsequent research in that region. The former in 1848 had divided the Terrain Ardennais into the Devillien, Revinien, and Salmien groups, the Terrain Rhénan into the Gedinnien, Coblentzien, and Ahrien groups, and the Terrain Anthraxifère into the Eifelien, Condrusien, and Houiller groups. This classification, though based on purely local characteristics, was an excellent one both from a lithological and a stratigraphical point of view. He did not, however, deem it necessary to make any extended comparison between the subdivisions which he had distinguished in Belgium and similar groups in other countries. It was his opinion that the same fauna never extended over the whole earth, so that extreme caution was necessary in establishing a parallel between widely separated rocks on the basis of fossils contained in them. Besides the works already mentioned, Dumont was the author of a number of papers characterized by careful observation and great clearness. Among them are: "Notice sur une nouvelle espèce de phosphate ferrique" (Bull. de l'Acad. de Belgique, V); "Observations sur la constitution géologique des terrains tertiaires de l'Angleterre comparés à ceux de la Belgique" (Ibid., XIX); "Mémoire sur les terrains triasique et jurassique de la province de Luxembourg" (Mém. de l'Acad., XV). "Etude sur les terrains ardennais et rhénan de l'Ardenne, du Rhin, du Brabant, et du Condroz" (Ibid., XX—XXII).

HENRY M. BROCK


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