Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Gabriel-Auguste Daubrée

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 4
Gabriel-Auguste Daubrée

by Henry Matthias Brock


French geologist, b. at Metz, 25 June, 1814; d. at Paris, 29 May, 1896. He studied mining engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and in 1834 entered the Government service. After being sent on commissions to England, Sweden, and Norway, he was attached to the department of the Lower Rhine. He was a close observer of geological phenomena and during this time published a paper on the ore deposits of Scandinavia which attracted the attention of Berzelius, and also issued his "Description géologique et minéralogique du département du Bas-Rhin". His appointment as professor of geology and mineralogy at Strasburg furnished him with a laboratory suitable for his experimental work in synthetic geology, begun in 1849. His brilliant experimental researches at Strasburg, and later at Paris, extended over a number of years and have served to make him famous in the annals of geology. They comprised the artificial production of minerals, the geological action of superheated aqueous vapour, the effect of mutual abrasion, the influence of pressure and strain in mountain-making, etc. During the years 1857-61 he made a detailed study of the hot springs of Plombières, observing at the same time the chemical action of thermal waters. In 1861 he was admitted to the Académie des Sciences and succeeded Cordier as professor of geology at the Museum of Natural History in Paris and curator of the collections; to the latter he made extensive additions, particularly of meteorites. It may be mentioned in this connexion that daubréelite (CrS), a grayish granular mineral found in meteoric iron, was named after him. From 1862 he also lectured on mineralogy at the Ecole des Mines of which he became director in 1872. Daubrée's career was a long and active one. He was one of the foremost of Catholic geologists, and was much esteemed for his amiability and nobility of character. One of his friends and admirers was Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil. Besides the works already mentioned, he was the author of: "Observations sur le métamorphisme" (Paris, 1858); "Etudes synthétiques de géologie expérimentale" (Paris, 1879); "Les eaux souterraines" (Paris, 1887); "La classification des météorites du Muséum", and many articles in the "Journal des savants" and the "Revue des deux mondes".

LAPPARENT in Revue des quest. scientifiques, XL, 89; VON ZITTEL, History of Geology and Palæontology (London, 1901); KNELLER, Das Christenthum u. die Vertreter der neueren Naturwissenschaft (Freiburg, 1904), 264.

HENRY M. BROCK