1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dechen, Ernst Heinrich Karl von

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DECHEN, ERNST HEINRICH KARL VON (1800–1889), German geologist, was born in Berlin on the 25th of March 1800, and was educated in the university in that city. He subsequently studied mining in Bochum and Essen, and was in 1820 placed in the mining department of the Prussian state, serving on the staff until 1864, and becoming director in 1841 when he was stationed at Bonn. In early years he made journeys to study the mining systems of other countries, and with this object he visited England and Scotland in company with Karl von Oeynhausen (1797–1865). In the course of his work he paid special attention to the coal-formation of Westphalia and northern Europe generally, and he greatly furthered the progress made in mining and metallurgical works in Rhenish Prussia. He made numerous contributions to geological literature; notably the following:—Geognostische Umrisse der Rheinländer zwischen Basel und Mainz mit besonderer Rücksicht auf das Vorkommen des Steinsalzes (with von Oeynhausen and La Roche), 2 vols. (Berlin, 1825); Geognostische Führer in das Siebengebirge am Rhein (Bonn, 1861); Die nutzbaren Mineralien und Gebirgsarten im deutschen Reiche (1873). But his main work was a geological map of Rhenish Prussia and Westphalia in 35 sheets on the scale of 1 : 80,000, issued with two volumes of explanatory text (1855–1882). He published also a small geological map of Germany (1869). He died at Bonn on the 15th of February 1889.  (H. B. W.)