Amanz Gressly

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Amanz Gressly
Amanz gressly.jpg
Amanz Gressly
Born 17 July 1814
Bärschwil, Switzerland
Died 13 April 1865
Bern, Switzerland
Nationality Switzerland
Fields Geology
Known for The concept of facies
Influences Louis Agassiz

Amanz Gressly (17 July 1814 – 13 April 1865) was a Swiss geologist and paleontologist. He introduced the use of the term facies in geology, he is considered one of the founders of modern stratigraphy and paleoecology.

He initially studied medicine at Strasbourg, but his interest subsequently switched to geology, and from 1836 onward, he worked as an assistant to Louis Agassiz. In 1838 he published Observations géologiques sur le Jura Soleurois (Geological observations involving the Solothurn Jura), in which he introduced the "concept of facies" that allows to deduce the environments and conditions of the origin of sedimentary rocks based on their petrographic attributes and fossil affiliations.[1][2]

Memorial stone of Amanz Gressly at Verenaschlucht near Solothurn, Switzerland

From 1853 he served as a geologist during the construction of rail tunnels through the Jura Mountains.[1] In 1859 he was sent by Eduard Desor to Cette on the Gulf of Lyon in order to investigate the mode of life of marine organisms,[3] and in 1861, with Carl Vogt and others, he embarked on a scientific expedition that took him to the North Cape, Jan Mayen and Iceland.[4]

Since 2004 the Swiss Paleontological Society has awarded the Amanz-Gressly-Auszeichnung for outstanding achievements in the field of paleontology.[5]


  1. ^ a b Gressly, Amanz at Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz
  2. ^ Discovering the Geology of Baja California: Six Hikes on the Southern Gulf Coast by Markes E. Johnson
  3. ^ History of Geology and Palæontology to the End of the Nineteenth Century by Karl Alfred von Zittel
  4. ^ "Statement based on translated text from an equivalent article at the German Wikipedia".
  5. ^ Amanz Gressly-Auszeichnung Naturwissenschaften Schweiz
  • Alfred Hartmann: Amanz Gressly. In: Gallerie berühmter Schweizer der Neuzeit; Bd. 1. Baden: Friedrich Hasler, 1868.
  • Hugo Ledermann: Die wissenschaftliche Bedeutung von Amanz Gressly. In: Jurablätter; 27(1965), S. 70-72.
  • Hans R. Stampfli: Amanz Gressly, 1814-1865: Lebensbild eines außerordentlichen Menschen. Separatdruck aus: Mitteilungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft des Kantons Solothurn; 32(1986). Dazu erschienen: Ergänzungen und Korrekturen, 1993.