He studied natural history at the University of Göttingen, and later taught classes in natural history at the Muri monastery in Aargau. From 1851 to 1856 he was a professor of natural history at the University of Zurich, and afterwards taught geology at the Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg. From 1859 to 1881 he taught geology and mineralogy at the Freie Deutsche Hochstift in Frankfurt-am-Main.
Volger made contributions in the fields of mineralogy and crystallography, and was particularly interested in earthquakes. He did extensive study of earthquakes in Switzerland; researching their origins, periodicity, meteorological and environmental factors, as well as the spread and expansion of the quakes. Volger advocated the theory of neptunism. Independent of geologist Robert Mallet (1810-1881), he created his own neptunistic theory of wave propagation of earthquakes. Volger believed that most earthquakes in Switzerland were subsidence quakes caused by collapse of layers of hollow strata in the Earth.
In 1863, Volger purchased the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), and meticulously restored the house to the condition left by Goethe's father.
- Studien zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Mineralien als Grundlage einer wissenschaftlichen Geologie und rationellen Mineralchemie, 1854 – Studies on the evolution of minerals as the basis of a scientific geology and a rational mineralogical chemistry.
- Die Entwicklungsgeschichte der Mineralien der Talkglimmer-Familie und ihrer Verwandten, 1855 – The evolution of minerals of the talc-mica groups and their relatives.
- Versuch einer Monographie des Borazites, 1855 – A monograph on boracites.
- Untersuchungen über das Phänomen der Erdbeben in der Schweiz, 1857 – Studies on the phenomenon of earthquakes in Switzerland.
- Goethe's Vaterhaus : ein Beitrag zu des Dichters Entwicklungsgeschichte, 1863 – Goethe's father's house: a contribution to the poet's development history.
- "This article is based on a translation of an equivalent article at the German Wikipedia".
- OCLC Classify published works
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