(Jean Baptiste Armand Léonce) Elie de Beaumont


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(1798–1874) French geologist

Beaumont, who was born and died in Canon, France, was educated at the Ecole Polytechnique and the School of Mines, Paris, and taught at the School of Mines from 1827, later becoming professor of geology there (1835). He is remembered chiefly for his theory on the origin of mountains. He published his views in 1830 in his Revolutions de la surface du globe, in which he argued that mountain ranges came into existence suddenly and were the result of distortions produced by the cooling crust of the Earth. Such a view fitted in well with the catastrophism of such zoologists as Georges Cuvier. Beaumont summarized his theories in his Notice sur les systèmes des montagnes (1852; On Mountain Systems).

Beaumont served as engineer-in-chief of mines for the period 1833–47. He also collaborated with Ours Pierre Dufrénoy in compiling the great geological map of France, published in 1840.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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