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Peter Heitzmann:

The first geological maps of Switzerland 1752–1853

Cartographica Helvetica 38 (2008) 21–36


This compilation outlines the development of the geological maps of Switzerland during the first 100 years from 1752–1853. The first maps by Guettard (1752) and Gruner (1760) were limited almost exclusively to dotted representations of economically interesting mineral deposits. Regional or national representations of geologically uniform areas were not elaborated. However, Guettard already used a two-dimensional representation for the "bande marneuse". Gimbernat (1803), Meyer (1805) and Ebel (1808) followed with very small-scale maps showing a rough geological image of Switzerland through two-dimensional representations of large geologic-tectonic formations. Stratigraphic observations were only of minor importance. The breakthrough came with Merian (1821) who first included defined, litho-stratigraphic structures in a large-scale regional map. Studer (1851) expanded the coverage of the representation to include the entire Alpine arc, and Studer and Escher (1853) used a modern, two-dimensional representation of litho-stratigraphic formations covering all of Switzerland on a relatively large-scale map. As a whole, this map can be regarded as a model for the entire set of geological maps of Switzerland until today.

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