Amanz Gressly


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

Amanz Gressly
Amanz gressly.jpg
Born17 July 1814 (1814-07-17)
Bärschwil, Switzerland
Died13 April 1865 (1865-04-14) (aged 50)
Bern, Switzerland
Known forThe concept of facies
Scientific career
InfluencesLouis Agassiz
Memorial stone of Amanz Gressly at Verenaschlucht near Solothurn, Switzerland

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" to describe the environments and conditions of the origin of sedimentary rocks based on their petrographic attributes and fossil affiliations.[1][2]

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.