Born Apr. 25, 1774, in Stolpe; died Mar. 4, 1853, in Berlin. German geologist. Graduated from the Freiberg Mining Academy. Member of the Berlin (1806) and Paris (1840) academies of sciences. Honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1832).
At first Buch was a follower of the neptunist theory, but after visiting the Canary Islands he became an advocate of the plutonist doctrine. He advanced the hypothesis of elevation craters, in accordance with which all elevated areas and mountain ranges were formed by intrusive magma. The process of mountain formation, in his opinion, occurred almost instantaneously; this idea agreed completely with the catastrophist concept. Buch was the first to demonstrate the existence of young granites along with the oldest granites. Regarding the organic world, he asserted evolutionist ideas; of importance are his studies devoted to cephalopods, brachiopods, and cystoideans, as well as the stratigraphy of Jurassic deposits. Buch participated in publishing the first geological map of Germany (1826).
WORKSGesammelte Schriften, vols. 1-4. Berlin, 1867-85.
V. V. TIKHOMIROV