Arnold Escher von der Linth

Photograph of Arnold Escher von der Linth

Arnold Escher von der Linth (8 June 1807 in Zürich – 12 July 1872) was a Swiss geologist, the son of Hans Conrad Escher von der Linth (1767–1823).

He made the first ascent of the Lauteraarhorn on 8 August 1842 together with Pierre Jean Édouard Desor and Christian Girard, and guides Melchior Bannholzer and Jakob Leuthold.[1]

He studied geology and other sciences in Geneva, where one of his teachers was Nicolas Theodore de Saussure, and in Berlin as a student of Leopold von Buch and Alexander von Humboldt. In 1856 he became professor of geology at the École Polytechnique in Zürich and established the Geological Institute there.[2] His researches led him to be regarded as one of the founders of Swiss geology.[3]

With Bernhard Studer, he was the first to systematically explore the geology of the Swiss Alps and its neighboring regions (eastern Switzerland, Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Piedmont and Lombardy).[2] Also with Studer, he produced a highly acclaimed geological map of Switzerland (1853).[4]

In particular, his scientific liaison with the Scottish geologist Roderick Murchison (1792–1871) made him a contributor to the discovery of the Silurian system, and the first systematic description of sedimentary rocks and their index fossils.[5]

He was the author of Geologische Bemerkungen über das nordliche Vorarlberg und einige angrenzenden Gegenden (Geological observations on the northern Vorarlberg and some adjacent areas), published at Zürich in 1853.[3][4]


  1. ^ The Alpine Journal, Volume 17 by Sir Leslie Stephen, Douglas William Freshfield, Sir William Martin Conway, Arthur John Butler, George Yeld
  2. ^ a b Dictionnaire historique de la Suisse (biography)
  3. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Escher von der Linth, Arnold". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 765.
  4. ^ a b ADB:Escher, Arnold at Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
  5. ^ Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871) an Arnold Escher von der Linth (1807-1872) (in French) e-manuscripta. ETH Bibliothek Zürich. Retrieved 15 January 2014.