Marcel Alexandre Bertrand

Geologist, Academic

1847 – 1907

1

Who was Marcel Alexandre Bertrand?

Marcel Alexandre Bertrand was a French geologist born in Paris. He was the son of mathematician Joseph Louis François Bertrand, and son-in-law to physicist Éleuthère Mascart.

He was a student at the École Polytechnique, and beginning in 1869 he attended the Ecole des Mines de Paris. Beginning in 1877 he performed geological mapping studies of Provence, Jura Mountains and the Alps. In 1886 he became an instructor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines, and in 1896 was appointed a member of the Académie des sciences.

Bertrand was a founder of modern tectonics. He is remembered for the orogenic "wave theory" of mountain-building and his introduction of the nappe hypothesis. His wave theory described a build-up of massive folds of earth taking place over successive geological eras, called the Caledonian, Hercynian and Alpine periods of orogeny. Later he added a fourth event called the Huronian orogeny, which took place in Precambrian time.

He was two-time winner of the Prix Vaillant, awarded by the Concours de Géologie, and also winner of the Prix Fontannes in 1888 and the Prix Petit d'Ormoy in 1893.

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Born
Jul 2, 1847
France
Parents
Siblings
Nationality
  • France
Profession
Education
  • École Polytechnique
  • Mines ParisTech
Died
Feb 13, 1907

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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