In the early 1900s, meteorologist Alfred Wegener did not find too many takers for his theory that all the continents of the world had initially been a single mass named Pangaea and that continental drift had caused them to split apart. Wegener died on his fourth expedition in Greenland.
Along with his brother, Marcel Schlumberger, Conrad Schlumberger formed one of the most well-known geophysicist duos of Germany. A pioneer in petroleum production, he co-established Schlumberger Ltd., one of the world’s largest oil-field service companies, with Marcel. Their technique of oil exploration offered a cheap alternative than the existing coring methods.
German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs is remembered for inventing a decimal scale used to measure the hardness of minerals, known as the Mohs scale. A professor at the University of Vienna, he later also became the curator of the Imperial Mineralogical Collection. He also laid down a system of classifying crystals.
Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg was a German zoologist, naturalist, geologist, microscopist, and comparative anatomist. Regarded as one of the most popular and productive scientists of his generation, Ehrenberg was honored with several prestigious awards including the first Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1877.
German geographer and geologist Albrecht Penck is noted for exercising a major influence on the development of modern German geography and also for his research that confirmed the four ice ages of the European Pleistocene (Gunz, Mindel, Riss, Würm). He co-authored Die Alpen im Eiszeitalter with Eduard Bruckner, which served as a standard reference on the ice ages for many decades.
Best remembered for his research on the structures of the Earth’s crust, German-American geologist Walter Herman Bucher also taught at reputed institutes such as the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University. The Penrose Medal winner also penned works such as The Deformation of the Earth’s Crust.
Adolf Overweg went down in history as the first person from Europe to circumnavigate Lake Chad. The German astronomer and geologist was part of a team that was sent to improve trade relations with Central Africa. Unfortunately, he died of a mysterious illness, which he contracted after swimming.