Original paper

AMADEUS WILLIAM GRABAU (1870--1946) als Geologe in China

[AMADEUS WILLIAM GRABAU (1870--1946) as Geologist in China]

Michel, Gert; Genyuan, Wang


Der Deutschamerikaner A. W. GRABAU (1870--1946) übersiedelte 1920 als ein bereits bekannter Geologe (Sedimentologie, Paläontologie) nach China und wurde dort Chefpaläontologe des Geologischen Dienstes und Professor für Paläontologie an der Beijing-Universität. Er war bald sehr erfolgreich sowohl als akademischer Lehrer als auch als Forscher. Insgesamt schrieb er 290 Publikationen incl. zahlreicher Monographien und Lehrbücher, davon 140 über die Geologie und Paläontologie Chinas. Sein Ideenreichtum und Einfluß auf die geologische Entwicklung und Erforschung sind bis heute nachhaltig in China zu spüren: Nicht ohne Stolz wird er von den Chinesen als einer der Väter der chinesischen Geologie angesehen. Deshalb wurde auf einem internationalen Symposium im Oktober 1990 im Beijing seiner besonders gedacht.


The German-American A. W. GRABAU had been a well known geologist when he came to China in 1920. He was 50 years old when he accepted a professorship of paleontology at the National University of Beijing besides the position of chief paleontologist at the Geological Survey of China. As academic teacher his success was immediate and complete. With his inspiring enthusiasm, hard work, German thoroughness and clear exposition he won not only the respect but also the love of his numerous students. Under GRABAU's influence stratigraphy and paleontology flourished in China. His impact on the following generation of Chinese geologist was profound and permanent. From 1920 to 1943 he published 140 papers which were issued mainly in Paleontologia Sinica, Bulletin of the Geological Society of China and in other Chinese scientific journals. The total number of his publications, however, is 290; among them several textbooks, e.g. "North American index fossils" (1906, 1907), "Principles of stratigraphy" (1913) "Geology of the non-metallic mineral deposits" (1920), "Textbook of geology" (1920, 1921), "Stratigraphy of China" (1924, 1928), "Earth history in the light of the pulsation and polar control theory" (1940) and "The world we live in" (1948). In addition to this, he published several significant paleontologic monographs, for instance on Devonian brachiopoda of China, Ordovician fossils from the North China, Silurian fauna of Yunnan, Fenguinian Brachiopoda of China, Lower Permian brachiopoda of China and others. A. W. GRABAU took an active part in organizing the Geological Society of China, the Paleontological Society of China and the Beijing Society of Natural History. During the 2nd world war from 1941 to 1945 he was interned in a camp in Beijing by the Japanese. On March 20, 1946, he died. He was buried in the compound of the Geological Department of National University of Beijing. A. W. GRABAU has been a good and noble man and a great friend of the Chinese people. His contributions to the geological sciences of China covered many fields, including stratigraphy, paleontology, sedimentology and tectonics. He was one of the fathers of Chinese geology!


BiographyGeological SurveyUniversity of Beijingpalaeontologyareal geologybibliography China