Roderick Murchison, Scottish geologist

Roderick Murchison, Scottish geologist

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871), Scottish geologist. Murchison first described the Silurian system, the oldest fossil bearing rocks then known. Later as President of the Royal Geographical Society, he expanded Britain's research reach worldwide. He was awarded prestigious medals in recognition of his work from Britain, Russia and Brazil. His fame has waned in the last century. More than fifteen geographical locations are named after him. These include: Mount Murchison in Antarctica; Mount Murchison, British Columbia; Murchison Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands; Murchison Falls (Uganda); and the Murchison River in Western Australia (the Roderick River and the Impey River are its tributaries). 1851 Mezzotint portrait by H. W. Pickersgill and W. Walker. Later hand colouring.

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