Thomas Webster (geologist)

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Thomas Webster (11 February 1772 – 26 December 1844) was a Scottish geologist.

Geologist Scientist who studies geology

A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid, liquid, and gaseous matter that constitutes the Earth and other terrestrial planets, as well as the processes that shape them. Geologists usually study geology, although backgrounds in physics, chemistry, biology, and other sciences are also useful. Field work is an important component of geology, although many subdisciplines incorporate laboratory work.



Webster was born in Orkney in 1772, probably at Kirkwall, [1] and was educated at Aberdeen. He subsequently went to London and studied architecture, the Royal Institution in Albemarle Street being built from his design, and where in 1830 he delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture. In 1826 he was appointed house-secretary and curator to the Geological Society of London, and for many years he rendered important services in editing and illustrating the Transactions of the Society. In 1841–42 he was professor of geology in University College, London. He was an accomplished water-colour painter and was elected an honorary member of the Sketch Society. He contributed articles about Architecture and Aquatinta to Rees's Cyclopædia .

Orkney archipelago in northern Scotland

Orkney, also known as the Orkney Islands, is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, situated off the north coast of the isle of Great Britain. Orkney is 10 miles (16 km) north of the coast of Caithness and comprises approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited. The largest island, Mainland, is often referred to as "the Mainland", and has an area of 523 square kilometres (202 sq mi), making it the sixth-largest Scottish island and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles. The largest settlement and administrative centre is Kirkwall.

Kirkwall town in Orkney Islands, Scotland

Kirkwall is the largest settlement and capital of Orkney, an archipelago to the north of mainland Scotland.

Aberdeen City and council area in Scotland

Aberdeen is a city in northeast Scotland. It is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 37th most populous built-up area, with an official population estimate of 196,670 for the city of Aberdeen and 228,800 for the local council area.

He was distinguished for his researches on the Cenozoic formations of the Isle of Wight, where he recognised the occurrence of both fresh-water and marine strata; he continued his observations on the mainland of Hampshire, and subsequently in Dorset, where he described the rocks of the Isle of Purbeck and Isle of Portland.

The Cenozoic Era meaning "new life", is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras, following the Mesozoic Era and extending from 66 million years ago to the present day.

Isle of Wight county and island of England

The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines.

Stratum layer of sedimentary rock or soil with internally consistent characteristics

In geology and related fields, a stratum is a layer of sedimentary rock or soil, or igneous rock that were formed at the Earth's surface, with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers. The "stratum" is the fundamental unit in a stratigraphic column and forms the basis of the study of stratigraphy.

To him Sir Henry Charles Englefield (1752–1822) was indebted for the geological descriptions and the effective geological views and sections of the Isle of Wight and Dorset that enriched his Description of the Principal Picturesque Beauties, Antiquities and Geological Phenomena of the Isle of Wight (1816). The mineral websterite now known as aluminite was named after him. He died in London on 26 December 1844.

Mineral Element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes

A mineral is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound that occurs naturally in pure form. A rock may consist of a single mineral, or may be an aggregate of two or more different minerals, spacially segregated into distinct phases. Compounds that occur only in living beings are usually excluded, but some minerals are often biogenic and/or are organic compounds in the sense of chemistry. Moreover, living beings often syntesize inorganic minerals that also occur in rocks.

Aluminite sulfate mineral

Aluminite is a hydrous aluminium sulfate mineral with formula: Al2SO4(OH)4·7H2O. It is an earthy white to gray-white monoclinic mineral which almost never exhibits crystal form. It forms botryoidal to mammillary clay-like masses. It has a very soft Mohs hardness of 1–2 and a specific gravity of 1.66–1.82.

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  1. Edwards, Nicholas (2004). "Webster, Thomas (1772–1844)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28945 . Retrieved 2016-01-26.(subscription or UK public library membership required)


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