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Homage to Ignacy Domeyko at the 200th anniversary of his birth

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Ignacy Domeyko was born on July 31, 1802 in Niedźwiadka, Novogrodek district. After attending the Piarist College in Szczuczyn he studied at the Vilna University and got the M. Sc. degree in 1822. As member of the illegal Philomat Society was interned till 1829. In 1831 as participant of anti-Russian insurrection had to escape to Prussia, from where moved to Saxony and France. In the years 1832-1838 Domeyko was studying exact and geosciences at Sorbonne and École des Mines. Invited by the Government of Chile was teaching physico-chemical and geo-sciences in the Coquimbo College in La Serena in the years 1838-1846, carrying out large-scale geological and ethnographic field studies as well as chemical-mineralogical investigations. In the years 1846-1884 Domeyko was very active as academic teacher and in the period 1867-1883 as rector of the Chile University in Santiago, continuing research works and reforming local education system. His many-sided activity contributed significantly to economic and educational progress of Chile. In the final stage of his life (1884-1888) Domeyko, as already world-wide known scientist, could visit his homeland and other European countries, as well as Holy Land, but on the way back felt ill and on January 23, 1889 died in Santiago admired and venerated by Chileans as their apostle of science and education. The present paper deals with essential Domeyko's achievements in geosciences. Already during his stay in Paris the results of his observations on sinking of the area of East Prussia in historic times were published and Domeyko has prepared the geographic atlas of the territory of the native Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth but only its part could be printed. In Chile, apart from didactic activity, accented by edition of handbooks on mineralogy and assaying, Domeyko was carrying out large-scale geological, mining and mineralogical investigations of Andes showing predilection to chemical analyses of collected materials. As follows from the inspection of archival materials, he is the author of at least 160 analyses of various, often chemically very complicated, minerals (including meteorites) and about 60 analyses of waters. This resulted in the discovery of several new minerals which were announced in renowned European periodicals. One of them - copper arsenide - was named by W. Haidinger domeykite. Besides, several Andean fossils sent by Domeyko to France were by A. d'Orbigny and other French palaeontolo- gists named after their discoverer. Following several minor papers on regional geology, including detailed studies of volcanic phenomena, he published in 1878 in Polish a monograph on Chilean Cordilleras and ore deposits, comparing some their fragments with similar horizons in the Polish Carpathians. These and other problems treated by Domeyko in numerous publications are discussed in the present paper. Domeyko's achievements were highly appreciated by several European and American scientific societies and universities by conferring him memberships and honorary doctorates. Moreover, due to his exceptional personality and spirituality, expressed in deeply Christian virtues realized in private and social life, Domeyko is a candidate for beatification. Geoscientists of Poland, Lithuania, Chile, Belorussia, France and other countries are celebrating 200th anniversary of his birth, paying homage to this eminent citizen of the world.
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Bibliogr. 38 poz., rys., tab.
  • Collegium Geologicum U.J., ul. Oleandry 2a, 30-063 Kraków, Poland
  • Museum of the Earth, Polish Academy of Sciences, Al. Na Skarpie 27, 00-488 Warszawa, Poland
  • 1. Bator, L, 2002. Na emigracyjnym szlaku. Z Litwy do Chile. Ignacy Domeyko 1802-1889. Wyd. Bibl. U.J., Kraków: pp. 3-11.
  • 2. Birkenmajer, K., 1980. New place names introduced to the area of Admiralty Bay, King George Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). Studia Geologica Polonica, LXIV: 67-88.
  • 3. Birkenmajer, K., 1982. Mesozoic stratiform volcanic-sedimentary succession and Andean intrusions at Admiralty Bay, King George Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). Studia Geologica Polonica, LXXIV: 105-154.
  • 4. Birkenmajer, K., Narębski, W., Bakun-Czubarow, N. & Kalmus, M., 1985. Geochemistry and petrogenesis of calc-alkaline “Mesozoic” volcanics and “Andean” plutons of Admiralty Bay, King George Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). Studia Geologica Polonica, LXXXII: 7-57.
  • 5. Doelter, C., 1912-1926. Handbuch der Mineralchemie (in 4 Bands). Dresden, Leipzig.
  • 6. Domeyko, I., 1837. Notice sur les changements qu’a subis la côte prussienne de la mer Baltique depuis les temps historiques. Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de I ’Academic des Sciences, 4: 965-969.
  • 7. Domeyko, I., 1838. Carte Géologique de la Pologne d’apres Mrs de Buch, de Lilienbach, Strangways, Pusch, Eichwald etc., Paris.
  • 8. Domeyko, I., 1843. Description et analyses de quelques espéces minerales trouvée au Chili. Annales des Mines, ser. 4, III: 3-18.
  • 9. Domeyko, L, 1844. Tratado de ensayes, tantopor la via seca como por la via umeda. Serena. 341 pp.
  • 10. Domeyko, I., 1845. Elementos de Mineralogia. Santiago. 383 pp. Domeyko, I., 1846a. Memoire sur la constitution geologique du Chili. Annales des Mines, ser. 4, IX: 365-540.
  • 11. Domeyko, I., 1846b. Récherches sur la géologie du Chili. Annales des Mines, ser. 4, IX: 3-34.
  • 12. Domeyko, I., 1847. Memoria sobre las aguas de Santiago i de sus immediaciones. Santiago. 62 pp.
  • 13. Domeyko, I., 1848. Description du Volcan d’Antuco. Annales des Mines, ser. 4, XIV: 187-231.
  • 14. Domeyko, I., 1852. Über di Solfatara welche im Jahr 1847 von Cerro Azul in der Cordillera von Talca entstanden ist. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Jahrg. 1852: 662-682.
  • 15. Domeyko, I., 1853. De un hidroborato de sodio, cal i magnesia - especie hallada en los llanos de la Provincia de Tarapaca en la costa del Peru. Anales de la Universidadde Chile, 10: 64-68.
  • 16. Domeyko, I., 1862. Sobra una nueva especia de mineral de plomo yodurado descubierda por el doctor Schwartzemberg en Copiapo i analizada por don Ignacio Domeyko. Anales de la Universidad de Chile, 20: 171- 174.
  • 17. Domeyko, I., 1864. Mémoire concemant les grandes masses d’aérolithes, trouvées dans le desert d’ Atacama dans le voisinage de la Sierra de Chaco. Annales des Mines, ser. 6, V: 431-451.
  • 18. Domeyko, I., 1871. Estudio sobre las aguas minerales de Chile. Santiago. 62 pp.
  • 19. Domeyko, I., 1876. Daubréeite (oxychlorure de bismuth) - espéce minerale nouvelle. Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de I’Academie des Sciences, 82: 922-923.
  • 20. Domeyko, I., 1878a. Rzut oka na Kordyliery Chilijskie i zawarte w ich łonie pokłady metaliczne. Rozprawy i sprawozdania Wydziału Matematyczno-Przyrodniczego Akademii Umiejętności, 5: LXXXIII-LXXXVII, 160-272.
  • 21. Domeyko, I., 1878b. Sexto apendice al Tratado de Mineralogia y reino mineral de Chile y de las republicas vecinas. Annales de la Universidad de Chile, 53: 5-50.
  • 22. Domeyko, L, 1879. Mineralojia. Tercera edicion. Santiago. 760 pp.
  • 23. Domeyko, I., 1880. Sur les phosphates et les borophosphates de magnésie et de chaux, provenant du depot de guano de Mejilones. Neues Jahrbuch fur Mineralogie, 1880 Bd. 2: 304.
  • 24. Domeyko, L, 1883. Segundo apendice a la Mineralojia. Santiago. 55 pp.
  • 25. Domeyko, I., 1884. Tercer apendice a la Mineralojia. Santiago. 41 pp.
  • 26. Domeyko, I., 1888. O metodzie jakąby zaprowadzić należało do uczenia się i uczenia geografii fizycznej Ziem Polskich. Rozprawy i Sprawozdania Wydziału Matematyczno-Przyrodniczego Akademii Umiejętności w Krakowie, 18: 217-224.
  • 27. Domeyko, I., 1962-1963. Moje podróże. Pamiętniki wygnańca, t. 1 (1831-1837). 254 pp., t. 2 (1839-1845). 560 pp., t. 3 (1846- 1888). 339 pp. Ossolineum. Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków.
  • 28. Grigelis, A., 2002. Ignacy Domeyko and Alcide d’ Orbigny - men of the same age but different fate. Polskie Towarzystwo Mineralogiczne-Prace Specjalne, 21: 15-36.
  • 29. Koszowska, E., Łaptaś, A. & Paulo, A., 2002. Domeyko’s collection in the Geological Museum of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Polskie Towarzystwo Mineralogiczne-Prace Specjalne, 21: 37-50.
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