De Saussure (1767-1845) gave precision to the science of plant-nutrition by use of quantitative methods.
The impulse given to the study of natural history by the example of Linnaeus; the results brought back by Sir Joseph Banks, Dr Solander and the two Forsters, who accompanied Cook in his voyages of discovery; the studies of De Saussure in the Alps, and the lists of desiderata in physical geography drawn up by that investigator, combined to ' Printed in Schriften zur physischen Geographie, vol.
De Saussure made the third ascent, memorable in many respects, and was followed a week later by Colonel Beaufoy, the first Englishman to gain the top. These ascents were all made from Chamonix, which is still the usual starting point, though routes have been forced up the peak from nearly every side, those on the Italian side being much steeper than that from Chamonix.
In the narrowest portion of this gorge, not far from Bellegarde at its lower end, there formerly existed the famous (described by Saussure in his Voyages dans les Alpes, chapter xvii.), where for a certain distance the river disappeared in a subterranean channel; but this natural phenomenon has been destroyed, partly by blasting, and partly by the diversion of the water for the use of the factories of Bellegarde.