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Haraldur Sigurðsson (born May 31, 1939) is an Icelandic volcanologist and geochemist.

Haraldur Sigurðsson
Dr Haraldur Sigurðsson.jpg
BornMay 31, 1939 (1939-05-31) (age 80)
Alma materQueen's University, Belfast (BSc)
University of Durham (PhD)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Rhode Island
ThesisThe petrology and chemistry of the Setberg volcanic region and of the intermediate and acid rocks of Iceland (1970)
Doctoral advisorG. M. Brown[1]


Sigurðsson studied geology and geochemistry in the United Kingdom, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from Queen's University, Belfast, followed by a PhD from Durham University in 1970.[1][2]

Career and researchEdit

Sigurðsson worked on monitoring and research of the volcanoes of the Caribbean until 1974, when he was appointed professor at the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island. He is best known for his work on the reconstruction of major volcanic eruptions of the past, including the eruption of Vesuvius in Italy in AD 79 and the consequent destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. In 1991 he discovered tektite glass spherules at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (K–T boundary) in Haiti, providing proof for a meteorite impact at the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs.[3] In 2004 he discovered the lost town of Tambora in Indonesia, which was buried by the colossal 1815 explosive eruption of Tambora volcano.[4][5] In 1999, Haraldur Sigurdsson published a scholarly account of the history of volcanology.[6] He was also editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of Volcanoes,[7] also published in 1999. He was awarded the Coke Medal of the Geological Society of London in 2004.[8]

Active blogsEdit

Haraldur Sigurdsson has in recent[when?] years been active in blogging in Icelandic on various issues related to his science, geology and geochemistry. There he has also been active in criticizing USA government, world capitalism [9] and activities of Chinese companies in the Arctic.[10] He openly supports the left movement in USA.

In the summer of 2014, Sigurdsson wrote a very controversial article on the Solarsilicon Project being developed by the US Company Silicor Materials Inc. in Iceland and its pollution.[11] However, he has not been able to support that with any scientific evidence. Most writings and official reports in Iceland show very different views.[12][13][14][15]


  • Jordan, Benjamin R.; Haraldur Sigurdsson; Steven Carey (2008). Ignimbrites in Central America and Associated Caribbean Sea Tephra: Correlation and Petrogenesis. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller. p. 224. ISBN 978-3-639-10831-6.[16]
  • Haraldur Sigurdsson; Steven Carey (1990). Caribbean volcanoes a field guide. Open Library. p. 107.[17]
  • H. Sigurdsson; W.C. Evans (1987). Lake Nyos revisited:: a preliminary report. p. 7.[18]
  • Haraldur Sigursson; Paolo Laj (1990). Sulfur mass loading of the atmosphere from volcanic eruptions:: calibration of the ice core record on basis of sulfate aerosol deposition in polar regions from the 1982 El Chichon eruption, NASA grant NAG51304. Narragansett, RI; Washington, DC; Springfield, VA: University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Technical Information Service.[18]
  • Sigurdsson, Haraldur (1999). Melting the Earth:: the history of ideas on volcanic eruptions. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 260. ISBN 0-19-510665-2.[18]
  • Haraldur Sigurdsson; Steven Carey (2008). Volcanoes and the Environment:: Exploring the Earth System. Academic Press. p. 450. ISBN 978-0-12-643141-4.[18]


  1. ^ a b Sigurðsson, Haraldur (1970). The petrology and chemistry of the Setberg volcanic region and of the intermediate and acid rocks of Iceland. (PhD thesis). Durham University. OCLC 768299868. EThOS  
  2. ^ home page Archived 2008-07-24 at the Wayback Machine of Haraldur Sigurdsson at University of Rhode Island
  3. ^ Sigurdsson, Haraldur; D'Hondt, Steven; Arthur, Michael A.; Bralower, Timothy J.; Zachos, James C.; Van Fossen, Mickey; Channel, James E. T. (1991). "Glass from the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in Haiti" (PDF). Nature. 349 (6309): 482–487. Bibcode:1991Natur.349..482S. doi:10.1038/349482a0.
  4. ^ 'Pompeii of the East' discovered BBC
  5. ^ Sigurdsson, H.; Carey, S. (1989). "Plinian and Co-Igmibrite Tephra Fall from the 1815 Eruption of Tambora Volcano". Bulletin of Volcanology. 51 (4): 243–270. Bibcode:1989BVol...51..243S. doi:10.1007/BF01073515.
  6. ^ Sigurdsson, Haraldur (1999). Melting the Earth:: the history of ideas on volcanic eruptions. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 260. ISBN 0-19-510665-2.
  7. ^ Haraldur Sigurdsson; Bruce Houghton; Hazel Rymer; John Stix; Steve McNutt, eds. (1999). Encyclopedia of Volcanoes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 1417. ISBN 978-0-12-643140-7.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2009-07-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), retrieved 06/07/2009
  9. ^ Sigurdsson supporting the left in the USA
  10. ^ Sigurdsson criticizing activities of Chinese companies in Iceland
  11. ^ Sigurdsson against the US company Silicor Materials
  12. ^ Dr. Thorsteinn Ingi Sigfusson supporting the development of Silicor Materials in Iceland
  13. ^ on Sigurdsson’s view about Silicor Materials in Iceland
  14. ^ Article on the project of Silicor Materials as an environmentally friendly project
  15. ^ The environmental benefits of the process of Silicor Materials
  16. ^ Amazon[ISBN missing]
  17. ^ Open Library
  18. ^ a b c d