|Born||January 8, 1912
|Died||February 8, 1983
|Fields||Geology, Volcanology, Glaciology|
|Institutions||University of Iceland, 1950–1983|
|Alma mater||University of Copenhagen, 1931–1932
University of Stockholm, 1932-1944
|Known for||Pioneered the field of tephrochronology|
Sigurður Þórarinsson (January 8, 1912 – February 8, 1983) was an Icelandic geologist, volcanologist, glaciologist, professor and lyricist. He is considered a pioneer in the field of tephrochronology, and he made significant contributions in many areas of geology, especially volcanology and glaciology, both in Iceland and abroad.
Sigurður Þórarinsson was born in Vopnafjörður in northeastern Iceland in 1912. He received his Ph.D. from Stockholm University College in 1944 and began a long and distinguished academic career as professor of geography at the University of Iceland. According to his obituary in The Geographical Journal, "He was something of a polymath who contrived to take geology, geomorphology, glaciology, climatology, and archaeology in his stride."
He died suddenly of a heart attack in Reykjavík in 1983. Subsequently, the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) decided to name its highest award the Thorarinsson Medal in his honor. As usual outside Iceland, the name of the prize misunderstands Icelandic naming conventions, because Þórarinsson is a patronymic not a surname, and in Iceland he would have properly been referred to by his given first name, Sigurður.
Eldur er í Norðri is collection of papers, puplished by his colleague when Sigurður turned 70 years old.
Sigurdur Thorarinsson is the author of the lyrics to many well-known Icelandic songs, such as Þórsmerkurljóð (María María), Vorkvöld í Reykjavík and Að lífið sé skjálfandi.
Books and Theses
- Thorarinsson, Sigurdur (1944). Tefrokronologiska studier på Island : Þjórsárdalur och dess förödelse. Thesis (doctoral)--Stockholms Högskola. pp. 217 pp.
- Thorarinsson, Sigurdur (1970). Hekla: A Notorious Volcano. Almenna bókafélagið, Reykjavík.
- Nawrath, Alfred; Sigurdur Thorarinsson, Halldór Laxness (1959). Iceland: Impressions of a Heroic Landscape. Kümmerly & Frey, Berne.
- Sigurdur Thorarinsson. Surtsey, the new island in the North Atlantic. New York: Viking Press, 1967, 47 pgs text and 53 pgs photographs.
Selected Significant Articles
- Thorarinsson, Sigurdur; T. Einarsson and G. Kjartansson (1959). "On the Geology and Geomorphology of Iceland". Geografiska annaler 41 (2–3): 135–169.
- Anon. (1983). "Obituary: Sigurdur Thorarinsson, 1912-1983". The Geographical Journal 149 (3): 405–406.
- Björnsson, Helgi (1983). "Obituary: Sigurdur Thorarinsson, 1912-1983". Journal of Glaciology 29 (103): 521–523.
- Steinthorsson, Sigurdur (1985). "Memorial to Sigurdur Thorarinsson, 1912-1983". The Geological Society of America Memorials XV: 1–6.