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Brøgger, Waldemar Christopher

Brøgger, Waldemar Christopher

(b. Christiania [now Oslo], Norway, 10 November 1851; d. Oslo, 17 February 1940)

geology.

Brøgger was the son of Anton Wilhelm Brøgger, a well-known book publisher, and Oline Marie Bjerring. In 1878 he married Antonie Siewers; their home fostered musical and other cultural interests. After receiving his baccalaureate in 1869, Brøgger took the examen philosophicum (a year’s study of various subjects, before specialization) at the University of Oslo in 1870 and then began to study zoology. In 1872 he published a paper on the mollusks of the Oslo Fjord. Attracted by Theodor Kjerulf, professor of mineralogy and geology, he transferred to that department and in 1876 received an appointment as assistant at the mineralogical institute of the university. At the same time he served as assistant at the Geological Survey of Norway. During this period he was president of the Norwegian Students’ Union several times.

During the next few years, Brøgger engaged in rich and varied scientific activity, and in 1881 he was appointed professor at the newly established Stockholms Høgskola (now the University of Stockholm). There he founded a first-class mineralogical institute, as well as teaching and conducting research that dealt mainly with the geology and mineralogy of Norway.

In 1890 Brøgger succeeded Kjerulf as professor at the University of Oslo, remaining in this post until 1917. His main contribution was in the study of the Permian eruptive rocks of the Oslo district; and he was one of the pioneers in the theory of magmatic differentiation. Besides his writings, Brøgger published, alone or in collaboration with his colleague and successor J. Schetelig, numerous geological maps. Among other important petrographical works is that on carbonatite-containing rocks at Fen, in the Precambrian just outside the Oslo district, published when he was nearly seventy; this type of rock was one of his main concerns. Outstanding among Brøgger’s many mineralogical contributions is his long treatise on pegmatite minerals from Langesund Fjord, in the southernmost part of the Oslo district (1890).

Other scientific achievements are Brøgger’s important studies on tectonic geology, Cambro-Silurian stratigraphy and paleontology, and Quaternary geology. At the presentation of the Wollaston Medal to Brøgger in 1911, the president of the Geological Society of London said: “In an age of specialization he is a specialist, but a specialist in almost every branch of science. That it should have fallen to one man to do so much and so well almost passes belief.”

With his forceful personality and his administrative ability, Brøgger became a leader in Norwegian scientific circles at an early stage in his career. For a time he was rector of the University of Oslo, and for many years served as president of the Norwegian Academy of Science in Oslo. By establishing a number of scientific endowments, largely through private and institutional subscriptions, and through his untiring efforts to achieve recognition for scientific research, he had a strong and lasting effect on the history of his country. Between 1900 and 1906 he was a member of the Storting (parliament), where he championed the cause of science.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

I. Original Works. Brøgger’s writings include “Bidrag til Kristianiafjordens molluskfauna,” in Nyt magazin for naturvidenskaberne, 19 (1872), 103–145; “Om paradoxidesskifrene ved krekling,” ibid., 24 (1878), 18–88; “Die silurischen Etagen 2 und 3 im Kristianiagebiet und auf Eker, ihre Gliederung, Fossilien, Schichtenstörungen und Contactmetamorphosen,” in Universitätsprogramm, 2nd sem. 1882, no. 8; “Spaltenverwerfungen in der Gegend Langesund-Skien,” in Nyt magazin for naturvidenskaberne, 28 (1884), 253–419; “Ueber die Bildungsgeschichte des Kristianiafjords. Ein Beitrag zum Verständnis der Fjordund Seebildung in Skandinavien,” ibid., 30 (1886), 99–231; “Die Mineralien der Syenitpegmatitgänge der südnorwegischen Augit-und Nephelinsyenite. Mit zahlreichen chemisch-analytischen Beiträgen von P. T. Cleve,” in Zeitschrift für Krystallographie und Mineralogie, 16 (1890); “Die Eruptivgesteine des Kristianiagebietes. I. Die Gesteine der Grorudit-Tinguait-Serie,” in Videnskaps-selskapets skrifter, mathematisk-naturvidenskapelig klasse (1894), no. 4; “Die Eruptivgesteine des Kristianiagebietes. II. Die Eruptionsfolge der triadischen Eruptivgesteine bei Predazzo in Südtyrol,” ibid., (1895), no. 7; “Die Eruptivgesteine des Kristianiagebietes. III. Das Ganggefolge des Laurdalits,” ibid. (1897), no. 6; “Om de senglaciale og postglaciale nivåforandringer i Kristianiafeltet (molluskfaunan)…,” in Norges geologiske undersøgelse, no. 31 (1900): “Strandliniens beliggenhed under stenalderen i det sydøstlige Norge,” ibid., no. 41 (1905); “Die Eruptivgesteine des Kristianiagebietes. IV. Das Fengebiet in Telemark, Norwegen…,” in Videnskaps-selskapets skrifter. mathematisk-naturvidenskapelig klasse (1920), no. 9; Geologisk oversiktskart over Kristianiafeltet, 1:250,000… (Christiania, 1923); “Die Explosionsbreccie bei Sevaldrud zwischen Randsfjord und Sperillen,” in Norsk geologisk tidsskrift, 11 (1930), 281–346; “Die Eruptivgesteine des Oslogebietes. V. Der grosse Hurumvulkan,” in Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo, matematisk-naturvidenskapelig klasse (1930), no. 6; “Die Eruptivgesteine des Oslogebietes. VI. Über verschiedene Ganggesteine des Oslogebietes,” ibid. (1931), no. 7; “Essexitrekkens erupsjoner. Den elste vulkanske virksomhet i Oslofeltet,” in Norges geologiske undersøkelse, no. 138 (1933); “Die Eruptivgesteine des Oslogebietes. VII. Die chemische Zusammensetzung der Eruptivgesteine des Oslogebietes…,” in Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo, matematisk-naturvidenskapelig klasse (1933), no. 1; “On Several Archäan Rocks From the South Coast of Norway. I. Nodular Granites From the Environs of Kragerø,” ibid., no. 8; and “On Several Archäan Rocks From the South Coast of Norway. II. The South Norwegian Hyperites and Their Metamorphism,” ibid. (1934), no. 1.

II. Secondary Literature. A special publication, Ved W. C. Brøggers bortgang (Oslo, 1940), was printed and distributed by Norske Videnskaps-Akademi soon after Brøgger’s death. It contains, besides biographical data, speeches delivered at the memorial held in the university auditorium on the day of his funeral and at a special meeting of the Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo on 8 March 1940. The scientific achievements of Brøgger are discussed by V. M. Goldschmidt and Olaf Holtedahl in that publication, which also contains a complete bibliography by W. P. Sommerfeldt on pp. 57–105.

Olaf Holtedahl

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Brøgger, Waldemar Christofer

Brøgger, Waldemar Christofer (1851–1940) A Norwegian geologist and petrologist, Brøgger was a professor at the University of Oslo from 1890 to 1917. He had interests in many fields, including the geologic mapping of Norway and studies of pegmatites, but his main work was concerned with the theory of magmatic differentiation.

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"Brøgger, Waldemar Christofer." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Brøgger, Waldemar Christofer." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/brogger-waldemar-christofer