Vogt, Thorolf

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(b. Vang, Hedmark, Norway, 7 June 1888; d. Trondheim, Norway, 8 December 1958), geology.

The son of J. H. L. Vogt, Thorolf published his first mineralogical paper at the age of twenty. He became assistant geologist for the Geological Survey of Norway in 1909 and geologist in 1914. From 1915 to 1923 he was research associate at the University if Oslo. Vogt succeeded his father as professor of mineralogy and geology at the Technical University of Norway, at Trondheim, in 1929. In his earlier years he studied in Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States; later he led a series of expeditions to Arctic areas, to Spitsbergen (1925, 1928), and to sourtheastern Greenland (1931). Of his more than 100 papers, many are short and of little importance; and his contribution to geology consists of a few major volumes. A descriptions of the stratigraphy of the arcisic rocks (sparagmites) in central Norway and their relations to marine Lower Cambrian (1923) remains the standard treatise of Eocambrian (now called latest Precambrian) stratigraphy in Scandinavia. Vogt’s main work was a monograph on a small area in northern Norway within the Caledonian zone, a petrographic-geologic description of the sulfide-rich Sulitjelma area (1927). Vogt’s most important contribution was perhaps the new discussion of metamorphism on the basis of the mineral facies of Pentti Eskola. The monograph was intended as an introduction to a projected work on the description of the sulfide deposits, but the latter never appeared.

During World War II, Vogt drew upon his extensive botanical knowledge in studying plants near the sulfide deposits of Røros, in southeastern Norway. Twelve brief papers resulting from this work, collectively entitled “Geokjemisk og geobotanisk mamleting,” are now considered to be a classic in geochemical prospecting. A paper of 1945 describes the stratigraphy and petrography of a small area south of Trondheim in great detail. This area is of fundamental importance for the eugeosynclinal sequence of the Scandinavian Caledonides, and the paper remained the standard reference for twenty years. At the time of his death Vogt was working several fields, including a general study of metamorphic amphiboles. The completed manuscript of the first part, “Constitution and Classification,” was printed posthumously.

Vogt’s importance in Norwegian geology derives from his publications and his wide-ranging activity. He taught geology and ore geology to mining students for thirty years and participated in many ore prospecting projects. He also was active in introducing and developing geophysical methods into the practice of ore prospecting in Norway.


Vogt published some 100 works from 1908 to 1958; three more papers appeared posthumously (1964-1967). The most important are “Sulitelmafeltets geologi og petrografi,” which is Norges geologiske undersøkelse, no. 121 (1927); “Geokjemisk og geobotanisk mamleting,” in Kongelige Norske videnskabers selskabs forhandlinger, 12–20 (1939-1947); “The Geology of Part of the Hølonda-Horg District, a Type Area in the Trondheim Region,” in Norsk geologisk tidsskrift, 25 (1945), 449–528; and “The Amphibole Group, Constitution and Classification,” in Kongelige Norske videnskabernes selskabs skrifter, no. 7 (1966), 1–55.

There is a short biography by Ivar Oftedal (in Norwegian) and a complete bibliography in Norsk geologisk tidsskrift, 39 (1959), 1–11.

Christoffer Oftedahl