Haraldur, The Volcanologist

World-renowned volcanologist, Haraldur Sigurðsson, was born in Stykkishólmur (Iceland) in 1939. He completed a Degree at Queens University in Belfast, in 1965 and received his PhD from Durham University in England, in 1970. Since that same year, Sigurðsson began to work at the University of the West Indies, conducting a research on Caribbean volcanoes. He later served as professor of volcanology at the University of Rhode Island for forty years, where he also became emeritus professor of Oceanography.

His research led him to travel all over the world, specifically studying cases in Indonesia, Italy, West Indies, United States, West Africa, Greece, South and Central America and, of course, Iceland.

In addition to the volcanology Haraldur conducted studies on the impact of large meteorites and comets on the earth. His investigation was funded by grants from the US National Science Foundation, NASA, National Geographic Society, and NOAA.

Hundred and sixty articles have been published by Sigurðsson in scientific journals, plus two books on volcanology for the general reader: Encyclopedia of Volcanoes (Academic Press) and Melting the Earth (Oxford University Press)He has been awarded by the Geological Society of America, Iceland Science Society, University of Utrecht, London Geological Society and Order of the Falcon from the President of Iceland.

Passionate traveller and art lover, Haraldur started a personal collection over
the years. Origin of what would later become its museum Eldfjallasafn ‘Volcano Museum’ in Stykkishólmur, west Iceland. The exhibition space opened its doors
in September 2009 hosting international artworks of all times, as well as artifacts, volcanic rocks, maps and books related to the field of volcanology. The show brought Haraldur Sigurðsson’s universe closer to a multitude of visitors for years. Now, it is LAVA Centre having the honor to exhibit an extract of the collection, thus bringing the relevant figure of Haraldur closer to our audience.

Haraldur at the Eldfjallasafn ‘Volcano Museum’ in Stykkishólmur, west Iceland.
Andy Warhol 1985, Vesuvius; Silkscreen on cardboard. (Part of Haraldur’s collection)