S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Michaelsen, Lieut. Heinrich ( geomorphology)

Born: 1882, Place not known.
Died: 28 October 1914, West Flanders, Belgium.

Heinrich (or Heinz) Michaelsen was a scientifically oriented officer of the Schutztruppe (colonial troops) in German South West Africa (now Namibia) during the early part of the twentieth century. He made a detailed study of the lime-pans of eastern Damaraland and reported his findings in a dissertation submitted to the University of Berlin, Die Kalkpfannen des oestlichen Damaralandes (Berlin, 1910). The work was published also in the form of a comprehensive paper with the same title in Mitteilungen aus den deutschen Schutzgebieten (1910, Vol. 23(3), pp. 111-134). A shorter version of the paper appeared in the Naturwissenschaftliche Wochenschrift the same year. The paper was discussed by the geographer Dr Siegfried Passarge*, to whom Michaelsen responded in the journal Globus (1910).

Michaelsen died while on active service as a lieutenant in the German Army during World War I (1914-1918). There is some confusion about his first name (usually Heinrich, sometimes Heinz) and his possible other publications, as there were several other authors with the same names.

List of sources:

Anhaeusser, C.R. (ed.) A century of geological endeavour in southern Africa, 1895-1995 (p. 359). Linden: Geological Society of South Africa, 1997.

Find a grave, at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.chi?page=gr&GRid=15700268

Hugo, P.J., Schalk, K.E.L., and Barnes, S-J. Bibliography of South West African / Namibian earth science. Windhoek: Geological Survey of South West Africa / Namibia, 1983.

International Catalogue of Scientific Literature, at http://www.mocavo.com/International-Catalogue-of-Scientific-Literature-1910-Volume-1910-Div-H609501/108

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Compiled by: C. Plug