S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Schneiderhoehn, Prof Hans (geology)

Born: 2 June 1887, Mainz, Germany.
Died: 5 August 1962, Soelden, Schwarzwald, Germany.

Hans Schneiderhoehn, German geologist, studied geology and mineralogy at the universities in Freiburg im Breisgau, Muenchen, and especially in Giessen under the petrologist F.W. Erich Kaiser*, graduating as Doctor of Philosophy (Dr Phil) at the Justus Liebig University, Giessen in 1909. After a short period as assistant to professor Kaiser he became an assistant at the University of Berlin. Just before the outbreak of World War 1 (1914-1918) he became the mineralogist for the Tsumeb mine in German South West Africa (now Namibia). As a result of the war he had to remain in the territory and continued his study of the geology and ore deposits of the mine and the Otavi Mountains in general for the Otavi Minen- und Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft. He made careful studies of the primary mineral content of the Tsumeb deposit and its relation to secondary mineral enrichment. In the process he discovered the mineral now known as germanite, a copper-germanium-iron-sulphide. He made important observations of the unusual oxidation minerals of Tsumeb and the petrology of the Otavi highlands. With Ernst Reuning* he also explored ore deposits in other parts of the territory.

Schneiderhoehn's work in Namibia was published in Germany in, among others, Die Erzlagerstaetten des Otaviberglandes, Deutsch-Suedwestafrika (The ore deposits of the Otavi Highlands, German South West Africa; Halle, 1921, 48p.) and papers on the sulphide ores of Tsumeb mine (1919, 1920), the occurrence of asphalt in the Fish River Sandstone in the south of the territory (1919), the geology and ore deposits of the Otavi Highlands (1920, 1921, 1929, 1958), geological research and travels in South West Africa during 1914-1919 (1920), and a brief note on the large meteorite at Hoba-West in the Otavi Mountains (1931). His publications on the geology of South Africa included Minaralische Bodenschaetze im suedlichen Afrika (Mineral wealth in southern Africa; Berlin, 1931), two papers on his microscopic studies of the platinum containing minerals of the Bushveld Igneous Complex (1929), and a paper on the mineral composition of the manganese ores at Postmansburg in Griqualand West (1931).

After the conclusion of World War 1 Schneiderhoehn returned to Germany and was inaugurated as a lecturer at the University of Frankfurt. In 1920 he was appointed as professor of geology at the Justus Liebig University and four years later moved to the Technische Hochschule (Technical University) in Aachen. In 1926 he became professor and director of the Geological Institute of the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg im Breisgau, positions he held until his retirement in 1955. After his retirement he settled in Soelden, in the Black Forest, where he continued his research. During his career he studied numerous ore deposits in Europe, Africa (including the copper ore deposits in Zambia), North America, and Turkey.

Schneiderhoehn' work dealt mainly with the origins of ore deposits, and with the development of methods for studying ores using a polarising microscope. His publications included some well-known textbooks and other major works, such as Lehrbuch der Erzmikroskopie (with P. Ramdohr, 1931-1934), Lehrbuch der erzlagerstaettenkunde (1941), Einfuehrung in die Kristallographie (1949), and Die Erzlagerstaetten der Erde (2 vols, 1958-1961).

List of sources:

Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography (2008). Retrieved 18 February 2015 from Encyclopedia.com at http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2830903893.html

The Free Dictionary. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com Search for Hans Schneiderhoehn.

Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoirs No. 18 (1922), 25 (1927), 27 (1931), and 30 (1937).

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

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

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

Wikipedia, Die Freie Enzyklopaedie. http://de.wikipedia.org

Compiled by: C. Plug