Ahlmann Hans

(14.11.1889 - 10.03.1974)

Swedish geographer and glaciologist.

Born in Karlsborg.

He studied with Professor Gerhard de Geer, a specialist in Quaternary geology, with whom he participated in a scientific excursion to Spitsbergen in 1910, which largely predetermined his scientific interests in the future.

But he spent the years 1913-1914 in Paris, where he wanted to become an artist. In the same place, he listened to several lectures by the famous geomorphologist W.M. Davis and, returning to Sweden, wrote a paper on the morphology of the basin of Lake Ragundashon, famous for its breakthrough in 1796. He defended this work as a doctoral dissertation in geology in 1915 at the University of Stockholm. In the same year, Alman was appointed there adjunct professor of geography. Since 1920, he became an associate professor of geography at Uppsala University, and since 1929 - a professor at the department of geography at Stockholm University.

Alman conducted extensive research on the glaciers of Scandinavia and the polar regions. In the 1930s - 1940s, he acted as the organizer and supervisor of major glaciological expeditions: Swedish-Norwegian to Spitsbergen in 1931 and 1934; the Swedish-Icelandic to the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland in 1936–1937; Swedish-Norwegian to northeastern Greenland in 1939–1940; Norwegian-British-Swedish to Queen Maud Land in Antarctica in 1949-1952. The result of these unique, more than 20-year-old works are two generalizing publications. Alman studied the dependence of ablation of glaciers on air temperature, radiation regime and other factors, laid the foundation for studying the mass balance of glaciers, developed the first geophysical classification of glaciers, first studied the relationship of glaciation and climate in modern and historical terms.

His other works include glaciological and geomorphological research in Norway, as well as anthropological and socio-geographical research in Italy and Italian Libya.

Alman was a member of the Swedish-Norwegian Association during World War II and the ambassador of Sweden to Oslo from 1950 to 1956. He was president of the International Geographical Union (1960–1964) and its first vice president (1956–1960).

He died in Stockholm.

Mountains up to 940 m high on James 1 Land, Spitsbergen. Coordinates 78° 40'N 13°30'E.

The glacier is about 6 km in diameter on the island of North-Eastern Earth, Spitsbergen. Coordinates 80°05'N    22°20'E.


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