Lacroix Alfred

An outstanding French mineralogist and petrographer.
Born in Macon, in 1887 he graduated from the pharmaceutical institute in Paris, but then turned to mineralogy and petrography, to which he dedicated his life.

In 1888, Lacroix became an assistant at the Collège de France and an employee of the French Geological Institution, received his doctorate and in 1893 was elected professor of mineralogy at the National Museum of Natural History. He held this position for 40 years until his retirement by age, but continued to work in the museum until the end of his life.

The main studies of Lacroix are devoted to theoretical and regional mineralogy, petrography and volcanology, a comprehensive study of minerals and rocks. He wrote the main 5-volume mineralogy of France and its colonies, which came out during the years 1893-1913, the 3-volume mineralogy of Madagascar. Many works of Lacroix were widely known and became classic. His remarkable monograph on the Mont Pele volcano on the island of Martinique and its eruptions in 1902 received particular fame in scientific circles. This work presented the author as an outstanding deep analyst of observed phenomena and a courageous, fearless natural scientist, who risked the life of observing grand natural phenomena in close proximity to them.

Lacroix was a tireless traveler who visited different regions of the Earth. He described and analyzed the Pyrenees granites, the alkaline rocks of Madagascar and Vesuvius, systematized the volcanic emissions of Polynesia, studied the extinct volcanoes of Auvergne and the Reignon Islands, conducted petrographic studies in Indochina. In all his works, the scientist posed and solved major fundamental questions of volcanology. His contribution to the study of meteorites is also great.

In 1904, Lacroix was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences, in 1909 - a foreign corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, in 1925 - a foreign honorary member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1930, he was awarded the Penroz Medal by the American Geological Society.
He died in Paris.
Glacier on the north island of Novaya Zemlya east of Mashigin Bay. It is mapped and named in 1909 by V.A. Rusanov.


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