K. J. V. Steenstrup

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K.J.V. Steenstrup

Knud Johannes Vogelius Steenstrup (7 September 1842 in Høstemark Mill in Mou, Northern Jutland – 6 May 1913) was a Danish geologist and explorer of Greenland. He was a nephew of the zoologist Japetus Steenstrup.


K.J.V. Steenstrup took a degree in pharmacy in 1863 and worked as assistant at the University of Copenhagen Geological Museum from 1866 to 1889. He made in total nine journeys to Greenland, one of which lasted 2.5 years. He made remarkable collections of Miocene plant fossils in North West Greenland. These were later treated by the swiss botanist Oswald Heer .[1] Steenstrup proved that the large iron-rich blocks found by A.E. Nordenskiöld on Disko, and claimed by him to be meteorites, were in fact native iron extrusions in basalt. This finding made his name well known and he was subsequently made honorary member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. From 1889 to his death, he was state geologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark. Unfortunately, a large proportion of his Greenlandic collections were lost when Christiansborg Palace burned in 1884. In his home country, he made pioneering studies of dune morphology.[2]

He was appointed Honorary Doctor at the University of Copenhagen in 1906. From 1896 he was a member of the Commission for Scientific Investigations in Greenland and from 1902 fellow of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

The twin K.J.V. Steenstrup Glaciers (K.I.V. Steenstrups Nordre Bræ & K.I.V. Steenstrups Søndre Bræ) in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland, are named after him.


  1. ^ Heer, Oswald and Eduard Heinrich Graeffe (1868-1883) Flora fossilis arctica - Die fossile Flora der Polarländer; Steenstrup's finds in Vol. VII, 1883
  2. ^ Steenstrup, K. J. V. (1894). "Om klitternes Vandring". Meddelelser fra Dansk Geologisk Forening. 1 (1).
  • Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, vol. XVI, p. 342-343; Hintze, V.: Steenstrup, Knud Johannes Vogelius (in Danish)
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