Haroun Tazieff

Geologist, Award Winner

1914 – 1998

25

Who was Haroun Tazieff?

Haroun Tazieff was a French volcanologist and geologist. He was a famous cinematographer of volcanic eruptions and lava flows, and the author of several books about volcanoes.

Born in Warsaw, Russian Empire, his father was a Tatar doctor, and his mother a Jewish chemist and doctor in political sciences. He lived in Brussels, Belgium, starting in 1917.

He received a degree in agronomy in Gembloux in 1938, and another degree in geology at University of Liège in 1944. He was later a "secrétaire d'État" in France, in charge of prevention of major risks.

The National Geographic film The Violent Earth followed Tazieff's expeditions to the volcanoes Mount Etna, Sicily in 1971 and Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1972 in which he attempted, unsuccessfully, to descend into the active lava lake in order to collect samples.

He participated at the first explorations of the “Pierre Saint-Martin abyss” in Spain. In 1952, he was filming the ascension of Marcel Loubens when the cable of the hoist broke and Loubens fell over 80 meters. He died 36 hours later and his body could be extracted from the cavern only in 1954.

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Born
May 11, 1914
Warsaw
Religion
  • Islam
Ethnicity
  • Russian
  • Tatars
Nationality
  • Poland
Profession
Education
  • University of Liège
Died
Feb 6, 1998
Paris

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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