Ferdinand Trusheim

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Ferdinand Trusheim (born April 24, 1906 in Frankfurt am Main , † June 28, 1997 in Hanover ) was a German geologist and paleontologist . As a pioneer of German petroleum geology and "father of halokinesis ", he made an important contribution to understanding the structural development of sedimentary basins .

Life and career

Trusheim attended school in Frankfurt and began studying geology there. After moving to the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg , he received his doctorate in 1929 under Kurt Leuchs (1881–1949). The title of his dissertation was Die Mittenwalder Karwendelmulde . After a short time at “ Senckenberg am Meer ” in Wilhelmshaven, he became a scientific assistant at the Mineralogical-Geological Institute at the University of Würzburg in 1930 . In 1936 he completed his habilitation with Adolf Wurm on the subject of The Geological History of Southeast Germany during the Lower Cretaceous and the Cenomancy . He then stayed in Würzburg and in 1942 became associate professor for geology and paleontology.

During the Second World War , Trusheim worked as a military geologist in various European countries occupied by the German Reich . Towards the end of the war he was taken prisoner by the Soviets , from which he was released in 1950.

Instead of returning to research and teaching, he worked from 1951 at the Brigitta union , for which he managed the oil production company in Steimbke . In 1957 he became head of the company's exploration department, which was based in Hanover. Until he left the company in 1970, numerous oil and natural gas fields were discovered and developed under his leadership in the north-west German basin , in the Upper Rhine Graben and in the Alpine foothills .

Trusheim was married to the German geologist Irene Trusheim (née Wappenschmitt), whom he survived by two years. The marriage produced a son.

Scientific achievements

In 1957 Trusheim published his most important work: the hypothesis of the migration of rock salt underground and the formation of salt domes . With this thesis, which he had already presented to the eminent geologist Hans Stille at a conference in Hanover the previous year , he coined the term halokinesis . In 1960, the "Halokinesis theory", which is still valid today in essential points, appeared in English in a US American journal for petroleum geology.

, A special performance in the field of paleontology succeeded when he in Coburg sandstone of the Steigerwald the still existent "Urzeitkrebs" species fossil Triops cancriformis discovered that it in 1938 as a new subspecies T. cancriformis minor described . Only a few years earlier he had come across recent T. cancriformis in almost the same place , whereupon he published an updated work on the taphonomy and omenology of these animals. The Coburg sandstone is a layer part of the Middle Keuper . Its age is estimated to be more than 220 million years (late Carnation ). At least until the early 1970s, when the fossil T. cancriformis from layers of the Upper Red Sandstone of the Vosges , around 245 million years old, became known, Trusheim's discovery represented both the oldest known fossils of the species T. cancriformis and the oldest known fossils of any still today living species.


  • Klaus-Peter Kelber : Triops cancriformis (Crustacea: Notostraca): A remarkable fossil from the Triassic Central Europe. In: Norbert Hauschke, Volker Wilde (ed.): Trias - A completely different world. Publishing house Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munich 1999, ISBN 978-3-931516-55-0 , pp. 383-394 (digital copy: PDF 13.9 MB)
  • Eberhard Plein : Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Trusheim April 24, 1906 - June 28, 1997. News German Geological Society. No. 62, 1997, pp. 31–32 ( DOC 223 kB, complete issue)

Individual evidence

  1. Published in: New Yearbook for Mineralogy, Geology and Palaeontology, Beilagen-Volume B 75, pp. 1–109
  2. Ferdinand Trusheim: About Halokinesis and its significance for the structural development of Northern Germany. Journal of the German Geological Society. Vol. 109, 1957, pp. 111–158 ( abstract )
  3. ^ Ferdinand Trusheim: Mechanism of salt migration in Northern Germany. AAPG Bulletin. Vol. 44, 1960, pp. 1519-1540, ( abstract )
  4. ^ Ferdinand Trusheim: Triopsiden (Crust. Phyll.) From the Keuper Franconia. Paleontological Journal. Vol. 19, No. 3-4, 1938, pp. 198-216, doi : 10.1007 / BF03042241
  5. Ferdinand Trusheim: Aktuo-paleontological observations on Triops cancriformis Schaeffer (Crust. Phyll.). Senckenbergiana. Vol. 13, 1931, pp. 234-243.
  6. German Stratigraphic Commission (Ed.): Stratigraphische Tisch von Deutschland 2002 . Potsdam 2002, ISBN 3-00-010197-7 ( PDF of the large version 6.57 MB)
  7. Kelber: Triops cancriformis (Crustacea: Notostraca) from the Triassic Central Europe. 1999 (see literature ), p. 388 f.