Wilhelm Ahrens (geologist)

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Wilhelm Ahrens (born February 21, 1894 in Hamburg , † August 18, 1968 near Hachenburg ) was a German geologist. He was significantly involved in setting up the State Geological Office of North Rhine-Westphalia and was its first director.


Ahrens attended the learned school of the Johanneum with the Abitur in 1912 and then studied natural sciences in Jena and Freiburg im Breisgau (1914) before serving as a soldier in the artillery and military geologist in the First World War from 1914 to 1918. From 1918 he continued his studies in Hamburg and Jena and received his doctorate in Jena in 1921 (contributions to the geology of the north-western edge of the Müncheberg gneiss between Köditz and Marlesreuth ). In 1922 he joined the Prussian Geological State Institute (PGLA), where he mapped in the Rhineland and in 1925 received a permanent position as an unscheduled geologist. In 1930 he became a district geologist, in 1936 he received the title of professor and in 1942 he became a government geologist. After the Second World War he was initially director of the Geological State Institute in East Berlin from 1945 and from 1948 head of the Rhineland and Westphalia branch of the Soil Research Office in Düsseldorf and Bochum. In 1956 he became managing director of the newly founded Geological State Office of North Rhine-Westphalia in Krefeld . In 1959 he retired. He died in 1968 in an accident during a geological survey in Hachenburg .

Ahrens was particularly concerned with the Vulkaneifel ( Laacher See ), the Westerwald and the Rhine terraces as well as the iron ore deposits in the Siegerland .

He was the second chairman of the Natural History Association of the Rhineland and Westphalia.


  • The volcanoes of the Eifel, Der Naturforscher, Volume 2, 1925, pp. 169–172.
  • The age of the great Middle Rhine pumice stone eruption and its relationship to the youngest Rhine terraces, Geol. Rundschau, Volume 18, 1927, pp. 45–59
  • The Devonian igneous rocks of the eastern Sauerland. I. The diabase of the higher Middle and Upper Devonian, Jb. PGLA, Volume 49, 1928, pp. 947-994
  • The formation of the Laacher See and the eruption point of the white pumice stones in the Neuwied Basin, Jb. PGLA, Volume 49, 1928, pp. 339–369
  • The tertiary in the northern Laacher See area. With a paleobotanical contribution by Mr. W. Gothan in Berlin. In: Yearbook of the Prussian Geological State Institute, 50, 1929, pp. 322–370.
  • The tuffs of the Nördlinger Ries and their significance for the overall problem, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Vol. 81, 1929, pp. 94-99.
  • The separation of the "lower terrace" on the Middle and Lower Rhine into a diluvial and an alluvial part due to the scree, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Volume 82, 1930, pp. 129-141.
  • Geological hiking book through the volcanic area of ​​the Laacher See in the Eifel, Enke Verlag 1930
  • Neuwied basin and volcanic world of the Laacher See (excursion report), Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Volume 82, 1930, pp. 661-665.
  • Results of geomagnetic investigations in the volcanic area of ​​the Laacher See in the Eifel, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Volume 83, 1931, p. 667.
  • The basalt volcanoes of the southeastern Laacher See area and their lava flows. - Jb. PGLA, Vol. 53, 1932, pp. 851-878
  • The Weißjura blocks from the Laacher See - still remnants of Roman building blocks, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Vol. 84, 1932, pp. 123-125.
  • with Kurd von Bülow : The age of the Laacher pumice stone eruption, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Volume 86, 1934, pp. 92-99, addendum p. 190
  • The clay and quartzite deposits of the Westerwald, Z. Dt. geol. Ges., Volume 88, 1936, pp. 438-447
  • Educational excursion to the Vulkaneifel (excursion report), Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Volume 89, 1937, p. 602.
  • Geological investigations on the basalts of the Westerwald, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Vol. 90, 1938, pp. 55, 381-383.
  • The deposits of usable stones and earth in the Westerwald, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Vol. 112, 1960, pp. 238-252
  • with G. Stadler, H. Werner: Contribution to the genesis of the Westerwald tertiary quartzites, Z. Dt. Geol. Ges., Vol. 112, 1960, pp. 253-258.
  • Introduction to the geology of the clay deposits of the Westerwald and adjacent areas, Ber. German ceramics Ges., Vol. 41, 1964, pp. 236-239.
  • Geological overview map 1: 200,000 of the Eifel and its framing, with explanations, Bonn: Stollfuss 1962.
  • Geological-agronomic map 1: 25,000 of the area around Andernach, 1926


  • G. von der Brelie: Wilhelm Ahrens †, 1894–1968, Ice Age and Present, Volume 20, 1969, pp. 281–282
  • H. Grabert: Wilhelm Ahrens, Decheniana, Volume 122, Issue 1, April 1969, pages 1-6

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