Tribute to Chalmers Clapperton from South America

Thank you to James Clapperton for the video tribute used to illustrate this post.

The southern South American geomorphologist community says goodbye to Chalmers Clapperton, who passed away on October 23rd, 2018 at the age of 80.

Chalmers Clapperton was the most important glacial geologist and geomorphologist to work in Patagonia, and of the entire South American continent, since the pioneering works of Carl Caldenius in 1932 and Egidio Feruglio in 1950.

Chalmers contributions to the Geomorphology of Patagonia have become milestones to our knowledge of the surface processes and landforms of this southernmost region, both in Argentina and Chile. All studies performed by Chalmers in the South American continent have remained as classical benchmarks and due references to later workers. He was always right on paper and those of us who have tried to follow his work are fervent admirers devoted to carefully read and deeply meditate about the even more minute details of his papers.

His outstanding book on the Geomorphology and Quaternary Geology of South America, published in 1993, has been such a fantastic and unavoidable tool for all of us who have tried to follow his steps in South America that, after 25 years since its publication, we still call it “The Blue Bible”.

Chalmers has always been extremely friendly and generous with all his friends and colleagues of Argentina. He did so with great care and generosity, as he always did in all facets of his academic activities. He permanently helped us with our research projects, providing substantial ideas, valuable comments, rational alternatives and badly needed references. We will always remember his kind words, and will be grateful for having partly shared his time on Earth, his jubilant and profound sense of humour, and his blissful and lovely smile.

Jorge Rabassa and colleagues from the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology laboratory, CADIC-CONICET, Ushuaia, Tierra de Fuego, Argentina.

November 5th, 2018.

Editor’s note: A detailed summary of Chalmers Clapperton’s contributions can be found in the editorial of the Special Issue of the Journal of Quaternary Science dedicated to him, here.

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