Konstantin Dmitrievich Glinka

Glinka, Konstantin Dmitrievich


Born June 23 (July 5), 1867, in the village of Koptevo, in present-day Dukhovshchina Raion, Smolensk Oblast; died Nov. 2, 1927, in Leningrad. Soviet soil scientist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1927).

In 1889, Glinka graduated from the department of physics and mathematics of the University of St. Petersburg and was retained as an assistant with the subdepartment of mineralogy under Professor V. V. Dokuchaev. In 1895 he became an assistant in the subdepartment of geology and mineralogy at the Novo-Aleksandriia Agricultural Institute, an adjunct professor there after defending his master’s thesis in 1896. Concurrently he directed the subdepartment of soil science at the institute, the only one of its kind at the time in Russia. In 1906 he defended his doctoral dissertation (Investigations in Erosion), in which he gave an account of the stages of weathering and the conversion of primary minerals into secondary minerals.

From 1906 to 1910, under Glinka’s direction, investigations were conducted to make qualitative analyses of the soils in the provinces of, among others, Vologda, Novgorod, Pskov, Tver’, Smolensk, Kaluga, Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, and Simbirsk. From 1908 to 1914 he organized and directed the work of pedological and botanical expeditions of the Central Resettlement Administration in Western and Eastern Siberia, the Far East, and Middle Asia. The expeditions gathered materials which described the soil resources of new regions for agricultural development.

In 1913, Glinka became director of the Voronezh Agricultural Institute, and in 1922 of the Leningrad Agricultural Institute, where at the same time he was head of the sub-department of soil science. In 1927 he became director of the Soil Science Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. At the First International Congress of Soil Science in 1927 he was elected president of the International Society of Soil Science. Glinka conducted soil investigations simultaneously with geochemical and mineralogical research, covering a wide range of questions in physical geography and soil erosion. Glinka contributed a great deal to the understanding of the principles of the geographical distribution of soils, pedogenesis, podzolization, and the development of solonets and brown semiarid soils. He is the founder of the science of paleopedology. Glinka’s propagation of the principles of pedogenesis in Russia and abroad has had a progressive influence.


Glaukonit: ego proiskhozhdenie, khimicheskii sostav i kharakter vyvetrivaniia. St. Petersburg, 1896.
“O lesnykh pochvakh.” In Materialy po izucheniiu russkikh pochv, no. 5. St. Petersburg, 1889.
“Laterity i krasnozemy tropicheskikh i subtropicheskikh shirot i rodstvennye im pochvy umerennykh shirot.” Pochvovedenie, 1903, vol. 5, no. 3.
Isseldovaniia v oblasti protsessov vyvetrivaniia. St. Petersburg, 1906.
Pochvy Rossii i prilegaiushchikh stran. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923.
“Degradatsiia i podzolistyi protsess.” Pochvovedenie, 1924, nos. 3-4.
Pochvovedenie, 6th ed. Moscow, 1935.


Berg, L. S. “K. D. Glinka kak geograf.” Tr. Pochvennogo in-ta im. V. V. Dokuchaeva, 1930, nos. 3-4.
Levinson-Lessing, F. Iu. “K. D. Glinka.” Tr. Pochvennogo in-ta im. V. V. Dokuchaeva, 1930, nos. 3-4.
Vernadskii, V. I., “Zapiski ob uchenykh trudakh prof. K. D. Glinki.” Izv. AN SSSR, 1927, vol. 21, no. 18.
Liverovskii, I. [A]. “Tvorcheskii put’ akademika K. D. Glinki.” Pochvovedenie, 1948, no. 6.


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