Aleksandr Alekseevich Polkanov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polkanov, Aleksandr Alekseevich


Born May 13 (25), 1888, in Kostroma; died Jan. 10, 1963, in Leningrad. Soviet geologist and petrographer. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1943).

After graduating from the University of St. Petersburg in 1911, Polkanov worked under the direction of E. S. Fedorov (1912–13). From 1917 to 1921 he was a professorat the University of Perm’, and beginning in 1930, at Leningrad University. From 1917 to 1939 he also worked on the Geological Committee. From 1939 to 1945 he was director of the Institute of the Earth’s Crust at Leningrad University. In 1949 he organized the Laboratory of Precambrian Geology at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and was the laboratory’s director from 1950 to 1963.

Polkanov’s principal works dealt with the petrology of intrusive rocks and the geochronology of Precambrian rocks of the Baltic Shield and the Ukraine. Polkanov developed a structural classification of plutons. He was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1962, jointly with E. K. Gerling, for the discovery and development of the potassium-argon method of determining the absolute age of geologic formations. He also received two Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


“Geneticheskaia sistematika intruzii platformy—kratogena.” Izv. AN SSSR: Seriia geoL, 1946, no. 6.
Geologiia khoglandiia—iotniia Baltiiskogo shchita. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
“Voprosy geologii i absoliutnogo vozrasta dokembriia i problema granita.” In Problemy geologii na 21 sessi Mezhdunarodnogo geologicheskogo kongressa. Moscow, 1963.


Eliseev, N. A., and K. A. Shurkin. “Akademik Aleksandr Alekseevich Polkanov” (Obituary). Tr. Laboratorii geologii dokembriia AN SSSR, 1964, issue 1916. (With bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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