Arkhangelskii, Andrei

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Arkhangel’skii, Andrei Dmitrievich


Born Nov. 26 (Dec. 8), 1879, in Riazan’; died June 16, 1940, in Moscow. Soviet geologist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (AN SSSR) (1929; corresponding member, 1925).

Arkhangel’skii graduated from the natural sciences division of the physicomathematical department of Moscow University (1904) and worked there in the subdepartment of geology. After defending his doctoral dissertation (1912), he worked on the geology committee. Beginning in 1918 he was a professor at Moscow University; he taught simultaneously at the Mining Academy, at the Surveying Institute, and beginning in 1930, at the Moscow Geological Prospecting Institute. From 1925 to 1930 he was director of the geology division and assistant director of the State Petroleum Scientific Research Institute. Beginning in 1931, Arkhangel’skii directed the lithology division of the Institute of Mineralogy and Geology, now the All-Union Institute of Mineral Resources (VIMS). He was director of the Geological Institute of the AN SSSR (1934–39) and organizer of the multipurpose expedition of the AN SSSR for the study of the European USSR.

Arkhangel’skii’s works dealt basically with various problems of stratigraphy, lithology, tectonics, paleogeography, and the study of minerals. He studied the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene systems of the Volga Region. On the basis of a study of belemnites, he suggested a zonal disintegration of Upper Cretaceous deposits. From his studies of macrofauna and foraminifers he drew paleoenvironmental conclusions concerning the depths, temperature, and boundaries of basins of the Senonian stage. Arkhangel’skii proposed methods for detailed paleogeographic reconstructions and developed principles of the comparative lithologic method, which is based on the study of contemporary geological phenomena (1912).

Arkhangel’skii described the tectonic dislocations of the Russian platform, noting the peculiarities of their distribution in terms of area, their origin, and the history of the development of individual tectonic structures; he also worked out a terminology for them. He established a series of tectonic principles characterizing the earth’s crust as a whole and proved that all the geosynclines of the earth are characterized by great thickness, a diverse range of intensity of movements of the earth’s crust, and frequent volcanism. He found out that division into geosynclines and platforms had already taken place in the Upper Precambrian period. In 1933, Arkhangel’skii and N. S. Shatskii made the first attempt to draw up a small-scale tectonic map of a large territory, propounding the principle of separating the epochs of completion of the stages of folding. Arkhangel’skii traced the connection between anomalies of gravity, magnetometric data, and geological structure. He also worked out the methods used today for the interpretation of geophysical data.

Arkhangel’skii initiated the drawing up of a geological map of the European USSR on a 1:1,000,000 scale. He took an active part in the commission on phosphorites and explored a number of deposits of agronomic ores in the European USSR, petroliferous formations in the northwestern Caucasus, and iron ores of the Kursk magnetic anomaly (KMA). In refuting the lateritic theory of the origin of aluminum ores, Arkhangel’skii suggested the sedimentary genesis of bauxites as a result of the precipitation of colloidal or true solutions in marine basins.

For his investigation of petroleum deposits in the Black Sea region, Arkhangel’skii was awarded the Lenin Prize (1928).


Verkhnemelovye otlozheniia vostoka Evropeiskoi Rossii. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Vvedenie ν izuchenie geologii Evropeiskoi Rossii, part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1923.
Geologiia i gravimetriia. Moscow-Leningrad-Novosibirsk, 1933.
Geologicheskoe stroenie i istoriia razvitiia Chernogo moria. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938. (With N. M. Strakhov.)
Geologicheskoe stroenie i geologicheskaia istoriia SSSR, 4th ed., vols. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947–48.
Izbr. trudy, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1952–54.


Shatskii, N. S. Andrei Dmitrievich Arkhangel’skii (1879–1940). Moscow, 1944.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.