Geological Survey

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geological survey

[¦jē·ə¦läj·ə·kəl ′sər‚vā]
An organization making geological surveys and studies.
A systematic geologic mapping of a terrain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Geological Survey


state organizations that conduct geological research, compile maps, and perform geological reconnaissance work and comprehensive analytical work.

In Russia the first state institution for exploration and comprehensive analysis was the Office for Ore Mining Affairs formed by Peter I in 1700. In 1719 it was reorganized into the Berg-kollegiia (Collegium of Mining), which exercised authority over state mining enterprises and the group of “ore deliverers.” In 1807 the Berg-kollegiia was reorganized into the Mining Department, which in 1811 was renamed the Department for Mining and Salt Affairs. In 1834 the functions of the Geological Survey passed to the management of the Corps of Mining Engineers, which existed until 1867. In 1882 the Geological Committee (Geolkom) was formed; it became the main state geological institution.

After the Great October Socialist Revolution the Geological Survey in the USSR developed rapidly. In 1919 the Central Industrial Research Administration (TsUPR) was formed under the Supreme Council of the National Economy of the USSR, and in 1922 it was consolidated with the Geological Committee. At the same time branch Geological Surveys were formed for the exploration and estimation of the value of various minerals. In 1930 the Central Geological Research Administration (GGRU) grew out of the Geological Committee, and in 1939 it was transformed into the Committee for Geological Affairs of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR. This committee directed the activity of territorial geological administrations and managed work on geological mapping.

In 1946 the committee was converted into the USSR Ministry of Geology, and all geological surveying and exploratory and comprehensive analytical work in the USSR was concentrated in the ministry’s system. However, the ministries of the petroleum, coal, and other industries continued to manage the comprehensive geological studies for the exploitation of deposits in the areas of mining allotments.

The system of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR includes the ministries of geology of the RSFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, the Uzbek SSR, and the Kazakh SSR as well as the administrations of geology of the councils of ministers of the other Union republics. The Ministry of Geology of the RSFSR comprises about 25 territorial geological administrations and a number of trusts. Large administrations are sub-divided into regional administrations of comprehensive analytical work and permanent expeditions. About 40 scientific research geological institutes are subordinate to the Ministry of Geology of the USSR, including the All-Union Geological Institute (VSEGEI), the All-Union Institute of Mineral Raw Materials (VIMS), and the All-Union Geological Oil Prospecting Research Institute (VNIGRI).

In addition to the institutes and establishments of the ministries and departments, a great deal of work is done by the institutes and laboratories of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the academies of sciences of the Union republics and by educational institutions (mining institutes, mining and geological analysis departments, special scientific research institutes, and higher educational institutions).

The following foreign Geological Surveys have been established: in Great Britain in 1835 (Geological Survey of Great Britain), in Austria in 1849 (Geologische Reichsanstalt), in France in 1855 (Service de la carte géologique de France), in Sweden in 1858 (Sveriges Geologiska Undersokning), in Italy in 1848 (Servizio Geologico), in Germany in 1873 (Geologische Landesanstalt fiir Preussen und Thúringische Staaten), in Canada in 1842 (Geological Survey of Canada), and in the United States in 1867 (United States Geological Survey). There are Geological Surveys in Bulgaria, Hungary, the People’s Republic of China, Poland, Czechoslovakia, India, Algeria, Japan, and other countries.


Tikhomirov, V. V. Geologiia v Rossii I-i poloviny 19 v. Moscow, 1960.
50 Let sovetskoi geologii. Moscow, 1968.


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