Ivan Vasilevich Mushketov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mushketov, Ivan Vasil’evich


Born Jan. 9 (21), 1850, at Alekseevskaia Station, Oblast Voiska Donskogo (Oblast of the Don Cossack Host), in what is now Volgograd Oblast; died Jan. 10 (23), 1902, in St. Petersburg. Russian geologist and geographer.

In 1872, Mushketov graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute of Mines, where he began teaching as an adjunct professor in 1877. In 1882 he became senior geologist of the Geological Committee. He also taught elsewhere, including the Institute of Railroad Engineers (from 1882).

In 1872, Mushketov explored the Southern Urals, where he discovered three minerals unknown in Russia, including arseno-pyrite, whose association with gold vein deposits he studied. In 1874–75, he traveled through the Tien-Shan and valley of the Syr Darya, discovering a number of mineral deposits. He subsequently explored the Zlatoust mining region of the Urals (1876). Between 1877 and 1880 he continued his research in Middle Asia, the results of which he summarized in the major work Turkestan (vols. 1–2, 1886–1906). Mushketov provided a geologic and orographic description of Middle Asia, proposed a scheme for the geological structure of Middle Asia, and proved that the Tien-Shan and the Pamir-Alai consist of a series of latitudinal folded arcs. In 1881 he compiled the first geological map of Turkestan with G. D. Romanovskii.

Mushketov also studied the geological structure and glaciers of the Caucasus, deposits of coal and manganese in the Rioni River basin, and the Lipetsk and Caucasian mineral springs. He studied the causes and consequences of the earthquake of 1887 in the city of Vernyi (present-day Alma-Ata). Mushketov posed geological research questions in a new way, devoting most of his attention to tectonic, seismic, and geomorphologic processes. His manual Physical Geology (parts 1–2, 1888–91) was an outstanding work for its time in terms of completeness of presentation and theoretical level. Among Mushketov’s students were V. A. Obruchev and K. I. Bogdanovich. A number of geographic features in Siberia, Middle Asia, and Central Asia have been named after Mushketov (for example, Mount Mushketov and Mushketov Glacier).


Sobr. soch., fascs. 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1910–12.
Katalog zemletriasenii Rossiiskoi imperil. St. Petersburg, 1893. (With A. Orlov.)


Karpinskii, A. P. “Pamiati I. V. Mushketova.” Gornyi zhurnal, 1902, vol. 1, no. 2.
Obruchev, V. A. “Ivan Vasil’evich Mushketov (1850–1902).” In Liudi russkoi nauki: Geologiia, geografiia, vol. 2. Moscow, 1962.
I. V. Mushketov, 1850–1902: Bibl. ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.