Lebedev, Aleksandr Fedorovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lebedev, Aleksandr Fedorovich


Born May 25 (June 6), 1882, in the city of Krasnyi, in present-day Smolensk Oblast; died Jan. 28,1936, in Moscow. Soviet hydrogeologist and soil scientist.

Lebedev graduated from the Novoaleksandriia Institute of Agriculture and Forestry in 1907. From 1917 to 1930 he was a professor in the subdepartment of agronomical chemistry at Warsaw (Don) University in Rostov-on-Don. From 1930 to 1935 he was head of the division of soil physics at the Institute of Agricultural Soil Science of the V. I. Lenin Ail-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences and then director of the section of soil physics at the V. V. Dokuchaev Soil Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

Lebedev’s main works were devoted to studying the physical nature of various kinds of water in soils, the origin of groundwater and its dynamics, and the chemosynthesis of microorganisms. In 1927 he formulated the concept of maximum molecular moisture capacity of soils as the largest amount of water that can be held by sorptive forces. In 1928 he worked out a theory of the formation of groundwater based on a combination of the theory of the infiltration of atmospheric water with the theory of condensation of water vapor. He also developed a method for combating seepage of water from canals by using peat and sand screens. This method was used in constructing the White Sea-Baltic Canal and the Moscow-Volga Canal.


Pochvennye i gruntovye vody, 4th ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.


“Professor A. F. Lebedev (1882–1936).” Priroda, 1936, no. 6.
Lebedev, N. “Aleksandr Fedorovich Lebedev.” Pochvovedenie, 1936, no. 2. (Contains a list of Lebedev’s works.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.