Nikolai Shatskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shatskii, Nikolai Sergeevich


Born Aug. 16 (28), 1895, in Moscow; died there Aug. 1, 1960. Soviet geologist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1953; corresponding member, 1943).

Shatskii enrolled in Moscow University in 1913 but was drafted into the army in his third year. From 1921 he taught at the Moscow Academy of Mines. Beginning in 1930, he taught at the Moscow Geological Prospecting Institute. At the same time, he worked at Gidroproekt (the S. Ia. Zhuk All-Union Project Surveying and Scientific Research Institute) and, after 1934, at the Geological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, becoming the institute’s director in 1956.

Shatskii’s main works dealt with the comparative tectonics of ancient platforms (the Eastern European, Siberian, and North American platforms), the theory of geosynclines, and the duration of the processes of fold formation. Shatskii originated several new techniques and lines of investigation in solving tectonic problems, including the structural analysis of large tectonic forms of the crust, the comparative tectonic method of analysis, and a technique for analyzing facies and thicknesses of sedimentary formations. He was the first to formulate the principle of inheritance in geology and made a major contribution to the theory of geological formations. Under his guidance, the first Geological Map of Eurasia (scale of 1:6,000,000), Tectonic Map of the USSR (1953, 1956), and the International Tectonic Map of Europe (1964) were compiled. Shatskii identified the Riphean group and the Baikal folding. He introduced the concepts of anteclise, placosyncline, placanticline, and aulacogen, among others. Shatskii is the author of works about a number of classic naturalists, including C. Lyell, A. P. Karpinskii, C. Darwin, R. Murchison, A. D. Arkhangel’skii, and V. A. Obruchev. The school of Soviet tectonic specialists, which has received world recognition, took shape under Shatskii’s leadership.

Shatskii received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946 and the Lenin Prize in 1958. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.


Izbr. trudy, vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1963–65.


Pavlovskii, E. V. “Akademik N. S. Shatskii—lauréat Leninskoi premii 1958 g.” Izv. AN SSSR: Ser. geologicheskaia, 1958, no. 9.
“Nikolai Sergeevich Shatskii” (obituary). Geologiia rudnykh mestorozhdenii, 1960, no. 5.
Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo akademikov A. D. Arkhangel’skogo i N. S. Shatskogo. Moscow, 1973.


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