Obruchev, Sergei

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Obruchev, Sergei Vladimirovich


Born Jan. 22 (Feb. 3), 1891, in Irkutsk; died Aug. 29, 1965, in Leningrad. Soviet geologist. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1953). Son of Vladimir Afanas’evich Obruchev.

Obruchev graduated from Moscow University in 1915. He worked for the Geological Committee from 1917 to 1929, the Yakut Commission of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR from 1929 to 1932, and the All-Union Arctic Institute from 1932 to 1941. He worked at the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Academy of Sciences from 1941 to 1950 and at the Academy’s Laboratory of Precambrian Geology from 1950 to 1965, serving as director of the laboratory from 1963 to 1965.

Obruchev studied the geology and geomorphology of Eastern Siberia and the northeastern USSR. Between 1917 and 1924 he conducted geological explorations of the Central Siberian Plateau, which facilitated the discovery of the Tunguska Coal Basin. In the period 1926–35 he investigated the Indigirka and Kolyma river basins and helped establish the presence of gold there. Obruchev was the first to propose that the mountain structures of the middle Indigirka and the middle Kolyma be united under the designation Cherskii Range. He also worked out the tectonic system of northeast Asia. Between 1937 and 1954 he studied the Vostochnyi Saian, Khamar-Daban, and northeastern Tuva.

Obruchev wrote a number of popular-science books, including Into Unknown Regions (1954), In the Mountains and Tundras of Chukotka (1957), and In the Heart of Asia (1965), as well as the literary study Over Lermontov’s Notebooks (1965). He compiled the Handbook for the Traveler and Historian of Local Lore (vols. 1–2, 1949–50).

Obruchev was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1946) for the discovery of tin deposits in the northeast of the USSR. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and a number of medals.


Geografiia i geomorfologiia Azii. Moscow, 1969.
Grishina, L. I. K nevedomym goram. Moscow, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.