Pavel Nikiforov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nikiforov, Pavel Mikhailovich


Born June 5(17), 1884, in St. Petersburg; died Nov. 2, 1944, in Moscow. Soviet geophysicist; corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Joined the CPSU in 1932.

After graduating from the the University of St. Petersburg (1908), Nikiforov was the scientific secretary of a permanent central seismic commission headed by B. B. Golitsyn. He headed the seismic section of a physicomathematical institute and the seismic network of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (beginning in 1924). He organized and directed the Seismological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (beginning in 1928). He was the head of the subdepartment of geophysics of Leningrad State University (beginning in 1926) and became a professor at the Leningrad Institute of Mines in 1933.

Nikiforov studied the seismic features of the territory of the USSR. He designed a seismograph for recording earthquakes over short distances and organized a network of regional seismic stations in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia. He developed methods for the study of the deep structure of the earth’s crust and performed studies on the elastic waves generated by powerful explosions. He developed seismic and gravimetric methods for geologic exploration of minerals and studied vibrations of engineering structures and machines. He received the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Ioffe, A. F. “Pavel Mikhailovich Nikiforov.” Vestnik AN SSSR, 1944, nos. 11–12.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.