Usov, Mikhail

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Usov, Mikhail Antonovich


Born Feb. 8 (20), 1883, in Kainsk (now the city of Kuibyshev), Novosibirsk Oblast; died July 26, 1939, in Belokurikha, Altai Krai. Soviet geologist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939; corresponding member, 1932).

A student of V. A. Obruchev and F. Iu. Levinson-Lessing, Usov graduated from the Tomsk Technological Institute in 1908. In 1913 he became a professor at the institute, where he was head of the subdepartment of general geology from 1930 to 1938 (the institute was renamed the Tomsk Industrial Institute in 1934). From 1921 to 1930, Usov was also head of the Siberian Division of the Geological Committee. He was director of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Geology in 1938 and 1939.

Usov conducted geological investigations of Siberia and contiguous regions of China and Mongolia and appraised certain gold-bearing areas, such as the Kuznetskii Alatau and Transbaikalia. He studied the geological structure of the coal-bearing areas of the Kuznetsk Coal Basin, giving a classic description of their disjunctions. He was the first to identify the Salair folding. A number of Usov’s works dealt with the origin of ore deposits in Siberia. Usov established the relation between endogenic ore bodies and plutonic and volcanic processes in the earth’s crust.

Usov’s most important works were the following: Phases and Cycles in the Tectogenesis of the Western Siberian Krai (1936), in which the fundamentals of the study of geological formations were presented; Phases of Extrusive Rocks (1924); and Fades and Phases of Intrusive Rocks (1925), in which the facies and phases of magmatic rocks were examined. Usov also wrote textbooks on general and structural geology and on historical geology, as well as the first textbook in the USSR on the geology of caustobioliths.

Usov founded the Siberian and Kazakhstan school of geologists, which included K. I. Satpaev, R. A. Borukaev, and K. V. Radugin.


Obruchev, V. A. “Mikhail Antonovich Usov.” Izv. AN SSSR: Seriia geologicheskaia, 1939, no. 6.
Osnovnye idei M. A. Usova v geologii. Alma-Ata, 1960.
Mikhail Antonovich Usov. Moscow, 1967. (AN SSSR: Materialy k biobibliografii uchenykh SSSR: Seriia geologicheskikh nauk, fasc. 22.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.