Sokolov Dmitry Nikolaevich

(1867 - 13. 02.1919 )


Geologist, geographer, local historian.

Born in the estate Sukulak of the Orenburg district of the Orenburg province in a family of hereditary nobles.

In 1885, he graduated from the Orenburg gymnasium with a gold medal and entered the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Moscow University with a degree in mathematics.

After graduation, Sokolov returned to Orenburg, where he tried to carry out economic activities on his estate Sukulak, but then, entrusting his mother with care, entered the service first in the Treasury Chamber (Provincial Body of the Ministry of Finance in the Russian Empire), later served as Tamshevskaya and other volosts of the Orenburg district.

"But not service, but service to science was the main content of his life and work". In 1896, Sokolov became a member of two scientific societies: the Orenburg department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society and the Orenburg Scientific Archival Commission. In these societies he was active in local lore.

In 1899, Sokolov became interested in paleontology and geology, began to seriously engage in these sciences and finally "traded the administrator's pen for a geologist's hammer".

The first geological and paleontological work D.N. Sokolov, published in 1901, 1903, 1905, was devoted to the stratigraphy of the sedimentary cover of the Orenburg region.

The correct understanding of the structure and age of individual layers of Jurassic deposits in this area actually comes largely thanks to the work of D.N. Sokolov.

In 1905, he was elected a member of the Geological Committee, on whose instructions he began geological research in the 130th sheet of a 10-mile map of European Russia. Since 1906, Sokolov began to cooperate with the Geological Museum. Peter the Great of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, was engaged in dismantling and scientific processing of museum collections, contributed to the replenishment of the museum, participated in the compilation of a systematic paleontological collection.

In 1906 he began to study the Early Cretaceous bivalve mollusks (bukhiy) brought from the Anabar and Olenek river basins by the First Russian Polar Expedition led by E.V. Toll and I.P. Tolmachyova. Then, at the suggestion of F.N. Chernyshev, Sokolov began work with an extensive collection of this group of bivalve mollusks, collected by the Timan expedition of Geolcom in 1889-1890. in the Timan tundra and on the islands of Svalbard. According to the results of the study buhiy D.N. Sokolov published four scientific papers, which showed a large variety of these mollusks and the presence of species unknown to his work.

In 1909, Sokolov took an active part in the study of Mesozoic paleontological collections collected by the famous polar explorer N.А. Begichev on the island of Transfiguration. Later D.N. Sokolov processed another collection of minerals, which came to the museum from N.A. Begicheva from the islands at the mouth of the Khatanga Bay. Despite the poor preservation of the fossils, the scientist quite rightly concluded that "material from such remote areas is always of high value".

Later in the proceedings of the Geological Museum D.N. Sokolov published an article based on a study of fossils from the boulders of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and from Matochkin Shar. At the heart of this work were small collections that entered the museum from the governor of Arkhangelsk I.V. Sosnovsky and staff captain G.Ya. Sedov in 1910. At the request of D.N. Sokolova geologist and paleontologist V.N. Weber also sent him several ammonites collected by him on Novaya Zemlya in 1901 during the expedition of Vice Admiral S.O. Makarov on the icebreaker "Yermak".

Sokolov studied the collection of Mesozoic invertebrates from the Svalbard archipelago, collected by A. Khulem and P.V. Wittenburg from the cut of the Cape Fortress in the Isfiord Bay, which, in his opinion, “is of particular value and importance to the geology of the island by the fact that all layers of the Jurassic-Cretaceous series in Svalbard are exposed in this section

In 1916, his book “Orenburg Province. Geographical essay", written by him at the suggestion of the Department of Public Education of the Orenburg provincial district council. Sokolov noted that he could not refuse this offer, although he had no experience in creating such popular works. But he believed that “as he constantly lived in the province and was always interested in everything that was written and written about it, one should not refuse such work, thereby leaving it to those who are completely alien to the Orenburg province”.

As noted by contemporaries D.N. Sokolov, he "was a connoisseur of elegant literature and not only liked to quote in the original of Horace, but he was also an ardent Pushkinist: several articles devoted to Pushkin". Sokolov is the author of notes and articles published in the editions of Pushkin and His Contemporaries, published by the Commission for the publication of A.S. Pushkin in the department of Russian language and literature of the Imperial Academy of Sciences.

In 1915, D.N. Sokolov worked as a geologist in the Orenburg soil expedition, compiled a geological map of the Orenburg district, which remained in manuscript. In 1918, he studied deposits of salts, lignite, and cement in the Orenburg province.

D.N. Sokolov died of typhus in the town of Aidyrlya, Orsk district, Orenburg province, before he had time to process the extensive geological material he received. He did not finish the job of describing the fossils from  Svalbard archipelago. This work was completed by the professor of the Leningrad Mining Institute V.I. Bodylevsky.

Soil scientist and geologist S.S. Neustruev, who knew D.N. Sokolov personally wrote about him: “Modest, neat and moderate in his personal life, D.N. He was a tireless traveler and loved to work in the field no less than in his office. Alive and observant, he was struck by the nobility and correctness of his thought".

Mountain in the extreme northwestern part of the Land of Nordenskiöld on the island of West Spitsbergen.


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