Alexander von Humboldt’s ideas on volcanism and their influence on Russian scientists
Author: Alexander Zemtsov
published in: HiN VI, 11 (2005)
- Humboldt’s place in the history of Russian science
- Some features of the time of Humboldt’s travels to Russia
- History of geological science
- Two prominent Russian readers of Humboldt’s works
Alexander Zemtsov´s article provides historical background for Alexander von Humboldt’s expedition into Russia in 1829. It includes information on Humboldt’s works and publications in Russia over the course of his lifetime, as well as an explanation of the Russian scientific community’s response to those works. Humboldt’s ideas on the existence of an active volcano in Central Asia attracted the attention of two prominent Russian geographers, P. Semenov and P. Kropotkin, whose views on the nature of volcanism were quite different. P. Semenov personally met Humboldt in Berlin. P. Kropotkin made one of the most important geological discoveries of the 19th Century: he found the fresh volcanic cones near Lake Baikal.