Bezrukov Panteleimon Leonidovich (1909-1981)

2.02.1909 - 13.01.1981, Moscow 

DSc (Geological and Mineralogical Sciences) (1947)
corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1969)
thrice winner of the USSR State Prize (1946, 1951, 1977)

Having not received a formal higher education because of the obstacles of the regime to people of non-proletarian origin, he, after graduating from the Moscow Industrial and Economic College, independently mastered the foundations of geological science and practice, becoming a highly erudite geologist.

The beginning of his career as a drill master, collector, and then a field geologist was associated with the search for phosphorite deposits in the territory of the former USSR. These works culminated in the discovery of the country's largest phosphorite-bearing basin, Karatau, in southern Kazakhstan (1937). The results of the study were summarized in a dissertation, for which, bypassing the candidate, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences and awarded the State Prize.

In 1946, he interrupted the career of a geologist on land and entered the post of researcher at the newly created Institute of Oceanology, devoting the whole subsequent part of his life to the study of geological processes in the seas and oceans. He organized and headed the Department of Marine Geology at the Institute (later renamed the Department of Marine Deposits, and then the Department of Marine Geology). He owes the merit of staging offshore geological works at the R / V Vityaz and managing them on the first scientific voyages in the Far Eastern seas (1948-1951).

According to the results of these studies, the laws of modern sedimentation, previously unknown to science, were first revealed. It was here that the foundations of the teaching he created about the processes of modern marine sedimentation were laid and the innovative idea of ??comparing the modern precipitation of the marginal seas, island arcs and deep-sea trenches with the sedimentary complexes of the ancient sedimentary belts of the continents was born.

Since 1954, large-scale geological exploration began in the Pacific, and in 1959-1962 - in the Indian Oceans, under his general leadership and with direct participation, which led to the development of the concept of circumcontinental, climatic and vertical zoning of the processes of sedimentogenesis in the ocean. Together with A.P. Lisitsyn, he creates a new classification of ocean sediments (1960), leads the work on compiling maps of ocean bottom sediments and their individual components, similar to which were not abroad. In 1970, under his editorship, the volume “Precipitation in the Pacific Ocean” of the multi-volume monograph “Pacific Ocean” was published.

A large place in his scientific activity was occupied by studies of the mineral resources of the ocean, primarily iron-manganese nodules and phosphorites. The technique of detailed geological studies in small sections (polygons) of the ocean floor, which he proposed and implemented under his leadership on several expeditions on the R / V Vityaz in the Pacific (1968-1970) and Indian (1973) oceans, for the first time revealed a complex picture of the facies variability of deep-sea pelagic sediments and clusters of iron-manganese nodules associated with them.

Published in 1976, the world's first fundamental monograph, Iron-Manganese Nodules of the Pacific, summed up the results of these studies and paved the way for applied geological exploration for this type of potential minerals of the ocean floor. At the same time, he and his staff conducted the first systematic studies of phosphorites in numerous seamounts of the Guyot Islands of the Pacific Ocean, revealing the global scale of phosphate formation of this type.

His last major work was the collective monograph “Sedimentation and Magmatism of the Ocean” in the series “Oceanology” (1979), where he acts as a responsible editor-compiler, as well as the author of several sections.

Member of 11 sea expeditions on the R / V Vityaz. He has been a delegate to many international scientific conferences. He created the national school of marine geologists, under his leadership a whole galaxy of specialists has grown in this young branch of Earth sciences, which includes many candidates and doctors of sciences, corresponding members and full members of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The list of scientific works includes 178 titles, among which are large chapters in several monographs and collections.

USSR State Prizes:
1946 - for the discovery and study of the phosphorite-bearing basin of the Karatau
1951 - for oceanological research on R/V Vityaz
1977 - for the 10-volume monograph "The Pacific Ocean" (1966-1974) 

He was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor (1944), the Red Banner of Labor (1975), and the medal For Labor Valor (1953).

In his honor, in 1982, the mountain of the underwater West Australian Range in the Indian Ocean was named, discovered and investigated by scientists of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

More information about the life and work of an outstanding scientist - geologist and oceanologist can be found in the book of E.M. Bezrukova, A.P. Lisitsyn, I.O. Murdmaa "Panteleimon Leonidovich Bezrukov" (Moscow: Nauka, 1983).


Key dates of life and work
  • 1909 February 2.  In Moscow, Panteleimon Leonidovich Bezrukov was born in the family of a communications engineer.
  • 1923 Graduated from Bolshevskaya high school.
  • 1927. Graduated from V.I. Lenin Moscow Industrial and Economic College. 
  • 1928. Listens to lectures at the geological faculty of Moscow University.
  • 1929-1930 He graduated from collector courses at the Scientific Institute of Fertilizers (SIF). He works as a drilling master in the exploration of phosphate rock in the Kursk and Tambov regions.
  • 1931 Appointed as the head of the phosphorite prospecting party in the region of Kustanai and in Western Kazakhstan.
  • 1932-1936 Works in the Southern Urals (Mugodzhary).
  • 1936 Opening of the Danish tier on the East European platform.
  • 1937 Appointed Head of the Search Party. He opened the Karatau phosphorite basin in southern Kazakhstan. Approved by a senior research fellow. Awarded the "Honorable Mention of the People’s Commissariat of Chemistry."
  • 1940-1941 He enters graduate school and was working on his dissertation.
  • 1941 Commanded by the People’s Commissariat for Industry to search for work in Georgia and Armenia.
  • 1946 Awarded the USSR State Prize for the discovery and exploration of the Karatau phosphorite basin. He is transferred to the Institute of Oceanology of the USSR Academy of Sciences and is appointed head of the Department of Marine Geology.
  • 1947 Defends his doctoral dissertation on the topic "The geological structure of the Karatau phosphorite basin and the main results of geological exploration."
  • 1948-1951 Conducts research in the Far Eastern seas on the research vessel Vityaz.
  • 1951 Awarded the USSR State Prize for Oceanological Research.
  • 1953 Admitted to the CPSU.
  • 1954-1955 Conducts research on modern Pacific sediments.
  • 1958 Sent to the United Nations International Conference on the Law of the Sea, held in Switzerland. He takes part in the International Sedimentological Congress.
  • 1959 Forwarded to the 1st International Oceanographic Congress in the USA.
  • 1959-1962 He works on expeditions on the "Vityaz" in the Indian Ocean.
  • 1960. Participates in the XXI session of the International Geological Congress (Denmark, Norway).
  • 1961 Appointed Deputy Director for Science of the Institute of Oceanology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
  • 1964. Participated in the XXIII session of the International Geological Congress (India).
  • 1967. Participated in the IX Symposium on the issues of micropaleontology of marine bottom sediments (England).
  • 1968 Expedition on the Vityaz in the Pacific Ocean. Elected to the corresponding members of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
  • 1969 Business trip to the IX meeting of the Bureau of the Advisory Board of the Marine Oceanographic Commission (USA).
  • 1970. Participation in the Symposium on the geology of the underwater margin of the continents of the East Atlantic (England). Expedition on the "Vityaz" in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1972 Participation in the International Symposium on Oceanography of the South Pacific (New Zealand). He takes part in the XXIV session of the International Geological Congress (Canada).
  • 1973 Expedition on the "Vityaz" in the Indian Ocean.
  • 1974 Participation in the Pacific International Conference on the Energy and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean (Honolulu).
  • 1975. Participation in the IX International Sedimentological Congress (France).
  • 1977. Awarding of the USSR State Prize for the book "Precipitation in the Pacific Ocean" (series "Pacific Ocean").
  • 1981 Janeary 13. He died in Moscow.
Murdmaa, I.O. The centenary of P. L. Bezrukov. Lithol Miner Resour 44, 601 (2009).












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