Vasily Vasilyevich Dokuchaev (Russian: Васи́лий Васи́льевич Докуча́ев; March 1, 1846 – November 8, 1903) was a Russian geologist and geographer who is credited with laying the foundations of soil science. The Ukrainian city of Dokuchaievsk is named after him.
Vasily V. Dokuchaev
|Died||8 November 1903 (aged 57)|
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
|Known for||Modern soil science founder|
|Fields||Geography, geology, soil science|
|Institutions||Saint Petersburg University|
|Influenced||Vladimir Vernadsky, Konstantin Glinka, Sergey Kravkov (agronomist), Andrei Krasnov, Vladimir Prokhorovich Amalitskii, Feodor Yulievich Levinson-Lessing, Vladimir Andreevich Tranzschel, Dmitri Ivanovsky|
Vasily Vasilevich Dokuchaev is commonly regarded as the father of soil science, the study of soils in their natural setting. He developed soil science in Russia, and was perhaps the first person to conduct broad geographical investigations of different soil types. His contribution to science did, figuratively, "put soils on the map".
Dokuchaev introduced the idea that the geographical variations in soil type could be explained by other variables besides geological factors (parent material), such as climatic and topographic factors, and by the period of time since the initial pedogenesis (soil formation). Using these ideas as a starting point, he developed the very first soil classification. His ideas were quickly taken up by a number of soil scientists, including Hans Jenny.
Dokuchaev's work on soil science produced a system of soil classification that described five factors for soil formation. He arrived at his theory after extensive field studies on Russian soils in 1883. His most famous work is Russian Chernozem (1883). As a result of Dokuchaev's research, a number of Russian terms became part of the international soil science vocabulary (for example, chernozem, podsol, gley, solonets).
Dokuchaev published in 1869-1901: 285 works, including 61 books and 4 maps.