In memory of Gerasim Vasilievich Bogomolov


In memory of Gerasim Vasilievich Bogomolov Honorary President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IUGG) devoted to the 100-th anniversary.

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Академик Г.В.Богомолов (1905-1981)

Professor Gerasim Vasilievich Bogomolov, died on April 8, 1981, aged 76. He was Honorary President of IAHS, the leading scientist in the USSR in the field of hydrogeology, one of the founders of hydrogeological school and widely known to the world scientific community.

G.V. Bogomolov was the first in the native and world practice that organized in Belarus in 1928-1929 experimental-filtration and experimental-migration works in water wells with the purpose to investigate a capacity of a system of drinking water supply boreholes. Thus, he laid the basis of the contemporary hydro-ecological research.

He was born on March 17, 1905 in the Smolensk Region (Russia). The son of a peasant, his love of nature turned his interest to sciences about the Earth and natural waters, the interest which persisted throughout his life. Many years afterwards, since visiting Australia in 1950 and admiring its unpolluted nature, G.V.Bogomolov often repeated to his foreign colleaguess "Man should take care of his environment before he launches into space".

In 1929 G.V. Bogomolov graduated from the Moscow Academy of Mining and worked after as an assistant under a scientific supervision of professor G.N.Kamensky. V.A.Obruchev, G.P.Mirchink, A.D.Arkhangolsky, A.P.Pavlov, M.V.Pavlova, A.A.Gapeev, M.S.Shvetsov and other scientists of world-wide fame and professors at the Academy influenced his scientific outlooks and on the whole his personality as a scientist.

In this period G.V.Bogomolov organised bydrogeological research in the "basin of the Svicloch River and the drilling in Minsk of the bore-hole, which was the deepest at the time in the western part of the USSR; it reached 353.8 m. For the first time in the region the hole penetrated to the Upper Proterozoic deposits and the salt waters in the lower part of the sedimentary section; the results of combined geological-hydro-geological studies obtained during drilling were extremely important for selection of water supply sources of Minsk, the capital of Byelorussia and for evaluation of geological and bydrogeological conditions in the western part of the Russian platform. The studies discovered a large basin of head ground waters in tho glacial deposits in the region of Minsk and beyond that region; experiments were made to determine the actual rate of movement of ground waters in grained rocks. With this aim in view G.V.Bogomolov constructed a special portable electric commutator which allowed to observe electrical field variations simultaneously in six holes.

At the First Hydrogeological meeting in Leningrad in 1931 G.V.Bogomolov made the proposal about the establishment in the USSR of the All-Union (now all Russian) Scientific Research Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology.

By the end of the 30-ties G.V.Bogomolov has compiled the first state geological map of bedrock deposits on the territory of Byelorussia. A forecast was published as regards the existence of salt-dome structures in southern Byelorussia (Polesje) and suggestions were made to conduct reconnaissance of oil, salt and water for industrial and medical purposes. The prediction of G.V.Bogomolov of finding salt and oil in the south of Byelorussia was absolutely confirmed in later years. In his last works he also gives predictions of deposits of coals and metals in Belorussia, which are now largely corroborated.

Parallel to the studies in Byelorussia, G.V.Bogomolov is professor at the Moscow Ordjonikidze Institute of Geological Reconnaissauce (he read lectures there for 30 years), consults hydrogeological investigations on the territory of the Soviet Union and a group of specialists, conducting geological-hydrogeological research in Iran in 1936. In 1937 G.V.Bogomolov becomes Professor and in 1939 the Doctor of Science. He is appointed Director of the newly established All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology (VSEGINGEQ), where originated and developed the main scientific directions of the hydrogeology and engineering geology.

In 1950 he becomes Deputy Minister of Geology of the USSR. G.V.Bogomolov was one of the founders of the geological service in the USSR and for more than 40 years was one of its leaders.

The name of G.V.Bogomolov is associated with the discovery of oil in India. In 1951 G.V.Bogomolov was invited by Mr. D.Neru to visit India, and with a group of specialists he gave reconnaissance forecast for different useful minerals, including oil. Despite earlier unfavorable forecasts, oil in India was found and the first drilled hole gave a fountain of oil, which exhilarated the country.

G.V.Bogomolov undertook administration and scientific leadership of hydrogeological studies on the territory of the USSR; he persistently studied the natural resources of Byelorussia and the problems of land reclamation in the western part of the USSR; he made considerable contribution to the problem of water supply of Magnitogorsk, Kuznetsk and of other cities. He was responsible for the work of the hydrogeological expedition on reclamation of Polesje, for the discovery of iodine-bromine waters in the Urals, in Siberia, in the south of the country; he was busy with compilation of hydrogoological maps, classification of ground water resources and calculation methods. G.V.Bogomolov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1947 and 1952 and the State Prize of the BSSR in 1972 for the discovery of salt and oil deposits and for working out the method of chemical solidification of soils. He was member of numerous Government expert commissions for large construction sites in the USSR: Moscow Canal, Volga-Don Canal, Karakum Canal, the dams on the Volga, Oka, Kama, Dnieper, Yenisey, the skyscrapers in Moscow, in particular the Moskow State University on the Lenin Hills.

In 1971 G.V.Bogomolov was invited by the President of Chile to evaluate the prospects of the territory of the country in useful minerals. This work was done.

G.V.Bogomolov was active in international cooperation. He was the Member of the Scientific Committee of UNESCO on Arid Zones (1956), Vice-President of IAHS and of Ground Water Commission (1956), Honorary President of IAHS (1979), member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (1952), member of COWAR, ICSU (1952) , Bureau Member of the Commission for Compilation of Hydrological World Map (1972), Corresponding Member of the Geological Society of France (1952), Corresponding Member of the Geological Society of Belgium (1953), consultant to FAO (UN) (1975), Chairman of the Section of Hydrology of the Soviet Geophysical Committee, USSR Academy of Sciences (1965), Bureau Member of the Section of Hydrogeology of the National Committee of Geologists of the USSR (1962), member of the Scientific Council on Land Reclamation of the USSR (1975), etc.

A man of advanced years, G.V.Bogomolov was actively interested in the problems of practical application of science and visited many countries. In 1975 he was consultant to a croup of international experts (FAO) for evaluation of resources of ground water in the Harga and Dahla oases in Egypt. Ha spent several weeks there and made interesting studies, which he included in his book "Geologist's Notebook".

G.V.Bogomolov has written several fundamental works: "Special Hydrogeology", "Ground waters of the central and western parts of the Russian platform", "Methods of hydrogeological research in oil-gas reconnaissance," "Ground waters and their study", "Hydrogeology, hydrochemistry, hydrogeothermics of geological structures", “Geothermal zoning of the territory of the BSSR", "Hydrogeology of the Belarusian crystalline massif", etc.

One of the theoretical conceptions, deduced and elaborated by G.V.Bogomolov together with his followers, was the fact of mirror reflection of the surface of the crystalline basic by the boundary of fresh and mineral waters, which is conditionally assumed at mineralization value of 1 g/l. This theory was confirmed by studies in the western part of the Russian platform, which allowed to make suppositions as regards possible oil and gas deposits in the rocks of crystalline massifs and shields.

In 1979 he wrote the paper entitled "The nature of manifestations of mineral waters, oil and gas in the rocks of crystalline massifs and shields" and presented it in Helsinki in 1980 at the IAHS meeting. The Scandinavian scientists and businessmen showed much interest in this study.

In 1951 G.V.Bogomolov wrote a textbook "Hydrogeology and principles of engineering geology", which was several times reprinted and translated into foreign languages. Several generations of hydrogeologists both in the USSR and abroad, use this text-book. In 1956 G.V.Bogomolov published a book "40 days in North Africa", about the work of the XIX Session of the International Geological Congress, which soon became bibliographic rarity.

His scope of scientific interest and research was extensive: hydrogeology of land reclamation, resources and chemical composition of fresh ground waters, brines and mineral waters, theoretical basis of hydrogeology, storage and burial of ground waters and run-off, protection of environment, hydrogeological zoning and hydrogeothermal models of the Earth's crust, electromagnetic fields generated by the flowing streams of ground waters. He was deeply concerned with the role of ground waters in the formation of useful minerals. He published more than 400 works, including 15 monographs and 5 text-books, for High School education. For his great merits in science, education and application of scientific results in industry G.V.Bogomolov was awarded many orders and medals of the USSR. He was included in the World Biography Encyclopedia Dictionary, Moscow, 1998, etc.

G.V.Bogomolov was an active member of scientific councils and commissions of the Academies of the USSR and of Byelorussia, Ministry of Geology of the USSR, Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of the USSR. He often made reports and read lectures in the USSR and abroad: in Karachi, Rome, Dakka, Paris, Lahor, Athens, Santiago, etc. He participated in many international gatherings and visited 5 continents.

Till his last days G.V.Bogomolov was indefatigable researcher. He left us several classical ideas and a few unfinished interesting problems. Many achievements and discoveries were made with his active participation and due to his energy, perseverance and support. He was a scientist, a statesman, and a man of great heart and soul.

In connection to the 100th anniversary from the birth of academician G.V. Bogomolov and 65th anniversary of establishing of the VSEGINGEO, the extended meeting of the Scientific Board of the latter one was held on 25-th March in Moscow. Specialists from other related institutes, the administration of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation and the scientific community were participating in it. In the period l-st-3-st June the International Scientific Conference «Problems of Water Resources, Geothermics and Geoecology» was held under auspices of UNESCO and the Union of Belarus and Russia. Scientists from Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, France, Ghana, Georgia, Germany, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Yemen, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan took participated in the Conference.


©РАН 2017