Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
Special issue:
28 Nov 2000
 | 28 Nov 2000

On Verdansky's biosphere

J. P. Cancela da Fonseca

Abstract. Vladimir Ivanovitch Vernadsky was a Russian mineralogist and crystallographer by training (St. Petersburg Univ.). He was born in St. Petersburg, on the 12th of March 1863, and died on the 6th of January 1945, in Moscow.

About 1910, he became a geochemist and later on a founding father of Biogeochemistry, due to his concern with the "questions related to the importance of life on the geological history of the Earth". This new direction was the result of his field observations, of his broad mineralo-geological knowledge, and his studies, from 1917, on the phenomena of life in the biosphere, confirmed by many of his readings, like the book by Clarke (1908), "The Data of Geochemistry", and in particular the "Hydrogéologie" of J. B. Lamarck (1802).

From this, and knowing the Lamarck work, and the Suess work and the definition of a biosphere he redefined and worked the biosphere concept in larger biogeochemical terms.