Polar Record


Carl von Ditmar, 1822–92: a geologist in Kamchatka

Erki Tammiksaar a1
a1 Karl Ernst von Baer Museum, Veski 4, EE51005 Tartu, Estonia


From 1851 to 1855, the Baltic-German geologist Carl von Ditmar explored and made scientific observations of Kamchatka. This area had first been scientifically investigated by Georg Wilhelm Steller and Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov in the 1730s and 1740s. However, until the last decade of the nineteenth century, little was added to the studies by Steller and Krasheninnikov, despite almost all of the Russian circumnavigations having gone through Kamchatka. It was only in 1890 that Ditmar's detailed investigation of the natural history and peoples of the Kamchatka peninsula was published. Although Ditmar remains little known to the broader public, his investigations are still used by those investigating Kamchatka.

(Received May 2002)