Geoliterary Bulletin, vol. 4, no. 3, Winter 1989-1990 [1990], pages 25-27


Jack D. Mount

Science-Engineering Library
University of Arizona, Tucson 85721

At the beginning of this century the Paleozoic and Mesozoic stratigraphy of Arizona, with the possible exception of the Grand Canyon region, was a veritable jigsaw puzzle still unsolved. In 1923 Alexander A. Stoyanow, a recent emigrant to the United States from revolution ravaged Russia, became a professor of geology at the University of Arizona. An accomplished scientist with 19 years of research in the geology, stratigraphy and paleontology of Europe and Asia, Dr. Stoyanow came to Arizona with a unique combination of knowledge and experience that allowed him to eventually unravel Arizona's complex stratigraphy and place it in the modern continental and global context. Stoyanow's research has had a profound influence on the study of Arizona's geology and even the most recent publications continue to reference his early writings.

The present paper consists of a brief biography of Alexander Stoyanow and a comprehensive bibliography of his scientific publications. For biographical data I have drawn heavily from the University of Arizona Archives in the University Library's Special Collections Department and from Lee and Schroter's (1977) memorial article.

Alexander Alexander Stoyanow was born on August 7, 1879, near the Black Sea village of Jelesnovodsk in Russia. His childhood interest in rocks, minerals and fossils influenced his decision to major in geology in college and in 1899 he graduated with honors from St. Vladimir University in Kiev. He continued his education and received an MS in geology in 1901 from the University of Moscow and an EM in Mining Engineering in 1904 from the Petrograd School of Mines. In further pursuit of his scientific goals he returned to the University of Moscow and was granted his PhD degree in l906.

Stoyanow's professional career began in 1906 as an Assistant in the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd. In 1911 he was appointed to the staff of the Russian Geological Survey. Among his many assignments included studies of auriferous mineralization and nonferrous mineral deposits in northern Persia, the trans-Caucasus near the Russian-Chinese border in the Tarbagatoi and Saur Mountains, and along the Irtysh River and nearby Kalbin Range. He was also assigned the task of studying the stratigraphy of Mount Ararat and possible petroliferous structures and sediments in the northwest Caucasus. He led an expedition for the Chinese government to study gold deposits of the Kwen Lun Mountains between the Gobi Desert and Tibet. He continued his search for oil during World War I in Kurdistan and eastern Turkey, near headwaters of the Euphrates River. He was an active member of the Russian Mineralogical Society and the Russian Paleontological Society.

His professional activities in Russia were terminated in 1917 by the Bolshevik Revolution. Along with other scientific and upper class Russians he fled with his family to Finland across frozen Lake Ladoga.

A friendship with Dr. Fritz Schuchert of Yale University led him to his first geological work after fleeing Russia. In 1920 he made for Schuchert a paleontological study of the Gothland Islands of Sweden. In 1921 he initiated major field work in the Malay Archipelago for the Sinclair Oil Company. His association with Schuchert was instrumental in Stoyanow being appointed a professor of geology at the University of Arizona in 1923. He was also appointed in 1927 a geologist for the Arizona Bureau of Mines. He continued at the University in full-time teaching and research until 1950. For the next 24 years he remained on the faculty in a part-time capacity. Also during those years he had temporary research posts at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles. During the final years of his life he maintained a paleontological laboratory at the University of California at Los Angeles where he continued studies on his large collection of Paleozoic and Mesozoic fossils. This collection is now in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California. Stoyanow passed away on November 18, 1974.

Alexander Stoyanow was a fellow of both the Geological Society of America and the Paleontological Society and a full member of the Society of Sigma Xi. He received the University of Arizona's Medallion of Merit in 1965.

Scientific Writings Of Alexander A. Stoyanow

1908. Valanginien und Hauterivien des Kislowodsk Umgegenden. Ann. Geol. et Mineral, d. 1, Russia, v. 10.

1910. On the Character of the Boundary of the Paleozoic near Djulfa. Verhandl. der Russisch-Kaiserl. Mineralog. Gesellschaft, bd. 47.

____. On a New Genus of Brachiopoda. Bull. de l'Acad. Imper. Sci. de St. Petersbourg, p. 853-855.

1915. Sur l'Amia des Depots Tertiaires de Siberie. Bull. du Comite Geologique, t. 34, no. 284.

____. On some Permian Brachiopoda of Armenia. Memoires du Comite Geologique, livr. 111, 95 p., 6 pls.

1923. The Paleozoic Beds of the Angara Series of West Siberia. Am. Jour. Sci., vol. 6, p. 22-36.

1925. Oil Prospects of the Willcox Region. Ariz. Min. Jour., vol. 9, no. 7, p. 11- 12,26-29.

1926. Notes on Recent Stratigraphic Work in Arizona. Am. Jour. Sci., vol. 12, p. 311-324, 1 fig.
Resulting from 2 years of research, this important paper provides much new data on the stratigraphy and paleontology of the Arizona Paleozoic, including correlations with South America and Eurasia. The Paradise Formation, one of the 2 new formation names proposed, has been formally accepted by the U. S. Geological Survey.

1930. Cambric Formations of Southeastern Arizona and Their Trilobitic Faunas [abstr]. Pan-Am. Geol., vol. 53, p. 315-316.

____. Certain Aspects of Devonic in Arizona [abstr.]. Pan-Am. Geol., vol. 53, p. 316-317.

____. Observations on Mississippian Corals of Arizona [abstr.]. Pan-Am. Geol., vol. 53, p. 317.

1936. Occurrence of the Malone and Torcer Faunas at the Base of the Arizona Comanchean. Science, vol. 83, p. 328.

____. Correlation of Arizona Paleozoic Formations. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 47, p. 459-540, 1 pl., 5 figs.
This is the pivotal report on the stratigraphy and biostratigraphy of Arizona Paleozoic rocks. It includes many measured sections and faunal lists for both new and classic locations. Of the many formation names proposed only 3, Jerome, Peppersauce and Southern Belle, have survived to modern usage. Two new trilobites were named and described and remain to this day the only descriptions and illustrations of fossils from the highly fossiliferous Abrigo Formation of Middle and Late Cambrian age.

____. Jurassic and Early Cretacic Faunas from Arizona [abstr.]. Pan-Am. Geol., vol. 65, p. 375-376.

1937. Correlation of Arizona Paleozoic Formations: Reply. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 47, p. 1999-2000.

____. Fossiliferous Zones in the Cretaceous and Tertiary Deposits of Southwestern Arizona [abstr.]. Geol. Soc. Am. Proc. 1936, p. 296-297.

1938. Lower Cretaceous Stratigraphy in Southeastern Arizona [abstr.]. Geol. Soc. Am. Proc. 1937, p. 117.

1939. Paleontological Stratigraphy of Arizona; Its Relation to Adjacent Areas [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 12, p. 1960.

1940. Arizona Paleozoic Paleogeography. Pan.-Am. Geol., vol. 73, p. 376.

____. Paleozoic Paleogeography of Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 51, p. 1950.

1942. Paleozoic Paleogeography of Arizona. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 53, p. 1255-1282.
An important summary of knowledge to date, this paper includes additional new data on paleontology and correlations of many Paleozoic sections.

____. Revision of the Permo-Triassic Sequence at Djulfa, Armenia [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 53, p. 1823.

1946. Molluscan Faunule from Devonian Island Mesa Beds, Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 57, p. 1234.

1947. Problems of Mississippian Stratigraphy in Southwestern United States [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 58, p. 1278-1279.

1948. Some Problems of Mississippian Stratigraphy in Southwestern United States. Jour. Geol., vol. 56, p. 313- 326.

____. Molluscan Faunule from Devonian Island Mesa Beds, Arizona. Jour. Paleon., vol. 22, p. 783-791.
Four new genera and species of Mollusca were named, described and illustrated.

____. Stratigraphic Evaluation of Some Upper Paleozoic Index Fossils of Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 59, p. 1383.

1949. Lower Cretaceous Stratigraphy in Southeastern Arizona. Mem. Geol. Soc. Am., no. 38, 169 p.
This extensive report on the Cretaceous geology, stratigraphy and paleontology of southern Arizona remains the definitive work on the Cretaceous paleontology of this area. Of all his work, Stoyanow was the proudest of this study. Twenty-one new species of ammonites and twenty- two of bivalves are named, described and illustrated. Of the many formation and member names proposed, only the Fort Crittenden Formation has been accepted into modern usage.

____. Sequence of Cambrian Trilobite Faunas in Southeastern Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 60, p. 1922.

____. Occurrence of Texan Permian Ammonoids in Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 60, p. 1946.

1952. The Original Collection of Cambrian Trilobites From Sonora. in Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology Near Caborca, Northwestern Sonora, Mexico. Smithsonian Misc. Colln., vol. 119, no. 1, p. 49-59.

1955. [with Susuki, Takeo] Discovery of Sonoraspis in Southern California. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 66, p. 467-470.

1956. Types of Bathyuriscus howelli var. lodensis Clark. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 67, p. 679-681.

1958. Sonoraspis and Albertella in the Inyo Mountains, California. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 67, p. 347-351.

____. Suture of Acanthohoplites aschiltaensis (Anthula). Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 69, p. 607-610.

Reference Cited

Lee, Charles A., and Schroter, G. Austin, 1977. Memorial to Alexander Stoyanow 1879-1974. Geol. Soc. Am. Memorials, vol. 6, 2 p.

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