Geological journeys of Valerian Domger to the basins of the rivers Omelnyk, Samotkan and Domotkan

Keywords: Domger, geology, Geological Committee, Eocene, Mandrykivski layers, geological routes, paleontology, Domotkan, Paleogene, pre-Cambrian Epoch, geological sites


This article covers only a small but significant part of the territory of the former Katerynoslav and Kherson governorates, where Valerian Domger made his significant geological explorations between 1881 and 1884 on the commission of the Geological Committee. Here, 70 years after Domger made his exploration, a unique mineral deposit, one of the world`s richest deposits of titanium-zirkonium ore, was discovered. This article presents the results of  analysis of the research made by the prominent geologist Valerian Domger, acknowledges the scientific and historical value of his proceedings; covers the main biographical facts of this researcher of the geology of the Middle PreDniproviya region; emphasizes the details which are less familiar and seldom mentioned in the literature; covers the analysis of Domger`s route across gullies, ravines and rivers, where he travelled to compose a 10 verst map for the project of constructing the Katerynynska railway. These journeys became the basis for all further studies in the region. This paper proves the fact that V. Domger was the discoverer of the world`s largest deposits of manganese ore; evaluates the results of Domger`s studies of the valleys of the rivers Omelnyk, Samotkan and Domotkan – these works were first to provide data on the structure of pre-Cambrian crystalline basement of the Ukrainian shield, its petrography and the mineralogy of its rocks. The study revealed important patterns in the structure of the sedimentary Paleogene-Quaternary cover; defined Domger`s role in determining the stratigraphic position of the Mandrykivski layers, which he discovered in 1882 during the construction of the railway bridge across the Dnieper. He was first to assign an Upper-Eocene Epoch for the Mandrykivska fossil fauna, which later would for a long period of time be considered Oligocene fauna. Using the works by prominent paleontologists Deshayes, Nyst, Wood and Michelin, Domger did immensely significant work on the Mollusca fauna. The paper analyses Domger`s view on the role of continental glaciations in the formation of Quaternary loess cover in the Middle PreDniprovya region. The researcher also wrote on the Kryvorizke iron ore deposits. His works on analysis of geology of the basins of the Saksahan and Ingulets rivers contributed to the beginning of exploitation of these deposits. Using particular examples, the paper analyses the current condition of the stratigraphic divisions of the  different age associations which are mentioned in the works of V Domger; evaluates the significance of Domger`s research and the possibility of using it during geological surveys and monitoring of the most significant objects of geological heritage. 

Author Biography

Volodymyr Manyuk, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
assistant professor (docent) Department of geology and hydrogeologyMember of ProGEOVice-chairman of Dnepropetrovsk department of Ukrainian National Union Regional Studies


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How to Cite
Manyuk, V. (2017). Geological journeys of Valerian Domger to the basins of the rivers Omelnyk, Samotkan and Domotkan. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 25(2), 89-98.