Tillo, Aleksey Andreevich

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(b. Kiev, Russia, 25 November 1839; d. St. Petersburg, Russia [now Leningrad, U.S.S.R.], 11 January 1900), geography, cartography, geodesy.

Tillo’s father, an officer in the engineering communications corps, was of French origin. From 1849 to 1859 Tillo studied at the military schools of Kiev and St. Petersburg. In 1862 he graduated from the Mikhaylov Artillery Academy and in 1864 completed the theoretical course of the geodesy section of the General Staff Academy. He subsequently carried out practical geodetic and astronomical work for two years at the Pulkovo observatory under the supervision of Otto Struve. From 1866 to 1871 he was director of the Military Topographical Section of the Orenburg Military District. From 1871 on he held a number of military command positions and received the rank of lieutenant general in 1894. In 1892 he was elected corresponding member of the Academie des Sciences and, in 1894, of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Tillo’s research was associated mainly with the Russian Geographical Society, of which he became a member in 1868. From 1884 he was a member of the council of the society, and from 1889 he was president of its section of mathematical geography.

Tillo’s specialty was geodesy, and his chief works were devoted to the study of the hypsometry and orography of Russia. Leveling carried out in the summer of 1874 led Tillo to determine that the level of the Aral Sea had risen seventy-four meters above that of the Caspian Sea . Tillo initiated the major leveling projects carried out in 1875 and 1877 in Siberia; the results of the surveys and the data from his own research provided the basis for his map of the altitudes of European Russia (1884) and his map of the lengths and descents of the rivers of European Russia (1888). Tillo’s important hypsometrical map of European Russia (1889) was compiled from data on the altitudes of more than 51,000 points. The map established the presence in European Russia of two broad northsouth elevations, which Tillo called the Mid-Russian and the Privolga; the ridges had previouslyand incorrectly-been shown on maps as the Ural-Baltic and the Ural-Carpathian.

In an improved version of his map (1896) Tillo included those parts of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Romania that bordered on Russia. He also studied meteorological phenomena, the hydrology of rivers and lakes, and the magnetism of the earth.


I. Original Works. There is a complete bibliography of Tillo’s writings in Novokshanova (see below). They include Opisanie Aralo-Kaspyskoy nivelirovki, proizvedennoy v 1874 godu po porucheniyu Russkogo Geograficheskogo Obshchestva i Orenburgskogo ego otdela (“A Description of the Aral-Caspian Leveling Carried Out in 1874, Commissioned by the Russian Geographical Society and Its Orenburg Section”; St. Petersburg, 1877); Opyt svoda nivelirovok Rossyskoy imperii. Materialy dlya gipsometrii Rossii. S Atlasom prodolnykh profiley, 4 pts. (“An Attempt at a Generalization Comparing the Levels of the Russian Empire. Materials for the Hyposometry of Russia. With an Atlas of Longitudinal Profiles”; St. Petersburg, 1881–1882); Karta vysot Evropeyskoy Rossii (“Map of the Altitudes of European Russia”; St. Petersburg, 1884); Karta dliny i padenia rek Evropeyskoy Rossii (“Map of the Lengths and Descents of the Rivers of European Russia“; St. Petersburg, 1888); Gipsometricheskaya karta Evropeyskoy Rossii (“Hypsometric Map of European Russia”; St. Petersburg, 1889); “Srednyaya vysota sushi i srednyaya glubina morya v severnom i yuzhnom polushariakh i zavisimost sredney vysoty materikov i sredney glubiny morey of geograficheskoy shiroty” (“The Average Altitude of the Dry Land and the Average Depth of the Sea in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the Relation of the Average Altitude of the Continents and the Average Depth of the Seas to Geographical Latitude”), in lzvestiva Imperatorskogo Russkogo geografichesko obshchestva, 25, no. 2 (1889), 113–134: “Raspredelenie atmosfernogo davlenia na prostranstve Rossyskoy imperii i Aziatskogo materika na osnovanii nablyudeny s 1836 po 1885 g.” (“Distribution of Atmospheric Pressure in the Area of the Russian Empire and the Asian Continent Based on Observations From 1836 Through 1885”), in Zapiski Imperatorskogo russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva, 21 (1890), 1 – 308; “Orografia Evropeyskoy Rossii na osnovanii gipsometricheskoy karty” (“The Orography of European Russian Based on a Hypsometric Map”), in Izvestiva Imperatorskogo Russkogo geografichesko obshchestva, 26 , pt. 1 (1890), 8–32; Gipsometricheskaya karta Zapadnoy chasti Evropeyskoy Rossii, v svyazi s prilezhashchimi chastyami Germanii, Avstro-Vengrii i Rumynii (“Hypsometric Map of the Western Part of European Russia Together with the Adjacent Parts of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Romania”; St. Petersburg, 1896); Karta basseynov vnutrennikh vodnykh putey Evropeyskoy Rossii s ukazaniem punktov, meteorologicheskikh i vodomernykh nablyudeny (“Map of the Basins of the Inland Water Routes of European Russia With an Indication of the Points of Meteorological and Water-Measuring Observations”: St. Petersburg, 1897): and Atlas raspredelenia atmosfernykh osadkov Rossii po rnesyatsam i za res god na osnovanii dvadtsatiletnikh nablvudeny 1871–1890 gg. (“Atlas of the Distribution of Atmospheric Precipitation in Russia by Months and the Entire Year Based on Twenty-Year Observations 1871–1890”; St. Petersburg, 1897).

II. Secondary Literature. See L. S . Berg, “A. A. Tillo,” in Izvestiya Vsesoyuznogo geograficheskogo obshchestva, 82 , no. 2 (1950), 113–125, published on the fiftieth anniversary of his death; and Z. K. Novokshanova, Aleksey Andreevich Tillo (Moscow, 1961).

I. Fedoseyev