Lappo, Sergey Dmitrievich (1896–1972)
Lappo, Sergey Dmitrievich (1896–1972) – a Soviet polar hydrographer. In 1916 he graduated from the Russian Imperial Naval College (the last graduates), receiving the rank of warrant officer. L. was assigned to the battleship “Tsesarevich,” which was part of the maneuver brigade in Kassari (now Estonia). In 1916, he participated in the Moonsund and Ösel operations. Later L. met with the famous polar explorer B. V. Vilkitsky, and this acquaintance was decisive for his future work in the Russian North. In 1920, he took part in his first expedition to the western shore of the Gulf of Ob on the survey motor boat “Orlik.” Here the expedition found a large and deep water area for the reception of ships of the so-called Grain Expeditions – a cargo port called the New Port. Within 3 years, L. together with other members of the hydrographic team carried out depth measurements in support of construction works. In the mid-1920s, L. became an assistant chief of the Kara Expeditions for navigation. He participated in the preparations for the construction of ports of Igarka and Tiksi; on the motor vessel “Pioneer,” he studied waters of the Noordwijk Bay in the Laptev Sea. In 1936, on board of the motor-sailing boat “Politotdelets,” L. conducted surveys of the coastal topography and studied the bottom topography on the New Earth and the island of Pakhtusov in the Kara Sea. In 1938, he headed the “ice and weather service” of the Arctic Institute. He developed a new method of the prediction of ice coverage based on the autumn weather observations.
During the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945), L. became a Candidate of Science and organized the navigation of naval transportation vessels, paving safe routes on the Northern Sea Route for warships. In 1946 he participated in a strategic aerial navigation in the Laptev Sea. In 1950, he became a professor, lecturer at the Moscow State University, and chairman of the USSR Civil Defense Hydrological Commission. He was editor of scientific journals “Oceans and Seas” and “World Ocean.”
L. published the “Oceanographic Handbook on the Arctic Seas of the USSR” (1940) and the “Polar Explorer Reference Book. Overview of Oceanography, Climate, Wildlife and People of the Arctic” (1945).
Both sons of L. chose the profession of oceanographers. Sergey S. Lappo was a corresponding member of the RAS and headed the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the RAS in Moscow (1995–2006).
A peninsula in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and a cape in Laptev Sea are named after S. Lappo.