The Seismology Station of Yuryev (1896–1912)

The objectives of the seismological station in Tartu were to register earthquakes, to study and improve of the apparatuses used and purchased by Russia, to publish of seismological bulletin and to teach the personnel. G. Levitski, who had started investigating the horizontal pendulums in Kharkov, continued this work in Tartu (the town was then called Yuryev). At the end of 1896 Levitski installed the equipment consisting of the Rebeur-Pashwitz horizontal pendulum in the cellar of the astronomical observatory and began to register earthquakes. In November 1897 the Zöllner-Repsold horizontal pendulum was added. Levitski studied the parameters of horizontal pendulums and improved the Zöllner-Repsold horizontal pendulum. In 1899 the Zöllner-Repsold-Levitski type horizontal pendulum was installed in the former Gun Powder Cellar. In 1900 Levitski was given a task by the Seismological Commission of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg to check the apparatuses sent from abroad in 1901–1906 for the further delivery to Russian seismological stations. At the same time Levitski was an editor of the seismological bulletins published by the same commission.

Starting from 1 January 1909 the director of the Yuryev Seismological Station was Aleksandr Orlov. With the Zöllner-Repsold-Levitski horizontal pendulum he began to measure high and low tides in the former Gun Powder Cellar. With these measurements he achieved outstanding results and became world famous. As in 1906 the Central Seismological Station in Russia was established in Pulkovo and the Golitsyn seismograph of absolutely new construction was installed, it was decided to finish the activities of the Yuryev Seismological Station in registering earthquakes in 1910. As Orlov`s measurements of high and low tides had been successful, this work was still financed. At the end of 1912 A. Orlov was appointed to the astronomy professor’s post in Odessa and the Yuryev Seismological Station was closed.

The inner view of the Gun Powder Cellar (TAIP, 1911)