Pentti Eskola

Pentti Elias Eskola (8 January 1883 – 6 December 1964) was a Finnish geologist who specialised in the petrology of granites and developed the concept of metamorphic facies. He won the Wollaston Medal in 1958, the Vetlesen Prize in 1964, and was given a state funeral upon his death.[1] The mineral eskolaite is named in his honor.

Pentti Eskola
Pentti Eskola (1883–1964).jpg
Born8 January 1883
Died6 December 1964 (1964-12-07) (aged 81)
Alma materUniversity of Helsinki
Known forMetamorphic facies
AwardsPenrose Medal (1951)
Vetlesen Prize (1964)
Wollaston Medal (1958)
Scientific career
InfluencedAkiho Miyashiro

Eskola was born in Lellainen, the son of a farmer. He graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1906 and received a doctorate in 1914 with a dissertation on the petrology of the Orijärvi Region. Eskola was a student of Wilhelm Ramsay.[2] He visited Norway and the US in 1920-21 working at the Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, D. C. and with the Geological Survey of Canada during which time he examined eclogites. He became a geologist for the Finnish Survey in 1922 and joined as a professor of geology at Helsinki in 1924 working there until 1954.

Eskola's major work on metamorphism was influenced by the work of J.J. Sederholm whose work he read when he was just 23. He began to think of the origin and formation of the granites and gneisses and came up with a method to classify the formation under different pressure and temperature conditions resulting in varying chemical equilibria being achieved.[3]

Eskola married in 1914. His Mandi Wiiro suffered from a long illness before she died but their son Matti (1916-1041) predeceased them. He was killed in World War II on the Russian front and all that was returned to the parents was a purse which contained apple seeds that he collected to plant in their family farm. Eskola planted these in the memory of his son. Daughter Päivätär became a chemistry techer. Eskola also discussed philosophy in a book on world outlook and corresponded with philosophers Rolf Arnkil and Sigfrid Sirenius.[4]


  1. ^ Lamont-Doherty The Vetlesen Prize Archived 16 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  2. ^ Haapala, I. (2005). "Chapter 17: History of Finnish bedrock research". In Lehtinen, Martti; Nurmi, Pekka A.; Rämö, Tapani (eds.). Precambrian Geology of Finland. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 683–701. ISBN 9780080457598.
  3. ^ Barth, Tom. F. W. (1959). "Principles of Classification and Norm Calculations of Metamorphic Rocks". The Journal of Geology. 67 (2): 135–152. doi:10.1086/626570. ISSN 0022-1376.
  4. ^ Barth, T. F. W. (1965). "Memorial to Pentti Eskola (1883–1964)". Geological Society of America Bulletin. 76 (9): P117. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1965)76[P117:MTPE]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0016-7606.