Mathematical Geophysics (CMG)

The Commission on Mathematical Geophysics is a Union Commission of IUGG. Its aims to encourage exchange of ideas and information in all areas of geophysics, with emphasis on the application of mathematics, statistics and computer science to geophysical problems, and to promote the development and application of mathematical methods and appropriate theoretical techniques for the solution of problems across the complete spectrum of geophysical disciplines. The Committee is sponsored by all IUGG Associations.

Learn more about the CMG:

The earliest incarnation of the present CMG Committee was as the Working Group on Geophysical Theory and Computers (WGGTC), which was founded by Vladimir Keilis-Borok. The first meeting of the WGGTC was held in Moscow and Leningrad in 1964 and the last in Moscow in 1971 with intervening meetings held once yearly.

Subsequent to 1971 the group was re-structured as the present Committee on Mathematical Geophysics, which has met on a semi-annual basis since that time, beginning with a meeting in Banff (Canada) in 1972.

The schedule since 1986 has included the following sequence of major CMG sponsored conferences: Oosterbeek (The Netherlands, 1986), Blanes (Spain, 1988), Jerusalem (Israel, 1990), Taxco (Mexico, 1992), Villefranche (France, 1994), Santa Fe (USA, 1996), Cambridge (UK, 1998), Villefranche sur Mer (France, 2000), Torino (Italy, 2002), New York (USA, 2004), Sea of Galilee (Israel, 2006), Svalbard (Norway, 2008), Pisa (Italy, 2010), Edinburgh (UK, 2012), Merida (Mexico, 2014), Paris (France, 2016), Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, 2018) and Seoul (Republic of Korea, 2022).

Chair: Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany)

Vice-Chair: Enamundram Chandrasekhar (India)

Secretary: Andrew Valentine (UK)

Executive Committee: Yehuda Ben-Zion (USA, IASPEI; Past Chair); Roberto Carniel (Italy, IAVCEI), Fabio Castelli (Italy, IAHS), William Dewar (USA, IAGA), Alexander Fournier (France, IAGA), Shin-Chan Han (Australia, IAG), Sang-Mook Lee (Korea, IUGG), Elisa Mantelli (Germany, IACS), Oleg Melnik (France), Leslie M. Smith (IAMAS, USA).

Advisory Committee: Salvatore Grimaldi (Italy), Ute Herzfeld (USA), Dick Peltier (Canada), Annick Pouquet (USA), Daniel Rothman (USA), Malcolm Sambridge (Australia), Frederik J. Simons (USA).

The Vladimir Keilis-Borok Medal of the IUGG Commission on Mathematical Geophysics (CMG) has been established by the IUGG Bureau in 2021, and recognizes middle career scientists who made important contributions to the field of mathematical geophysics.

The aim of the Medal is to honor the legacy of Keilis-Borok – a visionary science leader and organizer, prolific seismologist and mathematical geophysicist, the CMG founder, and former IUGG President – in promoting transformative scientific advancement and selfless leadership.

Past winners:

2022 – Frederik J. Simons, Princeton University

2023 Call for Medal Nominations

The 34th IUGG Conference on Mathematical Geophysics (CMG2024) ‘Mathematical Geophysics for Sustainable Development’, organized by the IUGG Union Commission on Mathematical Geophysics, will be held during 2-7 June 2024 in the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India. The conference aims to encourage exchange of ideas and information in all areas of geophysics, with emphasis on the application of mathematics, statistics and computer science to geophysical problems, and promote the development and application of mathematical methods and theoretical techniques for the solution of problems across the various geophysical disciplines. Please visit the conference website for more detail:

The Union symposium was held during the IUGG General Assembly in Berlin in July 2023 (IUGG2023) The symposium highlighted how fundamental scientific understanding, monitoring, and modelling the Earth System contribute to sustainability both globally, in response to planetary pressures, as well as locally, in response to specific localized developmental constraints. This symposium contributed to the U.N. International Year of Basic Science for Sustainable Development (2022) and the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). Leading experts presented how geosciences and mathematics contribute to the sustainability of our planet and societies: Isabelle Ansorge (South Africa), Anny Cazenave (France), Regina Hock (Norway), Toshio Koike (Japan), Sang-Mook Lee (Rep. of Korea), Valerio Lucarini (UK), Roger Pulwarty (USA), Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth (Germany), and Jun Xia (China). The symposium was convened by Keith Alverson (Canada) and Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany).

This book provides a comprehensive reference on data assimilation and inverse problems, as well as their applications across a broad range of geophysical disciplines. With contributions from world leading experts in the field, it covers basic knowledge about geophysical inversions and data assimilation and discusses a range of important research issues and applications in atmospheric and cryospheric sciences, hydrology, geochronology, geodesy, geodynamics, geomagnetism, gravity, near-Earth electron radiation, seismology, and volcanology. The book’s editors are Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany), Fabio Castelli (Italy), Dylan Jones (Canada), and Sabrina Sanchez (France). The Editorial Advisory Board consists of the Members of the CMG Executive Committee. The book was published in 2023 by the Cambridge University Press as a part of the IUGG Special Publication Series. More information about the book can be found here:

The 33rd IUGG Conference on Mathematical Geophysics (CMG2022) “Geophysics in the World of Modern Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence” was held at the Seoul National University, Republic of Korea, during 20-24 June 2022 in a hybrid format. The CMG2022 Program ( covered several important topics related to data sciences, AI, machine learning, geophysical fluid dynamics, mathematics for natural hazards and climate science, and geophysical inversions. Two keynote lectures were delivered by Frederik J. Simons of Princeton University and Kwang-Yul Kim of Seoul National University. A panel of eminent experts in geosciences, physics, and mathematics raised awareness about the 2022 United Nations International Year of Basic Science for Sustainable Development in promoting basic sciences ( Over five days, fourteen invited speakers from Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Oman, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, UK, and USA presented cutting-edge mathematical applications to geosciences. More than 140 people from 33 countries attended the conference. The conference was highlighted in local media ( The Chair of the Local Organizing Committee was Sang-Mook Lee. Conference site:

Understanding the complex operation of the Earth system requires an interdisciplinary approach and international collaboration. Data assimilation and modern methods of solving inverse problems provide unique opportunities to exploit such approach and collaboration by integrating data and information from disciplinary sources. These techniques become major forecasting tools in meteorology, oceanography, atmospheric chemistry, hydrology, and recently they started to be applied to solid Earth problems. To discuss state-of-the-art, applications, and perspectives of data assimilation and inverse problems in major IUGG disciplines, the IUGG Union Commission on Mathematical Geophysics (CMG) in cooperation with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR) organized the Workshop hosted by ICTP in Trieste, Italy, virtually from 18 to 29 October 2021. Workshop participants received welcome addresses from Kathryn Whaler, IUGG President, and Atish Dabholkar, ICTP Director and Assistant Director General of UNESCO. World leading scientists from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and USA lectured at the workshop and discussed with participants the topics in relation to specific geophysical disciplines. 96 of 117 applications received were selected, and the applicants were invited to attend the workshop. Among them, 32% are female participants; 79% (12%) are participants from developing (least developed) countries, namely, from Africa and Middle East 33%, Asia 35%, Latin America 19%, and Oceania 3%. The workshop had two sessions (morning and afternoon) every working day allowing lecturers from different parts of the world to attend and deliver lectures. Three sessions (two oral and one poster) were dedicated to presentations by the Workshop’s participants, whose abstracts were selected for presentation by workshop’s directors. These sessions highlighted the research on data assimilation, direct and inverse problems in geosciences, and quantitative modeling done by the participants from Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Turkey, and UK. All the presentations were judged, and three best papers were selected. Maibys Sierra Lorenzi (Cuba; female scientist), Maria Alejandra Vesga Ramirez (Argentina; female scientist), and Hari Ram Thapa (Nepal) received the best paper awards. The Workshop was supported in part by IUGG (via grant to CMG) and ICTP. More information on the Workshop (scientific program, list of participants, lecture notes and videos) can be found at:

Contact Information:

The following are current officers of the Union Commission on Mathematical Geophysics:

Chair: Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany)

Secretary: Andrew Valentine (UK)

The CMG is currently seeking nominations for the 2024 Vladimir Keilis-Borok medal. More details…

Closing date: 28th January 2024 (Extended from 15th January)