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.

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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), and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, 2018).

Chair: Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany/Russia)

Vice-Chairs: Ute Herzfeld (USA) and Malcolm Sambridge (Australia)

Secretary: Ilya Zaliapin (USA)

Executive Committee: Yehuda Ben-Zion (USA, IASPEI; Past Chair); Roberto Carniel (Italy, IAVCEI), Enamundram Chandrasekhar (India, IAGA), William Dewar (USA, IAGA), Alexander Fournier (France, IAGA), Salvatore Grimaldi (Italy, IAHS), Shin-Chan Han (Australia, IAG), Sang-Mook Lee (Korea, IUGG), Annick Pouquet (USA, IAMAS).

Advisory Committee: Dick Peltier (Canada), Daniel Rothman (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.

The Commission was awarded an IUGG grant to organize a workshop in 2021 on the topic of the „Data Assimilation and Inverse Problems in Geophysical Sciences“ in the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy and/or in the East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR) at the University of Rwanda in Kigali, Rwanda.

The workshop will attract international early career and female scientists, and PhD students, especially those from less-affluent countries. International experts in the field of geophysical inversion and data assimilation will be invited to give lectures.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, it was decided to hold the workshop either online or in a hybrid format, where local students of EAIRF and ICTP as well as some lecturers can participate in the school onsite (in Trieste or Kigali, respectively), and others can join online. More information on the workshop can be found here:

The IUGG CMG Executive Committee together with the Local Organizing Committee of CMG2020 prepared quite attractive program of the conference. The conference aimed to discuss key theoretical and observational aspects of solid earth, ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere, climate and other contemporary topics in mathematical geophysics.

The Program of the Conference covers six themes: Data Sciences, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence; Geophysical Fluid Dynamics; Geophysical Inversion: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications; From the Core to the Space: Different Spheres with Common Mathematics; Mathematics for Natural Hazards Science; and Mathematics for Climate Science.

Due to the pandemic the conference was cancelled and postponed until 2022. News on the conference in 2022 will be available on the official website of the CMG2020 soon:

The Cambridge University Press Syndicate agreed to publish an edited monograph „Data Assimilation and Inverse Problems in Geosciences“ as a part of the IUGG Special Publication Series.

The book sets out basic principle of inverse problems and data assimilation and present applications of the data assimilation and inverse problems in all disciplines of IUGG. The principal goal of the proposed book is to highlight the importance of research in data assimilation for understanding dynamical processes of the Earth and its space environment and for predictability.

The book will summarize relevant newest advances in the field of data assimilation and inverse problems related to different geophysical fields. As outcomes of data assimilation contribute to scientific understanding and prediction of natural hazard events, this interdisciplinary book will provide a broader knowledge to those who are dealing with hazard assessment and subsequent risk mitigation/reduction.

It will also provide guidance on future research directions to experts and early career scientists including PhD candidates. The book is in review process, which is slowed down by the pandemics.

Editors of the proposed book: Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany/Russia), Dylan Jones (Canada), Fabio Castelli (Italy), Sabrina Sanchez (Germany, early career scientist). Editorial Advisory Board consists of the Members of the Executive Committee of the IUGG CMG.

Contact Information:

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

Chair: Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany/Russia)

Secretary: In Memoriam: Ilya Zaliapin (1973-2023)