The IUGG Electronic Journal

Volume 5 No. 8 (August 1, 2005)

This short, informal newsletter is intended to keep IUGG Member National Committees informed about the activities of the IUGG Associations, and actions of the IUGG Secretariat. Past issues are posted on the IUGG Web site. Please forward this message to those who will benefit from the information. Your comments are welcome.


  1. Report of the 2005 Tsunami Symposium on Crete island, Greece
  2. Report of the IUGG/UNESCO/AGU workshop in Baku, Azerbaijan
  3. ICSU News
  4. IGY+50 Developments
  5. IUGG-related meetings occurring during August - October 2005

1. Report of the 2005 Tsunami Symposium on Crete island, Greece

The 22nd International Tsunami Symposium, organized by the IUGG Tsunami Commission in association with the National Observatory of Athens, Greece, was held in the city of Chania, Crete island, from 27 to 29 June 2005. Ninety scientists from more than 20 countries attended. More than fifteen participants from India, Sri Lanka and other countries were able to participate thanks to the financial support of IUGG and the Local Organizing Committee. The 86 papers presented covered all aspects of tsunami science, technology and risk mitigation organized under four major sessions: (a) Mediterranean Sea Tsunamis, (b) The Indian Ocean Earthquakes and Tsunamis, (c) Tsunami Technology and Society, (d) Miscellaneous. The first three sessions were introduced by a key-note lecture. Symposium papers will be peer reviewed and will appear in two special issues of international journals: Annales of Geophysics for papers about European tsunamis, Pure and Applied Geophysics for Indian Ocean tsunamis and other topics.

On the afternoon of June 29th, a Symposium field-trip was organized in the coastal site of Phalasarna, northwest Crete, where archaeological and geological evidence exist about the large historical earthquake and tsunami of 21 July 365 AD. During a pre-Symposium optional tour on 26th June, some of the participants had the opportunity to visit the famous Minoan (2nd millennium BC) palace of Knossos, the archaeological museum, and the coastal Minoan settlement of Amnissos, and to understand what is the archaeological and geological evidence about the large pre-historical (~1630 BC) Minoan tsunami, its generation from the collapse of the volcanic cone of Santorini and its possible link with the decline of the Minoan civilization.

Article contributed by G. Papadopoulos

2. Report of the IUGG/UNESCO/AGU workshop in Baku, Azerbaijan

The International Workshop "Recent Geodynamics, Georisk and Sustainable Development of the Black Sea to Caspian Sea Region," held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 3 to 6 July 2005, was organized by the IUGG Commission on Geophysical Risk and Sustainability in association with the International Hydrological Program of UNESCO, the American Geophysical Union, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative. About fifty scientists from 12 countries attended, and 19 invited speakers delivered talks at the workshop that was supported by IUGG, UNESCO, and ExxonMobil Company.

The Workshop brought people of natural, social and political sciences together with representatives of industry, governments, and mass media to prepare the social and political background for sustainable development in the Black Sea to Caspian Sea region. The invited and contributed presentations dealt with the recent geodynamics of the region, natural hazards (earthquakes, mud volcanoes, landslides, rapid sea level changes), associated risks, and mitigation of the impacts of geohazards on society. Peer-reviewed Workshop papers are to be published by the American Institute of Physics in early 2006. The Program and Abstracts of the Workshop can be downloaded from:

The Workshop participants adopted recommendations to governments, relevant UN agencies, ICSU bodies, and funding institutions. The text of the Baku Workshop's recommendations can be found at

The Workshop participants visited active mud volcanoes of the Absheron peninsula, Azerbaijan. Despite their present "peaceful" activity, the dynamics of mud volcanoes are quite complicated. One of the mud volcano's eruptions in the middle of XXth century is considered as a large event: gas and mud fountain from the Earth's interior rose to about 1000 m above the orifice of the volcano, and a big area was covered by mud lavas.

Article contributed by Alik Ismail-Zadeh.

3. News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)

The ICSU Grants for 2006 have been announced. Two of the grant proposals for which IUGG was a co-applicant were successful. They are "Science for Health and Well-Being" submitted by the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), and "Dynamics of semi-enclosed marine ecosystems: the integrated effects of changes in sediment and nutrient inputs from land" submitted by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). For the latter proposal, Prof. Paola Rizzoli, past-President of IAPSO, is a co-Investigator, as is Robert Duce, past-President of both IAMAS and SCOR. Each proposal was awarded $50,000, the maximum allocation for 2006 grants.

The inauguration ceremony for the ICSU Regional Office for Africa, located in Pretoria, South Africa, will be held on 1 September. The Director is Professor Sospeter M. Muhongo. The Vision, Mission, and Objectives of the Office, along with other announcements and news items, can be found at Professor Charles Merry, Chair of the IUGG National Committee for South Africa, will represent IUGG at the ceremony.

At the upcoming ICSU General Assembly in October, it will be proposed that the ICSU Standing Committee on Freedom in the Conduct of Science (SCFCS) should be replaced by a new Committee on Universality. Under the aegis of the ICSU Executive Board, the Committee will have both policy development and management responsibilities relating to the Principle of Universality of Science. This encompasses the rights of scientists both to freely associate and to freely pursue their science, and the responsibilities incumbent in these rights. Nominations are now being sought for members of this committee. Please contact the IUGG secretariat ( for more information and to obtain a nomination form. Nominations from IUGG must be coordinated through the Secretariat and must be received by 31 August.

Also at the ICSU General Assembly, a new ICSU International Programme on "Natural and Human-Induced Environmental Hazards" will be proposed. In March, ICSU issued a call for nominations for persons to serve on an ad hoc Scoping Group to review present activities and define the scientific goals for the new Programme. IUGG submitted a number of nominations, and Dr. Tom Beer, IUGG Vice-President and former Chair of the GeoRisk Commission, was selected for the Scoping Group. The Group is chaired by Professor Gordon McBean, who was a member of the IUGG Bureau from 1987-1995.

4. IGY+50 Developments

International Heliophysical Year (IHY)
The IHY is an international programme of global research to understand the external drivers of the space environment and climate, continuing the tradition of previous International years. A recent short, introductory article about IHY written by Richard Harrison, Andy Breen, Barbara Bromage, and Joe Davila can be downloaded from For information about United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative (UNBSSI) in celebration of the International Heliophysical Year (IHY 2007), visit The "IGY Gold" nomination form (for those persons who participated in the scientific activities of IGY 1957) is now online at

For updated general information about the IHY, including the 23 July IHY News Note #6, visit the website

electronic Geophysical Year (eGY)
The July 2005 issue of the eGY News (No. 9) has been posted on their web site Items of interest include a resolution of endorsement by the Council of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS), and listings of upcoming meetings, symposia, and presentations as well as short reports from past meetings.

5. IUGG-Related Meetings Occurring during August - October 2005

A calendar of meetings of interest to IUGG disciplines (especially those organized or sponsored by IUGG Associations) is posted on the IUGG Web Site [ ]. Specific information about these meetings, including web links, can be found there. Individual Associations also list more meetings on their web sites appropriate to their disciplines.

August 2 - August 11, 2005
IAMAS; Beijing, China; Scientific Assembly

August 10 - August 12, 2005
IGBP; Beijing, China; 2nd PAGES (Past Global Changes) Open Science Meeting

August 21 - August 27, 2005
IAHS; Stockholm, Sweden; World Water Week, Seminar on: Prediction in Ungauged Basins (PUB): Data, Science and Policy

August 22 - August 25, 2005
IAG/IAPSO/IABO; Cairns, Australia; Joint Scientific Assembly

August 23 - August 25, 2005
EMSEV/Indonesian Institute of Sciences; Sumatra Island, Indonesia; Workshop on the earthquake and tsunami in Padang

August 24 - August 27, 2005
NUPRS; Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Nigerian Union of Planetary Sciences (NUPRS) International Conference on Early Warning for Tsunamis in the Gulf of Guinea

September 5 - September 7, 2005
IAHS; 12th South African National Hydrology Symposium: Managing Water for People and the Environment

September 6 - September 10, 2005
ICSU/IUGS; Como, Italy; Dark Nature: Rapid Natural Changes and Human Responses - Final Conference Session on Paleoseismology, Seismic Hazard, and the INQUA Scale Project

September 7 - September 9, 2005
ISPRS; Trier, Germany; 1st International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geomatics in the Assessment and Monitoring of Land Degradation and Desertification

September 7 - September 10, 2005
IAHS; Menton, France; 6th EWRA International Conference: Sharing a common vision for our water resources

September 8 - September 14, 2005
IASPEI; Erice Sicily, Italy; 9th International Workshop on Numerical Modeling of Mantle Convection and Lithospheric Dynamics

September 9 - September 11, 2005
IUGG; Perugia, Italy; IUGG Executive Committee meeting

September 11 - September 17, 2005
NATO; Resort Village Borovetz, Bulgaria; HEarthquake Monitoring and Seismic Hazard Mitigation in Balkan Countries

September 12 - September 13, 2005
IUGG; Perugia, Italy; 2007 General Assembly Scientific Programme Committee meeting

September 12 - September 15, 2005
FIG; Qingdao, China; 12th International Symposium on Deformation Measurement

September 12 - September 16, 2005
ECAM; Utrecht, The Netherlands; 5th Meeting of the European Meteorological Society

September 14 - September 16, 2005
CODATA; Berlin, Germany; ISGI 2005 - International CODATA Symposium on Generalization of Information

September 14 - September 19, 2005
IAHS; Belgrade and Kotor, Serbia; Water Resources and Environmental Problems in Karst - Cvijic 2005

September 17 - September 23, 2005
IAHS; Guangzhou and Three Gorges, China; International Conference on Reservoir Operation and River Management (ICROM)

September 19 - September 25, 2005
IAHS; Irkutsk, Russia; 2nd International Conference on Fundamental Problems of Investigation and Use of Water Resources

September 26 - September 28, 2005
IASPEI; Madrid, Spain; Workshop on Fracture Dynamics: Theory and applications to earthquakes; in honour of Prof. A. Udias

October 2 - October 8, 2005
IASPEI; Santiago, Chile; IASPEI 33rd General Assembly

October 3 - October 5, 2005
IAG/FIG/ISPRS; Vienna, Austria; 7th Conference on Optical 3-D Measurement Techniques

October 3 - October 15, 2005
IASPEI/ICTP; Miramare-Trieste, Italy; 8th Workshop on Non-linear Dynamics and Earthquake Prediction

October 9 - October 12, 2005
IUGG/BGS; Bucharest, Romania; 4th Congress of the Balkan Geophysical Society

October 9 - October 13, 2005
IHDP; Bonn, Germany; 6th Open Meeting of the Global Environmental Change Research Community

October 17 - October 21, 2005 5
IAC; Fukuoka, Japan; 56th International Astronautical Congress

October 17 - October 22, 2005
ICSU; Shanghai, China; 27th General Assembly

October 23 - October 28, 2005
IAHS; Shanghai, China; 7th International Symposium on Land Subsidence

October 23 - October 28, 2005
IAG/BGI/ICET; Lanzarote, Canaries Archipelago; Summer School on Micro-gravimetric methods: static and dynamic aspects

October 23 - October 29, 2005
URSI; New Delhi, India; URSI General Assembly

October 31 - November 2, 2005
UNESCO/IUPAP; Durban, South Africa; World Conference on Physics and Sustainable Development

October 31 - November 3, 2005
ASOVIG/LUZ; Maracaibo, Venezuela; 2nd International Congress in Geodesy and Cartography; 1st Iberoamerican Symposium on Recent Earth Crust Movements

End of IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 5 Number 8 (August 1, 2005)
J. A. Joselyn, Secretary General  [ ], fax:  1 303 497 3645.