2006

Conferences, workshops, events

  • International Conference on Global Change, Islamabad, Pakistan, 13-17 November 2006
    The Muzzafarabad (Pakistan) earthquake of 8 October 2005 was one of most devastating recent seismic events with estimated 80,000 human lives and huge economic losses. Immediately after the tragic event the Pakistan Government decided to develop earthquake science and education. As a result of this effort, the International Conference on Global Change (where two main topics were considered: earthquake science and climate change) was held in Islamabad, Pakistan from November 13 to 17, 2006. The Conference was organized by the National Centre for Physics at Islamabad, Pakistan, and The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy. Two GeoRisk Commissioners, Dr. V. Kossobokov and Dr. A. Ismail-Zadeh, were invited to the Conference. The topics of their presentations were earthquake prediction and stress and earthquake modeling, respectively. The Conference was followed by round table discussion with Dr. Ahmad, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He announced that the Center for Earthquake Study had been recently founded in Islamabad. Also he mentioned that the Government considers to set up an International Scientific Council on Earthquake Science at the Pakistan Government to promote the activity in earthquake research and education in Pakistan. A. Ismail-Zadeh and V. Kossobokov were invited to serve for the Council.

 

  • 26th International Conference on Mathematical Geophysics “Coupling in Earth Systems: Solids, Fluids, Life”, June 4-8, 2006, Israel
    The GeoRisk Commission organizes together with IUGG CMG Committee a special session "Mathematical Aspects of Geohazard Research" at the 26th IUGG Conference on Mathematical Geophysics, to be held on the shore of the see of Galilee, Israel, June 4-8, 2006. The session will be held in honor of Professor Volodya Keilis-Borok for his contribution to understanding of natural hazards using mathematical, theoretical, and computational approaches.

    Session Scope
    Mathematical (both pure and applied) studies involving geophysical problems are playing an increasingly important role in the understanding of the nature of the complex Earth system, especially catastrophic extreme events emerging from the system. Developments in mathematical science has significantly accelerated the progress in data assimilation, modelling, and forecast/prediction-oriented research associated with various branches of Earth sciences such as atmospheric, oceanic, space, and Solid Earth sciences. This development has a strong impact to the studies of geohazards and risks such as cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, storms, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. To reflect recent developments in this direction, to identify the new frontiers and important scientific problems in this field as well as to foster new opportunities for inter-disciplinary research, this session aims to focus on (but not limited to) the following topics: (i) Mathematical and numerical modelling of extreme natural events; (ii) Mathematical descriptions of dynamics of the complex Earth system; (iii) Forecast/prediction of hazards and risks; limitations on the predictability; (iv) Data assimilation; (v) Analysis of high-dimensional geophysical data

    Invited Speakers
    Prof. Michael Ghil, Département Terre-Atmosphère-Océan,
    Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, FRANCE
    Dr. Bruce Malamud Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk Research Unit,
    Department of Geography, King's College London, London UK

 

  • ESOF2006, 2nd European General Science Meeting, Munich , Germany, July 15th to 19th, 2006
    The GeoRisk Commission organizes together with EuroScience a session "Riding the storm: Can science keep us in the saddle?" during the EuroScience Open Forum in Munich, Germany, 16 July 2006.

    The last two years have been marked by a significant number of natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Such extreme natural events can change the life and economic development of countries within minutes and throw them back for decades. They constitute a pending danger for vulnerable lifelines and infrastructure such as water supply and reservoirs, pipelines and power plants. The larger the magnitude of the event the less likely it is to happen, but the damage caused increases rapidly, and so does the cost of protection against it. The symposium will discuss the origins, predictability and consequences of extreme natural events, and analyse the impact of geohazards on society.

    Invited Speakers
    Prof. Volodya Kossobokov
    International Institute of Earthquake Prediction
    Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
    Dr. Hormoz Modaressi
    Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières (BRGM),
    Orléans, France
    Dr. John Paterson
    School of Law
    University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    Dr. Anselm Smolka
    Münchener Rückversicherung
    München, Germany
    Prof. Friedemann Wenzel
    Geophysikalisches Institut Universität
    Karlsruhe, Germany

Related meetings

  • 6th General Assembly of the Asian Seismological Commission, November 7-10, 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand
    OECD Global Science Forum
  • Workshop on Earthquake Science and its Contribution to Society, 1-2 June 2006, Potsdam, Germany
  • Cities on Volcanoes, IAVCEI, Quito, Ecuador, January 23-27, 2006

News

  • IOC/UNESCO International Workshop on Post-Disaster Assessment and Monitoring of Changes in Coastal, Ocean, and Human Systems in the Indian Ocean and Asian Waters
    Dr. E. Kontar, GeoRisk Commissioner, was invited to organize a Science Session on the Ocean Data, Observations, Disaster Warning and Risk Reduction during the IOC/UNESCO International Workshop on Post-Disaster Assessment and Monitoring of Changes in Coastal, Ocean, and Human Systems in the Indian Ocean and Asian Waters, Phuket, Thailand, February 20-24, 2006.

 

  • OECD Global Science Forum Workshop on Earthquake Science and its Contribution to Society, 1–2 June 2006, Potsdam, Germany
    The main purposes of the OECD GSF workshop have been to:
    - Examine recent advances and trends in earthquake science and consider how best to exploit those to the benefit of society;
    - Explore the opportunities for new and/or enhanced international co-operation in the field of earthquake sciences in connection with their contribution to society; and
    - Prepare a concise policy-level document that will highlight recent understanding in the field of earthquake science, with findings and recommendations for action by governments, funding agencies, international organizations and the scientific community.

    Each workshop session consisted of a keynote talk and subsequent discussion: (1) Earthquake Processes (keynote speaker: A. Hasegawa, Tohoku University, Japan); (2) Hazard Assessment (keynote speaker: S. Wiemer, ETH Zürich, Switzerland); (3) Data Issue (keynote speaker: T. Ahern, IRIS Data Management Center, USA); (4) Rapid Earthquake Information (keynote speaker: M. Erdik, Bogazici University, Turkey); and (5) From Science to Application (keynote speaker: A. Ismail-Zadeh, Geophysical Institute, Karlsruhe University, Germany).

    Discussions resulted in a draft of the workshop recommendations, which should be discussed in some detail later before a presentation of the recommendations to the OECD member countries. Two representatives of the IUGG GeoRisk Commission (A. Ismail-Zadeh and Z. Wu) and IASPEI President (R. Engdahl) attended the Workshop.

 

  • 6th International Conference on Mathematical Geophysics “Coupling in Earth Systems: Solids, Fluids, Life”, June 4-8, 2006, Israel
    The GeoRisk Commission organizes together with IUGG CMG Committee a special session "Mathematical Aspects of Geohazard Research" at the 26th IUGG Conference on Mathematical Geophysics, to be held on the shore of the see of Galilee, Israel, June 4-8, 2006. The session will be held in honor of Professor Volodya Keilis-Borok for his contribution to understanding of natural hazards using mathematical, theoretical, and computational approaches.

    Session Scope
    Mathematical (both pure and applied) studies involving geophysical problems are playing an increasingly important role in the understanding of the nature of the complex Earth system, especially catastrophic extreme events emerging from the system. Developments in mathematical science has significantly accelerated the progress in data assimilation, modelling, and forecast/prediction-oriented research associated with various branches of Earth sciences such as atmospheric, oceanic, space, and Solid Earth sciences. This development has a strong impact to the studies of geohazards and risks such as cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, storms, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. To reflect recent developments in this direction, to identify the new frontiers and important scientific problems in this field as well as to foster new opportunities for inter-disciplinary research, this session aims to focus on (but not limited to) the following topics: (i) Mathematical and numerical modelling of extreme natural events; (ii) Mathematical descriptions of dynamics of the complex Earth system; (iii) Forecast/prediction of hazards and risks; limitations on the predictability; (iv) Data assimilation; (v) Analysis of high-dimensional geophysical data.

    Invited Speakers
    Prof. Michael Ghil, Département Terre-Atmosphère-Océan, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, FRANCE
    Dr. Bruce Malamud Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk Research Unit, Department of Geography, King's College London, London UK
  • 11th International Symposium on Natural and Human Induced Hazards and 2nd Workshop on Earthquake Prediction
    Dr. E. Kontar was invited to convene a Science Session on Earthquakes and Earthquake Prediction and deliver a lecture entitled: "Seawater - Groundwater Interactions in Tsunami Affected Areas, Solutions and Applications” during the 11th International Symposium on Natural and Human Induced Hazards and 2nd Workshop on Earthquake Prediction organized by the Natural Hazards Society (NHS) and European Seismological Commission, Patras, Greece, June 22-25, 2006. E. Kontar was elected to be a Representative-at-Large at the Natural Hazards Society’s Council.

 

  • SOF2006, 2nd European General Science Meeting, Munich , Germany, July 15th to 19th, 2006
    The GeoRisk Commission organizes together with EuroScience a session “Riding the storm: Can science keep us in the saddle?” during the EuroScience Open Forum in Munich, Germany, 16 July 2006.

  • The last two years have been marked by a significant number of natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Such extreme natural events can change the life and economic development of countries within minutes and throw them back for decades. They constitute a pending danger for vulnerable lifelines and infrastructure such as water supply and reservoirs, pipelines and power plants. The larger the magnitude of the event the less likely it is to happen, but the damage caused increases rapidly, and so does the cost of protection against it. The symposium will discuss the origins, predictability and consequences of extreme natural events, and analyse the impact of geohazards on society.

    Invited Speakers
    Prof. Volodya Kossobokov International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
    Dr. Hormoz Modaressi Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières (BRGM), Orléans, France
    Dr. John Paterson School of Law University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    Dr. Anselm Smolka Münchener Rückversicherung München, Germany
    Prof. Friedemann Wenzel Geophysikalisches Institut Universität Karlsruhe, Germany

     

  • 36th COSPAR Scientific Assembly
    Dr. R. Singh attended the 36th COSPAR Scientific Assembly held in Beijing, China, 16-23 July 2006 and chaired a Session on Natural Hazards. He also gave an invited talk on "Complimentary nature of land, ocean and atmospheric parameters associated with coastal earthquakes".

 

  • General Assembly of the Asian Seismological Commission and Symposium "Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation", Bangkok, Thailand, 7-10 November 2006.
    The Asia-Pacific region suffers continuously from earthquake disasters. Seismological research plays an important role in the sustainable development of economy and society in this region. Characterized by its diversity of regional geology and unique tectonic features - continental collision zone, subduction zone, intra-plate seismicity, and tsunami-generated earthquakes, among others, Asia-Pacific region is also one of the hot spots not only in global seismology but also in a board perspective of Earth science.

 

  • The tenth General Assembly of the ASC and Symposium "Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation" was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 7 to 10 November 2006.
    Dr. Harsh Gupta served as a Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the meeting. Three of six invited key-note lectures were presented by the IUGG GeoRisk Commissioners:
    (1) INDIA’S INITIATIVE IN MITIGATION OF TSUNAMIS AND STORM SURGES by H. Gupta;
    (2) THE GREAT TANGSHAN EARTHQUAKE: THIRTY YEARS AFTER by Z. Wu, and
    (3) EXTREME SEISMIC EVENTS: FROM SCIENCE TO PREVENTIVE DISASTER MANAGEMENT by A. Ismail-Zadeh.

    The Open Forum on scientific, political, economic and social aspects of seismic protection and security (chaired by H. Gupta) addressed the social and economic aspects of earthquake hazard and risk reduction and preventive measures that need to be taken so that in the future the hazard from such events could be reduced.

 

  • International Conference on Global Change, Islamabad, Pakistan, 13-17 November 2006.
    The Muzzafarabad (Pakistan) earthquake of 8 October 2005 was one of most devastating recent seismic events with estimated 80,000 human lives and huge economic losses. Immediately after the tragic event the Pakistan Government decided to develop earthquake science and education. As a result of this effort, the International Conference on Global Change (where two main topics were considered: earthquake science and climate change) was held in Islamabad, Pakistan from November 13 to 17, 2006. The Conference was organized by the National Centre for Physics at Islamabad, Pakistan, and The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy. Two GeoRisk Commissioners, Dr. V. Kossobokov and Dr. A. Ismail-Zadeh, were invited to the Conference. The topics of their presentations were earthquake prediction and stress and earthquake modeling, respectively.

    The Conference was followed by round table discussion with Dr. Ahmad, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He announced that the Center for Earthquake Study had been recently founded in Islamabad. Also he mentioned that the Government considers to set up an International Scientific Council on Earthquake Science at the Pakistan Government to promote the activity in earthquake research and education in Pakistan. A. Ismail-Zadeh and V. Kossobokov were invited to serve for the Council.

 

  • International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management
    Dr. K. Takeuchi, Vice-President of the IUGG GeoRisk Commission, has been appointed as the Founding Director of the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), inaugurated under the auspices of UNESCO on 6 March 2006. The Centre is an outcome of the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto in 2002 and is hosted by the Public Works Research Institute in Tsukuba, Japan. The goal of the Centre is to provide practicable strategies to localities, regions, and nations to manage the risk of water-related disasters including floods, drought, landslide, debris flow, storm surge, tsunamis, and water contamination. For example, ICHARM will develop inundation models and distribute them to countries to help forecast and mitigate damage, and will train researchers from developing countries to create flood-hazard maps. IUGG GeoRisk Commission will establish a tight link with the Centre. For more detail see web-page: http://www.icharm.pwri.go.jp.

 

  • Business meetings
    1. T. Beer and A. Ismail-Zadeh met in Paris.

    Tom Beer, IUGG Vice-President, visited Paris to attend the first meeting of the ICSU Planning Group on Natural and Human Induced Environmental Hazards and Disasters. On June 19 and 21 TB met with A. Ismail-Zadeh (AIZ), the President of the IUGG GeoRisk Commission, who has been working in the Institute of Physics of the Earth in Paris. AIZ summarized the recent CMG meeting in Israel that he attended earlier in June, and the plans for the next GeoRisk Commission activity – the Euroscience Open Forum in Munich on 16 July 2006. Also they discussed two proposals for subsequent meetings. One is a joint meeting with the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI) to be held in Manila. The second proposal, for a meeting in Kenya, is focused more on coastal hazards. TB introduced AIZ to Pauline Dube from Botswana, a member of the ICSU Planning Group, and suggested that it may be possible to widen the scope of a Kenyan meeting to include the Hazards in Africa focus of the ICSU Regional Office for Africa (and thus also tie in with the GeoScience in Africa initiative of the GeoUnions). AIZ contacted Dr. G. Mulugeta, Chairman of the African Scoping Group on Natural and Human-Induced Hazards and Disasters, regarding collaboration in organization of a conference on geohazards in Africa.

    2. Business meeting at the IGOS-GeoHazards Secretariat in Paris.
    On Monday 19 October, TB and AIZ met with H. Modaressi, S. Hosford and G. Le Cozannet of the IGOS GeoHazards Bureau. The Bureau is jointly supported for the September 2004 to September 2007 period by BRGM (the French Bureau of Research in Geophysics and Mining) and the European Space Agency. The IGOS GeoHazards Bureau has two projects over this period: (1) GeoHazData, which comprises a metadata editor and listing of GeoHazards data; and (2) GeoHazNet, which aims to develop a community of practice in the area. The IGOS GeoHazards Bureau offered in January 2005 to act as the Secretariat for the GeoUnions Hazards Initiative. This offer continues to stand but in discussing its practical implications it became apparent that there is insufficient formal administrative structure for the GeoUnions Initiative so that it is not clear with whom (or with what entity) such an agreement needs to be concluded.

    3. Science Symposium and Reception in honor of the ICSU 75th Anniversary, 4 July 2006
    On behalf of IUGG, AIZ attended the Science Symposium organized by the French Academy of Sciences in Grande Salle des Seances, Academie des Sciences in Paris. The symposium started with three welcome speeches by Edouard Brezin, President of the French Academy, Goverdhan Mehta, ICSU President, and Francois Goulard, Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Research. The welcome speeches were followed by lectures on topics of biodiversity, sustainability and marine fisheries, research in Africa, languages and communications. The last speech was given by Gilles de Robien, French Minister for National Education, Higher Education and Research who specially arrived to the closure of the Symposium. The symposium was followed by a reception in the Mairie de Paris. The Reception was opened by Madam Maniele Auffray, Deputy to the Mayor of Paris, Prof. G. Mehta, ICSU President, Mr. K. Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO, and Mr. M. Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General.

    4. Business meeting with A. Gvishiani of CODATA.
    On July 10th 2006, AIZ met Prof. A. Gvishiani, Vice President of ICSU CODATA, to discussed a possible cooperation between IUGG GeoRisk Commission and ICSU CODATA. A. Gvishiani appreciated the GeoRisk Commission proposal on the development of webcyclopedia of Natural Hazards and Risk together with CODATA. He suggested the Commission to submit a proposal on webcyclopedia for the next CODATA call for proposals to get some funding for the project. Meanwhile, both IUGG and CODATA should look for extra funds for the webcyclopedia. A. Gvishiani informed AIZ that IUGG is not a member of CODATA and suggested to delegate somebody from IUGG to CODATA. AIZ informed J. Joselyn, IUGG Secretary General, on this suggestion, and she contacted immediately the CODATA Secretariat and proposed Charlie Barton, IAGA President, to represent IUGG as an observer at the CODATA General Assembly held in October 2006 in Beijing.

    Commission Proposals funded

    The Commission proposal put forward by A. Ismail-Zadeh to organize a symposium on extreme natural events during the EuroScience Open Forum in Munich, 15-19 July 2006 received funding from IUGG ($1,500).

    The Commission proposal put forward by A. Ismail-Zadeh to organize a workshop on natural and human-induced hazards and disasters in Africa, to be held in Kampala, Uganda, August 2007, received funding from IUGG ($2,000).

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Purpose and structure of committee

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Official statements from the commission

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