IASPEI: its origins and the promotion of global seismology


Johannes Schweitzer, NORSAR and CEED, University of Oslo
Thorne Lay, University of California Santa Cruz


ISBN / DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-10-173-2019
Link to publication:

International cooperation in seismology emerged rapidly at the beginning of the 20th century following the successful recording of earthquakes at great distances. The International Seismological Association (ISA) founded in 1904 was dissolved in 1922 and evolved into the Seismology Section of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), ultimately becoming the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior (IASPEI) to recognize the important role of the structure and physical properties of the Earth.

Through the last hundred years, the commissions and working groups of the association have played a major role in setting international standards in such areas as the naming of seismic phases, data exchanges, travel-time tables, magnitude scales, and reference Earth models. The activities of IASPEI continue to have a focus on the societal impacts of earthquakes and tsunamis, with four regional commissions playing a major role in promoting high standards of seismological education, outreach, and international scientific cooperation.

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