Edgar Kausel (1934 – 2021)
On January 13, 2021, at the age of 86, Dr. Edgar Kausel, a renowned Chilean seismologist, passed away after a long illness. Dr. Kausel was born on June 22, 1934, in Santiago, Chile. After witnessing the consequences of the 1960 May giant earthquake in southern Chile, he decided to specialize in seismology after obtaining his first degree in mining engineering at the University of Chile. He did so at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (now Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory) at Columbia University, one of the world's leading research centers developing fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution, and future of the natural world. His doctoral thesis on "Regionalization of the Lithosphere and Asthenosphere of the Pacific Ocean" allowed him to analyze the thickness of the lithosphere as a function of distance and age from the East Pacific rise through the study of surface waves. Upon returning to Chile, he was part of the initial group of full-time professional scientists at the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the University of Chile. Dr. Kausel's additional contributions include studies of Chilean seismotectonics and earthquake hazard, induced seismicity in mines, and large Chilean earthquake rupture processes. As a professor, Dr. Kausel taught Geophysical Prospecting, Introduction to Earth Sciences, Physics of the Earth, General Seismology, and Theoretical Seismology and advised dozens of engineering and master students. Professor Kausel served as Director of the Department of Geophysics of the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the University of Chile for several periods between 1965 and 1999, and Vice Dean of the same faculty between 1981 and 1983. Particularly, Dr. Kausel was instrumental during the nineteen seventies and early eighties in maintaining geophysical activities in Chile due to the scientists' diaspora from the University of Chile. Due to his achievements, he became a full member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences. In 2004 he received the Gold Medal from the Chilean Institute of Engineers, and in 2006 he was distinguished with the National Prize for Applied and Technological Sciences. Among the different positions he held during his career, he was a member of the IASPEI Executive Committee from 1979 to 1987. In addition to his talents as a scientist, Edgar Kausel excelled as a gifted athlete in high school; he held the national school record for three-stroke relay swimming, in which he contributed with freestyle. At less than 18 years of age, in 1952, he was part of the team that made the first sporting ascent of "Las Tortolas", a 6323-m high Andes mountain. He stood out as an offensive right-wing amateur football player, particularly because of his fast pace. Dr. Edgar Kausel is survived by his wife Inés, daughters Jacqueline, María Inés, son, Edgar Jr., and grandchildren Samuel, Margarita, Victoria, Agustina, and Sofia. Sergio Barrientos, Centro Sismológico Nacional de la Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.