Activities 1996-2001

Creation of Asian Seismological Commission

The Asian Seismological Commission (ASC) was formally formed in 1996 under the IASPEI umbrella to improve understanding of geological processes in Asia and South Pacific regions, to mitigate earthquake disasters and other related matters. Because of its widespread seismic activity the vast populated territory of Asia has more catastrophic earthquakes than other regions of the world. During the period from 1892 to 1992, more than one half of the world's major earthquakes (Magnitude &Mac179;8.0) occurred in Asia and the South pacific region. Economic losses of more than on hundred billion dollars from Kobe, Japan earthquake in 1995, make Kobe the most expensive earthquake in the world. In September 1993, the Latur earthquake in the Stable shield region of southern India Claimed 10000 human lives, and although of only 6.1 magnitude, was the deadiest stable continental region earthquake .

The Statutes of ASC were adopted at the Council Meeting of ASC in Tangshan , China held on August 2, 1996, and Bureau Members of ASC were elected as follows:

  • President: Dr. Harsh Gupta (India) ,
  • 1st Vice President Dr. K. Hamada (Japan)
  • 2nd Vice President Dr. G. Gibson (Australia)
  • Secretary -- General: Prof. Zhu Chuanzhen The Secretariat of ASC located in Beijing, China

Major activities of so far

The ASC has been meeting during the IASPEI Assemblies. In addition to that it held three Meetings. In the following, Some details of the same are given:

First Meeting of ASC: August 1-3,1996, Tangshan, China

The IASPEI Regional Assembly at Tangshan, which was hosted and organized by the ASC, Sponsored by CSB IASPEI and Municipal government of Tangshan City. It included mine symposia and three workshops on earthquakes and tectonics ,the Earth's structure, geothermics and volcanology. More than 200 participants representing 29 Countries attended. A report of this meeting has appeared in the EOS. Transactions, AGU, Vol.78 No.14, 1997.

Second Meeting of ASC: December 1-3, 1998, Hyderabad, India

The Second Meeting of the Asian Seismological Commission and Symposium on "Earthquake Hazard Assessment and Earth's Interior Related Topics"(ASC98) was held at the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India during 1-3 December 1998.

The event was sponsored by IASPEI, Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Department of Science and technology, Govt. of India and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India. About 200 Abstracts were received and about 150 delegates with 70 participants from outside India from 26 countries attended the event.

Earlier, a pre-meeting "International training Course on Seismic Monitoring, Data analysis, and Exchange" was organized. the course was attended by 25 trainees from 10 countries. The main topics covered in This Course were: basics of seismology and seismometry, data acquisition observatory practice, data analysis and earthquake source parameters and mechanisms. A series of lectures, practical experiments in the field and plenty of hands-on exercises on computers were held. Also scientific excursion to the epicentral site of the devastating Latur 1993 earthquake which is situated about 250Km away from Hyderabad was organized. UNESCO, IDNDR, COSTED, IASPEI, GFZ, DST and INSA (Indian National Science Academy) sponsored the course.

A detailed report of ASC98 has appeared in the CDC Newsletter Vol.8.NO.2.Decenber 1998.

Third Meeting of ASC: October 10-12, 2000, Tehran, Iran

The Third Meeting of the Asian Seismological Commission and Symposium on "Seismology Earthquake Hazard Assessment and Earth's Interior Related Topics"(ASC2000) was held at the Institute of Geophysics, Tehran University, Iran during 10-12 October 2000. This meeting was sponsored by ASC, IASPEI, Ministry of Culture and Higher Education of Iran, Committee for Reduction of Natural disasters in Iran etc.

Abort 300 abstracts were received, which focused on a wide spectrum of research subjects related to Seismology and the Earth's Interior. More then 150 participants from 23 countries attended the meeting.

As an implement of IASPEI's training and education program, a pre-symposium "International Regional Training course on Seismology and Mitigation of Seismic Disasters" was organized by LOC. The new methods to determine the source parameters were discussed and were followed by computer practices. New understanding of seismotectonics, prediction studies, inversion methods and the use of internet facilities etc were among the topics that were included in the course. There were more than 25 trainees from 6 countries attended the course.

The symposium was followed by two technical workshops, which entitled "Educating and Public about Earthquake Hazard and risk" and "Seismic Networks and Site Selection" respectively. Post-Symposium a field trip to East-Central Iran Where eight major earthquakes occurred in the last three decades was organized also.

According to the Statutes of ASC the new-members of ASC Bureau who were elected in the Council meeting of ASC at Tehran. They are:

  • President: Prof. S. Balassanian (Armenia)
  • 1st Vice President: Dr. D. Rhoades (New-Zealand)
  • 2nd Vice President: Prof. M. R. Gheitanchi (Iran)
  • Secretary-General: Prof .Zhu Chuanzhen (China)

Future plans

A business meeting of Asian Seismological Commission was held on 23 August 2001during the IAGA-IASPEI Joint Scientific Assembly at Hanoi, Vietnam. Twenty-seven delegates from 15 countries participated in the meeting.

The proposed fourth Meeting of Asian Seismological Commission and Symposium on "Seismology, Earthquake Hazard Assessment and Earthquake Risk Management"(ASC2002) was discussed and scheduled to be held at Kathmandu. Nepal in November, 2002. The Symposium included 6 Technical Sessions as follows:

  1. Earthquake Source Physics, Processes, Precursors and Predictions.
  2. Recent devastating earthquakes in Asia. Strong ground motion. Hazard Assessment and Risk Management.
  3. Seismotectonics and Paleoearthquakes.
  4. Heatflow, Volcanology, Lithosphere and Structure of The Earth's Interior.
  5. Recent trends in seismic networks data processing. data exchange, GPS.
  6. Public awareness and related topics. A pre-Assembly Training Course on "Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction for Cities" was agreed to be conducted.

The following cooperative project of ASC were identified at the Meeting.

  1. Seismic Risk Assessment in Asia;
  2. Seismic Data Center in Asia and south Pacific Regions;
  3. Identification and adoption for detailed Studies of the sites of next strong and dengerous earthquakes in Asia.

A detailed discussion was held on Seismic Data Center and Data Exchange in Asia. A proposal of Asian Data Center proposed by the Institute of Geophysics, China Seismological Bureau Which includes archives of waveforms, modern seismic parameters, (source time function, rupture history etc). Various other supporting data such as geodetic parameters will also be archived. The meeting has taken a positive view of the proposal and asked the ASC Bureau to take practical measures for circulation amongst the member countries and their consent. as early as possible.

The activities of ASC so far have shown that what was started in 1996 has been a very successful and creative activity of IASPEI. It has been particularly helpful in bringing earth scientists from developing countries of Asia together. The Training Courses /Workshops held before /after the ASC Meeting are extremely helpful to the participants.

ASC is relatively young and what was visioned in ASC Statutes in 1996 has been fully achieved. The sustainable development of ASC needs continuous support from all member ccountries as well as related international bodies.