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Information on Symposia per Science Theme

Theme No.

Theme Title

Number of Symposia proposed

Symposia Title

Symposia Conveners

Biographical sketch of the Conveners




Quantification of Non-linear Geological Processes

Dr. R. K. Tiwari


Dr. Abhey Bansal


Prof. Maurizio Fedi



Chaos and Fractal Theory

Vipin Srivastava


G. Rangrajan


1. Professor Vipin Srivastava is Honorary Professor of Physics and Former Pro Vice ChancellorUniversity of Hyderabad

2. Prof. G. Rangrajan is a Professor at the Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Science; Chairman, Division of Interdisciplinary Research, IISC; Director, Indo-French Centre for Applied Mathematics (IFCAM)

Chaos, Fractals, Power-laws, Self-Organisation, Self-Organised Criticality

Most geological phenomena are too complex to be resolved by the reductionist approach – i.e. observations at macroscopic level cannot be explained by analyses at microscopic level. These phenomena typically happen over a range of length- and time-scales and often lie in between two extremes -- the ordered, deterministic and predictable limit, and the unpredictable chaotic limit, which may still be deterministic.

There have been multiple studies that have revealed the presence of chaos in geophysical records as diverse as rainfall, temperature, river flow, oxygen isotope concentration, geopotential values and solar radio pulsation among others. The complex systems related with earth and its environment have also been found to self-organise themselves, and in the course of evolution they reach critical states that can be studied using the well-developed framework of ‘self-organised-criticality’. Some systems are driven by regular assimilation of energy in incremental amounts. They stay far from equilibrium and can produce sudden bursts of large amounts of accumulated energy when a threshold is exceeded by an incremental addition of energy.

Furthermore, geophysical phenomena tend to exhibit characteristic scale-free behaviour over a range of length- and time-scales. A large number of studies have used the concepts of fractals, percolation and diffusion-limited aggregation, seemingly belonging to the realm of disordered systems, to unravel the intricacies of geological phenomena such as diagenesis and antisintering in sedimentary rocks to name just a few. Power-laws abound and one finds a range of fractal dimensions of surface fractals as well as volume or mass fractals giving vital insights into geophysical mechanisms.

Since the analysis and characterisation of geophysical space–time data from the viewpoint for chaos and fractals requires an interdisciplinary approach involving mathematicians, physicists and geoscientists, this symposia intends to provide a platform to discuss these approaches.

Earthquake Triggering/Interaction

Zhigang Peng (USA)

Ian Main


A. R. Bansal


1. Dr. Z. Peng is a Professor of Geophysics, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA

2. Professor Ian Main FRSE is Professor of Seismology and Rock Physics and Director of Research for the School of GeoSciences.

3. Dr. A. R. Bansal, FNASc, Principal Scientist, CSIR-NGRI, Uppal Road, Hyderabad – 50007

Earthquake triggering, Earthquake nucleation, Foreshocks, Aftershocks, Tectonic Tremor.

Earthquake interaction and triggering takes place during and after the occurrence of an event. At comparatively short distances, triggered events are known as aftershocks and occur specially around the main shock. However, it is still not clear whether static stress change from permanent fault displacement, quasi-static stress change from post-seismic deformation, or dynamic stress change from passing seismic waves plays the most important role in triggering aftershocks. Transient dynamic stresses carried by large-amplitude surface waves decrease slowly with distance and play a more important role in triggering events at long range. The evidence for dynamic triggering occurring in many parts of the world takes the form of earthquakes and tremors occurring at the time, or soon after, the passage of the surface waves. However, their mechanism is not yet understood. In some cases, foreshocks occur shortly before subsequent large earthquakes in the same region. This can be interpreted as a triggering effect (the smaller triggering the larger) or as a nucleation process (the smaller being part of the preparation process for the larger), sometimes associated with slow slip events inferred from geodetic data. This symposium will discuss the forefront of current research in this rapidly-advancing field.

Statistical Seismology

J. Zhuang (Japan)

S. S. Teotia


D. Shanker


1. Dr. J. Zhuang is associate professor at Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan.

2.Prof. Teotia is professor in Department of Geophysics, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, India. The area of specialization is non-linear processes in seismology, fractal/multifractal studies of various regions, seismic hazard assessment, earthquake ground motion simulation etc.

3. Dr. D. Shanker, Department of Earthquake Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India

Statistical descriptions of earthquake occurrences, earthquake physics, earthquake forecast, statistical model of seismicity, earthquake interaction, clustering, induced seismicity, earthquake triggering

This symposium will provide researchers an opportunity to assess recent developments and delineate future directions of research in statistical seismology. The main challenge in statistical seismology is to understand the statistical behaviour of earthquake occurrence, earthquake physics, time-dependent earthquake forecasting. This symposium will cover presentations on various fields of statistical seismology including: (1) Recent development of statistical models and methodologies for seismicity analysis, especially on rate/state dependent friction law, seismicity rate changes, recurrence model for characteristic earthquakes, clustering models; (2) Understanding of the earthquake physics through statistical analysis, such as nucleation, friction, faulting, earthquake triggering, induced seismicity, and interactions between seismic and slow slip, tremors, (3) Probabilistic Earthquake forecasts and forecast evaluations; earthquake hazard mitigation. (4) Case applications of statistical seismology to large-to-great earthquakes operational forecasts.

Mathematical Modelling of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering

Sohichi Hirose


S K Tomar


1. Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan. Current research interests include ultrasonic non-destructive testing and evaluation, elastic wave analysis, computation mechanics and fracture mechanics.

2. Professor, Mathematics Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. His current research interests include theoretical aspects of seismology, e.g. surface waves and reservoir induced seismicity etc.

Surface waves, Reflection, RIS, Lamb waves

One of the challenging problems in earth sciences is the prediction and engineering of earthquake phenomena. Understanding of wave propagation and preparation of earthquakes involve lot of scientific investigations ranging from theoretical to experimental data. Mathematical modelling is found to be one of the most viable and reliable tool to have greater and better understanding of seismic waves. In addition, the experimental data help a lot to know the trend and features of the actual phenomena. This symposium invites abstracts to integrate and disseminate the knowledge of scientists working in the area of seismic waves and earthquake engineering.

Scaling, Stochastic Processes, and Complex Networks

Daniel Schertzer


Juergen Kurths (Germany)

1. Professor and Director of the Chair “Hydrology for Resilient Cities” at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. AGU Lorenz lecturer and Fellow, EGU Richardson medalist, Paris City Silver medal.

2. Former Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at Potsdam U., Head of Research Domain Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. APS Fellow and EGU Richardson medalist.

Scaling, stochastic, complex networks, (multi-) fractals

Geophysical fields display extreme variability over wide ranges of space and time scales due to nonlinear interactions between processes operating in this range of scales. This variability is a major obstacle to conventional approaches. This symposium is therefore focused on advanced nonlinear techniques with a special emphasis on scaling (e.g., multifractals), stochasticity and complex networks. It addresses applications to data analysis, as well as modelling of geophysical systems and phenomena.

Nonlinear Processes in Potential Field

Maurizio Fedi


V P Dimri


1. Prof. Fedi is a Full Professor of Applied Geophysics,

Università Federico II di Napoli, Italy

2. Prof. Dimri, Former Director NGRI and President IGC

During the last decade’s fractal analysis has become a popular tool in exploration geophysics, together with other techniques, such as Wavelet analysis, Multifractals analysis, Detrended fluctuation analysis and Magnetic transfer function entropy. The purpose of this symposium is to gather scientific researches related to nonlinear processes in potential fields and to show the utility of the related tools for analyzing potential fields. Nonlinearity, scaling and complexity of the Earth’s system are parts of relevant research in exploration geophysics and Well Logging, including, as examples, Grid preparation for magnetic and gravity data using fractal fields, Deep crust studies, Thermal characterization of the Crust, Signal processing and Image analysis of field data, Fractional Calculus, Modeling of nonlinear functions of the gravity and magnetic fields, Entropy-based modeling, Prediction of volcanic and seismological events.

Quantification and Modelling of Nonlinear Processes in Climate Change and Extreme Events

A. S. Sharma (USA)

R. K. Tiwari


Saumen Maiti


1. A. Surjalal Sharma is the director of Goddard Planetary Heliophysics Institute and teaches astrophysics at the University of Maryland. He is a past President of the AGU Nonlinear Geophysics Focus Group (2006 -2010) and Lorenz Lecturer (2009), a foreign fellow of IGU and K R Ramanathan Lecturer, and a fellow of American Physical Society.

2. Dr. R. K. Tiwari is a Raja Raman Fellow at CSIR-NGRI, Hyderabad

3. Saumen Maiti is the Assistant Professor, at Department of Applied Geophysics, Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, India and teaches Inverse Theory, Bayesian Machine Learning and Artificial Neural Networks to Applied Geophysics. He is a recipient of Krishnan Gold Medal Award by Indian Geophysical Union (IGU) in the year of 2013 and a life member of Indian Geophysical Union (IGU), Hyderabad, India. His research interest includes, Inverse theory, Artificial Intelligence, Bayesian Probabilistic Machine Learning Theory, Artificial Neural Networks, Non-linear/Non-stationary Data Analysis in Geosciences.

Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Climate, Complex Systems, Predictability, Probabilistic Modelling and Risk Assessment

The ubiquity of extreme events in recent years highlights the need for the quantification of their characteristic features, such as their occurrence probabilities and intensities, which are essential for societal response in prevention and resilience. The inter-relationship between climate change and climate extremes is an essential element in their modelling and prediction and a framework for a comprehensive analysis is needed. The complex systems framework, in which a large number of components of a system interact nonlinearly to yield complex behaviour, such as emergence, is well suited for such analyses. The data-driven modelling and prediction of nonlinear dynamical systems based on extensive data (Big Data) have provided many new insights and forecasting tools in many disciplines, including weather, space weather, climate change. These techniques are machine learning systems based on the dynamical systems theory and provide new directions in harnessing the data revolution and artificial intelligence. The key aspects of these approaches are the modelling, and prediction from the inherent features in the observational data, independent of modelling assumptions, and dynamic uncertainty quantification with event probabilities or likelihoods. The symposium will address these aspects in the extreme events, such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, and space storms and their variability. The complex systems with Bayesian machine intelligenceframework provide an approach for integrating the analysis of the extreme events, natural hazard and their variability, impacts of geological processes/ feed-back mechanism/ inter-relationship to climate change. The quantification of non-linear processes and their characteristics are the key features of these phenomena and highlighted as the central theme of the symposium.

Hydrology and Reservoir Dynamics

Giorgio Cassiani


Shib S. Ganguli (India)

1. Prof. Cassiani is a Full Progessor in Applied Geophysics with 20 years’ research experience in Hydrological and Hydrogeological applications of non-invasive techniques, with about 100 published papers in listed international journals in the fields of hydrology and geophysics.

2. Dr. Ganguli is a DST Inspire Faculty at IIT Kanpur (India) after receiving PhD in Geophysics (2016) from Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), India. His research interests are reservoir characterization, multi-phase fluid flow, geophysical modeling and inversion, etc.

Knowledge of hydrological processes and reservoir system is crucial for comprehensive understanding of the hydrologic cycle including the water quality analysis or management. Water is dynamic and strong solvent and it possesses different qualities as encountered with various natural and anthropogenic factors due to human activities or climate change. Modeling the spatio-temporal reservoir dynamics and hydrological processes, controlled by the complex systems of water supplying resources such as lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, has always been encouraged by the global hydrological community. Challenges still remain, in particular lack of proper models and in situ measured data, uncertainty analysis due to climate change and human activities, lack in knowledge of water exchange processes, etc. This symposium aims to discuss these challenges and recommend feasible solutions including latest technological developments in the modeling of hydrological processes and changes in reservoir or river system. We welcome theoretical and modeling work from pore to regional scale as well as both laboratory and field experimental contributions covering topics that include, but not limited to, simulation and modeling of hydrological processes and relevant changes in rivers, reservoirs and greater urbanized areas; hydrological model development and uncertainty analysis; disturbance hydrology; change in hydrological processes and reservoir system due to climate changes or human activity; critical water resource issues including reservoir operations and river flooding; advances in hydrogeophysics for reservoir characterization; case studies.

Application of Nonlinear Methods in Geological processes

Qiuming Cheng


Bishwajit Chakraborty


1. Professor of Mathematical Geosciences, Director of the State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences. President of International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and past president of International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG).

2. Chief Scientist, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa, India

Earth complex system, extreme geological events, fractals, and multifractals, singularity analysis etc.

Many types of geological events such as earthquakes, magmatic activities, anomalous earth heat flux, and mineralization occurred in the earth lithosphere are of extreme nature due to origination of phase transition, self-organized criticality and multiplicative cascades. The common characteristics of these types of extreme events include scaling and singularity of their products such as energy release within short time scale or mass accumulation within short space scale. The energy and mass density distributions caused by these types of processes are of singularity which need nonlinear theory and models to describe. This Symposium welcomes proposals for sessions in a broad scope of applications of fractal, multifractals and other scaling theories in modelling extreme geological events in solid earth system.

Geophysical Inversion Methods and Optimization

Michael S. Zhdanov


Upender Singh (India)

1. Michael S. Zhdanov joined the University of Utah as a full professor in 1993 and has been director of CEMI since 1995. He received a Ph. D in 1970 from Moscow State University. Before moving to the University of Utah, he was a professor at the Moscow Academy of Oil and Gas, a head of the Department of Deep Electromagnetic Study, a deputy director of IZMIRAN, and later a founder and director of the Geoelectromagnetic Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. In 1990 he was awarded an Honorary Diploma of Gauss Professorship by the Gottingen Academy of Sciences, Germany, and in 1991 he was elected full member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He became Honorary Professor of the China National Center of Geological Exploration Technology in 1997 and a Fellow of the Electromagnetics Academy, USA, in 2002. In 2013 Dr. Zhdanov received Honorary Membership Award of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). Dr. Zhdanov was elected at the position of Distinguished Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah in 2016.

2. Dr. Upender Singh, Associate Professor, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad

Inversion methods, optimizations, joint inversion, geophysical methods.

Geophysical inversions are key problems in earth sciences. We determine the physical properties of the earth using geophysical data collected by gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic, seismic and other methods. The inversion methods provide the theoretical foundation and practical means to find information about the sub-surface geology from the observed geophysical data. Over the last decades, significant progress has been made in all aspects of geophysical inversions.

This symposium is therefore dedicated to recent advances in geophysical inversion methods, optimization theories and techniques, and their applications to the solution of regional-scale and deposit-scale geophysical and geological problems. Special focus will be made on developing theoretical principles and practical tools for integration and joint inversion of multiphysics data and constructing the shared earth models. We also invite papers on the case studies of applications of cooperative and joint inversions in different geological settings and in different geographical regions.