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Information on Symposia per Science Theme


Symposia and Sessions proposed by IUGS-affiliated bodies and other Major Fora

Sl No.

Symposia/ Session Title

Conveners/ Proposers

Biographical sketch of the Conveners




Hillslope process and climate change

(Proposed Session of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG))

Sunil Kumar De


Mauro Soldati


Mihai Micu


Climate change may be due to natural processes internal to the Earth system or to external forcing agents to the anthropogenic modification of the composition of the atmosphere and/or of land cover.

Climate changes affect the stability of natural and engineered slopes and have consequences on landslides. But the type, extent, magnitude and direction of the changes in the stability conditions, and on the location, abundance, activity and frequency of landslides in response to the projected climate changes is unclear till toady. Climate acts on landslide processes through the highly nonlinear soil–water system, and no unique relationships exist between certain climate conditions and the occurrence of landslides. We can assume that the connection between climate – in particular, positive (or negative) hydrological balance – and landslide activity (or inactivity) exists at every timescale, from daily to millennial. Thus, climate and landslides act at only partially overlapping spatial and temporal scales, complicating the evaluation of the climate impacts on landslides.

Keeping in view the aforesaid problem this session is going to be proposed to highlight the issues on the relationships between hillslope processes and climate change. Hazard and risk issues related to the possible increase in frequency and magnitude of slope instability processes from global warming and more intense rainfall will be discussed in this session along with emphasis on the expected consequences for human activities and on possible mitigation measures.


Geomorphological Hazards and Risks mitigation through new techniques

(International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG) Working Group on GEOMORPHOLOGICAL HAZARDS)

Sunando Bandyopadhyay


Bianca Carvalho Vieira


Helene Petschko


The frequency and magnitude of occurring geomorphic hazards has increased enormously throughout the world in response to the current and complex environmental and climate changes. Increasing anthropogenic impacts on environment are also expected to gain more spatial consistency, affecting the current land use/cover patterns, posing greater challenges for the management of geomorphic risks at local/regional/national levels. In order to achieve this goal, complex morphologic, morphogenetic and morphodynamic studies should be performed as the basis for proper susceptibility and hazard studies. In this session, presentations addressing both processes and their associated consequences are highly welcomed, targeting studies on local and regional impacts of volcanic, glacial, pluvial, fluvial and gravitational processes with relevance for land degradation assessments and improvement of existing approaches for geomorphic hazard and risk analysis at different scales. The overall purpose of this session is to highlight, through representative case-studies, the importance of geomorphic hazards studies for risk mitigation, the latest scientific advancements in Geomorphology, including new techniques and methods for geomorphic mapping, natural hazards inventory, risk analysis, numerical models, geochronological methods, UAV survey, digital elevation models, GIS resources, reduction of societal effects and increase of human communities’ resilience under the observed and projected climate and environmental change.


Status of mineral resources of SAARC nations for cooperative mineral-based industries

O. P. Varma


The above theme had been in my mind for several years for compilation of relevant data on mineral and energy resources of SAARC nations for posterity and to make use of them for added value, better quality of life of the people, creation of greater employment and development of advanced technologies. The programme will also go for developing homelier relations between the member countries, which have to be developed today or tomorrow by resolving differences, particularly between India and Pakistan – the two big neighbours. In addition to the above benefits accruing from discussing the above theme at the 36th IGC, I may point out that utilization of minerals for finished or semi-finished products & promoting clusters and zones of production of indigenous minerals and then export to earn greater revenue creation of cluster zones of minerals for cooperative industries in SAARC region should also ensure better use of electricity and water, besides human resources. These measures, I am confident, would integrate regional economies, friendly environment among the concerned nations and also help integration with global value chains, apart from strengthening indigenous infrastructure and connectivity. SEGMITE from Pakistan is all for it. We also have a new government there keen to develop trade by adopting split policy. Sustainable minerals’ supplies are inherently essential for the sustainability of any mineral-based industry – be it domestic, or by imports, bartered trade, or cooperative supplies from friendly countries. Although India is one of the rich countries in mineral resources, no country is self sufficient in its requirements so also is the case for India. SAARC nations, a group of close-net countries, by give and take, can be considered to have cooperative mineral-based industries like steel, aluminium, cement, petroleum, base metals, coal, power generation, etc., one day or the other on friendly ties.


Special IAMG Award Keynote session

Jennifer McKinley (UK),

Christien Thiart (South Africa)

(International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG))

1. Dr Jennifer McKinley is Director of Research in Environmental Change and Resilience and Director of the Centre for GIS and Geomatics in the School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast. As a Chartered Fellow of the Geological Society of London, she is President of the International Association of Mathematical Geoscientists (IAMG) and Communications Officer for the IUGS-IFG (Initiative on Forensic Geology).

2. Dr Christien Thiart is a member of the South Africa Statistical Association (SASA) and served on SASA exco from 2009 - 2010.

She is an IAMG Council member (2008 –current) and member of the International Environmetrics Society (TIES) and International Biometry Society (IBS).

Krumbein Medal, George Matheron Lecture, Distinguished lecturer, Griffith award,

Mathematics or informatics in the earth sciences

The IAMG selects and sponsors a number of Awards and Keynote lecturers each year. These are presented as keynote presentations at the next IAMG conference or International Geological Conference (IGC). At the IGC2020, the IAMG Awards to be presented as Keynotes will include the Krumbein Medalist Keynote, the George Matheron Lecture, the IAMG 2020 Distinguished Lecture and the Griffiths Teaching Award Keynote.

The William Christian Krumbein Medal, which was established in 1976 during the XXV International Geological Congress in Sydney, is the highest award given by the Association. The Krumbein Medal is awarded to senior scientists for career achievement, which includes distinction in application of mathematics or informatics in the earth sciences, service to the IAMG, and support to professions involved in the earth sciences. There is no stipulated preference for fields of application within the earth sciences.

The Georges Matheron Lecturer is a scientist with proven research ability in the field of spatial statistics or mathematical morphology.

The IAMG Distinguished Lecturer is an important outreach role within the IAMG. As part of this role, the Distinguished Lecturer prepares a series of lectures preferably on a variety of subjects in the mathematical geosciences prepares a series of lectures preferably on a variety of subjects in the mathematical geosciences.

The John Cedric Griffiths Teaching Award is presented to honour outstanding teaching, with preference for teaching that involves application of mathematics or informatics to the Earth's non-renewable natural resources or to sedimentary geology.


Special IAMG Session on IAMG Delegate Meeting

Jennifer McKinley


International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG)

1. Dr Jennifer McKinley is Director of Research in Environmental Change and Resilience and Director of the Centre for GIS and Geomatics in the School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast. As a Chartered Fellow of the Geological Society of London, she is President of the International Association of Mathematical Geoscientists (IAMG) and Communications Officer for the IUGS-IFG (Initiative on Forensic Geology).

The International Association of Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG) is a body affiliated to the IUGS. The aim of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences is to promote international cooperation in the application and use of mathematics in geological research and technology. AS part of every IGC, the IAMG organizes a special session to announce its prestigoius awards. The awards ceremony is followed by Distiguished lectures by the awardees. In addition, IAMG also organizes Special Delegate Sessions for the members of IAMG who participate in the IGC.

Symposia/Sessions proposed by YES Network


Shear Zones and Crustal Deformations (SZCD)

Durga Prasanna Mohanty


Ankush Singh


In recent years the study of geological deformation features focuses upon the mechanics of crustal-scale brittle failure in extensional and convergent tectonic zones. Current research activities on deformational features take a relook at the shear zone structures with new kinematic and dynamic models. Shear Zones are the most significant crustal features with concentrated deformations which accommodate an import regional or local strain rate beyond the strength of the country rock. Highly deformed rocks like mylonites, are most significant in terms of kinematic and dynamic analysis of complex structures in field as well as in microscopic structures. The proposed theme is to bring the current developments in studies on rock deformation structures using field study, analogue and numerical model experiments.


Water: Sustainability for Life (WS)

N. Srinivasa Rao


Md. Taufique Warsi (India)

Faisal Kamal Zaidi (USA)

Water is the essential natural resource for the evolution and sustenance of life on the Earth. The freshwater availability is a major driver to sustain the human and industrial needs in the Anthropocene. The resources are used in an unsustainable manner and rapid exploitation of the water resources leading to water scarcity problems. The growing population, food security and the modern living standards demand more water, which keeps the world river basins under stress. On the other hand, streamflow depletion, declining groundwater levels and increased human interventions have altered the terrestrial hydrological cycle over the time. To tackle the global water problems with human interventions, we require innovative strategies and solutions. The current theme primarily focused on addressing the water crisis problems, both quantitatively and qualitatively and their uncertainties, which draws attention to create a balance between the demand and supply of water resources and to debate the sustainable development in line of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNU SDGs). The high uncertainty in prediction of water-related variables requires an integrated and quantitative understanding of the changes in water cycle storages and fluxes, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, surface water, groundwater, snow, and glaciers. Also, recent developments in satellite observations provide immense support for prediction and forecast of water quality and hydrological modelling, which can provide the best estimates of water, climate and anthropogenic variables. Further, effective translation of scientific results can provide better decision support to policymakers and water managers to create functional policies and regulations. We are happy to welcome authors to submit their abstracts about their recent findings on water-related issues and special importance will be given to the issues related to global change, groundwater dynamics, water scarcity, water quality status and remediation.


Integrated Geoscience (IG)

Kumar Batuk Joshi (India)

Vineet Goswami (USA)

Geoscience has evolved into an interdisciplinary science allowing synthesis of unprecedented approach from various disciplines that helps in development and improved understanding of the planet Earth, and its evolution. Geochemists often address a diverse range of topics in Earth Science system with broad interests in diverse fields such as, crustal evolution, weathering and erosion, ocean-atmosphere coupling, paleoclimate, oceanography and palaeoceanography, ocean redox evolution, etc to quantifyvarious processes operating on Earth with an aim to understand its past, present and future. With the advent of technological advancements in instrumentation (mass spectrometry), novel advances in analytical techniques (non-traditional stable isotopes)and consolidation of various experimental and modelling approaches, it has become possible to understand various Earth System processes in much more details. The present theme provides an opportunity to researchers working at the forefront of closely allied fields in geoscience and apply multidisciplinary approach to address various scientific questions related to the origin and evolution of our planet. Some of the substantial areas covered under this theme include chemical oceanography, paleoclimate, radiometric geochronology, isotope geochemistry and other interdisciplinary branches of geoscience. The present theme invites papers that can address various scientific questions using integrated approaches in geosciences.


Crunch in Computational Geoscience (CCG)

Anand Singh


Mahak Singh Chauhan


Shuang Liu


In recent years, there has been a boost in Geoscience research and consequently, a tremendous amount of the data is being collected through various projects. The current state-of-the-art in geo-computing, especially for the development of modeling, simulation, and high-performance computing, needs to be significantly upgraded by incorporating the advanced developments happening worldwide. This session invites the research work based on multidisciplinary collaboration among mathematicians, engineers, physicists, and geoscientists. This session also covers mathematical modeling, simulation, data analysis, uncertainty, and high-performance computing. We would also like to cover the topic on advanced numerical methods for the simulation of a geophysical problem, and associated aspects such as discretization, gridding, optimization/inversion, upscaling, uncertainty assessment, and high-performance parallel and grid computing.


Geoscientific Challenges and Advances in Natural Resource Exploration

Chandra Prakash Dubey


Shib Sankar Ganguli (India)

Srikumar Roy (UK)

With the increasing trend of societal needs and scientific developments, near surface exploration for groundwater, minerals and energy resources is obsoleting rapidly. The continuous exploration of natural resources from the several decades has vanished now the possibility of finding required natural resources in near surface and forced us to look for the possible natural resources towards the deeper subsurface, ocean resources and the areas like mud volcanoes followed by coastal deposits for heavy minerals. Proper understanding of the resources offered by the world’s oceans are very little known to us. In particular, exploration and production of energy resources pose colossal geoscientific challenges and is a highly argumentative issue due to the associated environmental risks. Development of new tools or methodology to address and decipher those challenges involved with the existing as well as new energy resources becomes essential. For this session, we encourage contributions from studies related to, but not limited to, advancement in geophysical methodology as applied to conventional/unconventional oil & gas, gas-hydrate, geothermal, mineral and water resources exploration; reservoir characterization including seismic, well log-based and sample-based studies as well as modelling that provide new insights in natural resource exploration.


Tectonics, Surface Processes and Climate

Sajid Ali


Madhav K. Murari (Germany)

Methodological progress in quantifying rates of surface processes in the upstream erosion and transfer zones as well as revived interest in the coupling between surface processes, tectonics and climate have made it possible to renew our understanding of the interactions between sedimentation and tectonics within the framework of the whole integrated sediment routing system. In this session, interaction between climate-tectonics and surface process will be discussed.


Hydrogeophysical Studies for Vadose Zone Characterizations

Tanvi Arora (India)

The unsaturated zone is often the main sector controlling water movement from the land surface to the aquifer. Thus it strongly affects the rate of aquifer recharge, critical for the use and management of ground water. It is often regarded as a filter that removes undesirable substances. To some extent this is true, but a more general fact is that flow rates and chemical reactions in the unsaturated zone control whether, where, and how fast contaminants enter ground-water supplies. Understanding of unsaturated-zone processes is therefore crucial in determining the amount and quality of ground water that is available for human use. This zone has been described thoroughly and conceptual model prepared is to be employed in the study. Time Lapse methods can monitor moisture changes in soil over time. Time Lapse Electrical Resistivity Tomography (TLERT) data is used, as the hydrogeophysical study, to characterize and monitor the unsaturated zone of the different terrain.


Non-invasive Geophysical Methods and Numerical Modelling for Groundwater Resources Exploitation and Management

Payal Rani


Zoi Dokou (USA)

Geophysical data are being increasingly used to provide qualitative and quantitative information about hydrogeological processes. Some of the many topics that hydrogeophysics actively contributed are contaminant transport, recharge monitoring, surface and groundwater interactions. Geophysical methods potentially provide subsurface data with high spatial and temporal resolution in a non-invasive manner. This session will be focused on the use of geophysical methods for the characterization of subsurface properties and processes in contexts such as hydrology, agriculture, contaminant transport, etc. The researchers who are working on integrated approaches of geophysics and numerical analysis also including laboratory and field experiments; relevant hydrogeological and hydrogeophysical case studies, numerical modeling for groundwater resources and on contamination problems, are encouraged to apply in this session.


Multi-proxy Approach in Paleo Monsoon Reconstruction During Quaternary Period

Upasana S. Banerji


Chandana K.R. (India)

There is an unprecedented need to understand the present climate trends which reinvigorated the past climate reconstruction beyond instrumental records. A number of marine as well as continental archives have recorded past precipitation-temperature variations and thus illustrated the long-term variability in the climate system. Geochemical, isotopic and palynological approaches have been a valuable tool that provide integrated signals of various processes that led to the evolution and variation in the monsoon system. However, there still remains a lacuna in understanding the impacts of ocean-atmospheric processes and natural forcing factors on the monsoon system that prevailed on the planet Earth. The present session invites contributions towards Quaternary climate reconstruction using natural archives such as sediments, speleothems, corals, ice cores etc. using multiproxy approach.


Quaternary Landform Evolution in a Mountainous Landscape

Rahul Devrani


Anil Kumar


The exogenic and endogenic processes fundamentally governs the evolution of landforms in the mountain belts. A diverse range of landforms, evolved in glacial, fluvial and hillslope environment provide foremost records of any changes in the climatic and tectonic settings of a mountain belt. The interaction between geomorphological processes during Quaternary period should provide an order of correlation in evolution of these landforms. However, it is not evident due to the geological diversity present in the mountain ranges. An increasing integration of multidisciplinary studies i.e. field studies, geochronology, geomorphometry, new conceptual methods, modelling etc. at different temporal and spatial scale is significantly improving our understanding in landform evolution. The primary aim for this session is to understand evolution of landforms in a mountainous landscape during Quaternary period. To address the diversity of landforms in a mountainous landscape, we welcome glacial, fluvial and hillslope process based studies. For this session, we invite contributions that uses geomorphic or sedimentary records to understand landform evolution. We also encourage studies which directly address coupling between earth surfaces processes and tectonics at range of spatial scale in mountainous region.


Forward Modelling of Present Day Continents: Challenges and Solutions

Ravi Shankar


R. V. Gireesh


The dynamic nature of Earth is reflected by continuous and periodic changes on its surface i.e., earth’s crust, from its advent at about 4.55 Ga to present. These changes are manifested by episodic amalgamation and dispersal of continents forming and breaking supercontinents.

In last couple of decades, the study of paleogeographic configurations of paleo-supercontinents has picked pace and that has resulted in high quality Geochronology, Paleomagnetic, Geological, Geophysical data input at discreet intervals in Earth’s history.

This theme will aim to understand the challenges in potential use of such dataset to forward model the super continental configurations and will also try to infer possible solution to such challenges.

Considering the rapid evolution in scientific tools and techniques and advent in computational capacity used in earth sciences, it is desirable to frame such an approach which can actually predict the future geological events. Such models can be extremely useful for sustainability entire human society.


Advances in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Rajeev Kumar Yadav


Ramdayal Singh (India)

The advancement in the techniques and ease of capturability and processing of geophysical and geological data in the past two decades has elevated the understanding of Earth and Planetary System Processes. The imaging of Earth and Planets from the space-based techniques has provides a vast opportunity in detail exploration of crustal deformation, mass redistribution, vegetation growth, weather prediction, geohazards, surveying and mapping. Availability of various observation field provides the opportunity for interdisciplinary work on the development of a new approach to deal with complex problems. For example, the past geodetic and paleo-seismological studies in the Himalaya suggest a large potency of future great earthquakes in the frontal zone of Himalaya but the processes governing the crustal deformation to sustain the accumulated strain energy prior to megathrust earthquake is not known.


Geochemical Signatures of Paleo Monsoon Variability

Barnita Banerjee


Mahjoor Ahmad Lone


The Asian monsoon which affects Indian subcontinent and southeast part of the Asia, is probably the most important monsoon system of the world. Despite its vast influence, the forcing mechanisms that control the timing and intensity of the Asian monsoon are still debated. The livelihood of over three billion people is dependents on the annual summer rainfall known as the Indian summer monsoon. Since India is an agro-based economy, any change in monsoon rainfall has great impact on common masses. Intense heavy rainfall leads to flooding and breaks in monsoon or a weak monsoon leads to water shortage and drought. The Indian monsoon is apparently the most grounded articulation of Earth's coupled hydroclimate, involving large inter hemispheric exchanges of mass and energy among the ocean, atmosphere and landmasses Reconstructing the long-term variability of Indian monsoon circulation is therefore necessary for understanding monsoon dynamics across all time scales and to assess the direction and impacts of future changes. For this session, we welcome contributions using geochemistry of paleoclimate archives to study the monsoon history. The focus of this session will be on the past variability of the entire Asian monsoon system, including the Indian and southeast Asian monsoon subsystems.


Understanding the Earth Structure and Mantle Dynamics through Geophysical Observations

Padma Rao B


Sunil Rohilla


Sunil Roy


Dipankar Saikia (India)

Knowledge of the internal layering of the Earth has been largely derived using the different geophysical tools. The conditions on the surface of our mother earth, mostly depend on the mantle dynamics/convection of the earth controlled by the mantle properties. The surface geodynamic processes like the subduction, mid-oceanic ridges are directly linked to the mantle processes. Recent studies shed light on the sinking of these slabs deep into the lower mantle and perhaps to the core-mantle boundary (CMB). This region plays a crucial role in the mantle convection process and is one of the unexplored regions of the earth. In order to understand the mantle dynamics and its characteristics, it is essential to investigate the mantle structure through various geophysical techniques. Investigating the mantle structure is crucial to understand the deeper earth and its link to the tectonic activity. This will also shed light on the knowledge to validate the tectonic models, an origin of the plate motion and the role of mantle rheology. However, due to the intricacies of the link between the deformation mechanisms and the flow patterns of the mantle needs the interdisciplinary approach for the better understanding. Thus, characterizing the mantle structure through various geophysical techniques will provide a better understanding of mantle dynamics, which is the key component to gain knowledge on the evolution of our mother earth.


Geodynamic Significance and Mineralization Potential of the Precambrian Ultramafic Complex

Niranjan Mohanty


Abhinay Sharma (India)

Geodynamics and metallogenesis have been major thrust area of the earth science. It provides a better understanding of the thermal evolution of the earth as well as it gives an insight into the origin of the continental crust associated with potential mineralization. Ultramafic rocks are very important but poorly understood component of the Precambrian greenstone belts and tonalite-tronjhemite-granodiorite (TTG) basement terranes. Many issues remain unsolved regarding the relationship between origin, geodynamic evolution and mineralization potential during the crustal evolution of the earth. The theme of this provides a synoptic view on geodynamic processes, mineralization as well as quantify the crust mantle interaction covering various segments of different continents of the world. it also gives an idea on the alteration zones, their style and controls on such as gold, PGE and base metals and also brought out the idea on secondary mineralization. The aim of this session will help to examine the relationship between Precambrian ultramafic complex and mineralization potential.


Biogeochemical Cycling of Carbon and Nitrogen in Terrestrial and Coastal Environments

Punyasloke Bhadury


Anwesha Ghosh (India)

Ajcharaporn Piumsomboon (Thailand)

Elemental cycling such as carbon and nitrogen in terrestrial and coastal systems play critical role in cropping cycle, monsoonal patterns and climate. Biological communities are essential to biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen and their functions are controlled by numerous factors including energy sources, redox conditions and availability of trace metals. Moreover, the structure of biological communities including bacteria and archaea have consequences for biogeochemical cycling. We welcome submissions from early career scientists working on different aspects of carbon and nitrogen cycling spanning across terrestrial, coastal and marine environments. In particular, scientists addressing challenging problems related to carbon and nitrogen budget from local to global scales are also encouraged.


Ichnology in shallow marine and transitional environments

Carlos Cónsole-Gonella (Argentina)

Silvina de Valais (Argentina)

Ignacio Díaz-Martínez (Argentina)

Paolo Citton (Argentina).


UNESCO Global Geoparks in Latin America and the Caribbean: lessons learned and the way ahead

Denise Gorfinkiel