International Union of Geological Sciences IUGS E-Bulletion No.108-May2015

International Union of Geological Sciences

IUGS E-Bulletion No.108-May2015


• 35th IGC Second Circular Announcement

• Report: IGCC and IUGS Bureau Meetings In Cape Town (May 25–30)

• Call for Evaluators of IUCN Applications for World Heritage Sites (Deadline Sept. 15)

• International Declaration on Man-Made Strata and Geo-pollution

• IUGS Geoheritage Task Group and Le Tour de France


The Second Circular of the 35th International Geological Congress (IGC) is now out! Visit the 35th IGC website for an update on the Scientific

Programme, Field Trips as well as an introduction to the GeoHost and Volunteer Programmes.

Enter the social media competition or fill out the Expression of Interest on the website, and you stand to win a free registration.

The Scientific Programme now has 50 themes encompassing 90 symposium titles. We encourage you to submit further symposium proposals ahead of the extended deadline of May 31, 2015. Submission of short courses, workshops and business meeting bookings will remain open

until December 31, 2015. Pre- and Post-Congress Field Trips with short descriptions of the itineraries can be viewed here.

Expressions of Interest Competition

Participate in the online survey and stand the chance to win one free registration.Only fully completed surveys will be considered.

The winner of the draw will be announced on March 15, 2016. Competition closes on February 29, 2016.

Social Media Programme & Competition

A volume of conversation and interaction, especially through the social media platforms, is already taking place between the members of the Organizing Committee and the thousands of prospective delegates. The 35th IGC is using three main social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as a blog on the website to keep delegates abreast of preparations for this ‘Olympic of Geology’.

As an incentive to join, we are offering one lucky Emailer, Tweeter or Facebook follower the chance to win one free registration. For this, follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Tell us which newspaper voted Cape Town as the best city in the world to visit. (Scroll down on our Facebook page and Twitter feeds for the answer). Use the following sentence in a Tweet or as a post on our Facebook page: “I’m looking forward to #35IGC in Cape Town, voted by (insert name of newspaper) as the best city in the world to visit”. Alternatively, email your answer to The winner of the draw will be announced 60 days prior to the start of the congress.


“Bureau meetings of the International Geological Congress Committee (IGCC) and of IUGS were hosted by the South African Local

Organization Committee (LOC) of the 35th International Geological Congress (IGC) and assisted by Greg Botha (IGC Secretary General).

During the IUGS Bureau Meeting, IUGS’ financial situation was discussed, as some membership dues are not regularly paid. A number of   countries may then have to be considered inactive by 2016, although this is when Adhering Members could and should take part in the Council Meeting, the votes for a new Executive Committee as well as the bid for the 37th IGC in 2024. A second important topic addressed during the  Bureau Meeting was related to the 35th IGC,the development of its Scientific Program and field trips, and logistics in preparation of the IGCC

meeting. Another prominent discussion was on IUGS awards and prizes and their announcement. Former Executive Committee and the IUGS Council had decided to create a new high-ranking prize–the ‘Steno Prize’—attributed to an outstanding scientist whose research strongly influenced Geosciences. This new prize will be awarded for the first time during

the opening ceremony of the 35th IGC at Cape Town, as decided by the Council. Bureau came to terms about this prize and will provide  guidelines in due time to be presented to the Executive Committee. Further topics of the Meeting were related to liaisons to sister

organizations, the legacy of ‘Resourcing Future Generations’ as well as the intent to prepare for a joint IGC World congress of IUGS and IUGG.

IGCC Bureau Meeting was chaired by Richard Viljoen (35th IGC Co-President) and myself and was attended by Greg Botha, Jeannette McGill (35th IGC Co-President and Chair of the Geohost Program), Laurence Robb (Chair of the 35IGC Scientific Committee), Hassina Mouri (as the IUGS contact) and, during the visit of the venue, by Craig Smith (Chair of the Financing Committee).

The venue visit was led by the two LOC representatives Lesley Ferreira and Crystal Kasselman. We enjoyed a very professional and convincing

demonstration of the capacities to hold a major conference in Cape Town. I personally am impressed by hosting capacity and the efficient

public transportation system in the city center area.

IGCC’s major concerns during the meeting did however not focus on the venue but the Scientific Program, the excursions and the financial situation—especially sponsoring. With Laurence Robb, the science program is in good hands and the scientific community responded intensely to the call for symposia and major themes. We therefore can look forward to an exciting Scientific Program. The excursion program, presented in the Second Circular, is absolutely fantastic. IUGS endorsed that some of the key excursions as to the Bushveld and Barberton be held at attractive prizes to make them accessible to the largest number possible. Much time was given to the models regarding especially the expectable attendance, sponsorship, and exchange-rate evolution,since all these factors will impact on the subscription fee. All these aspects are obviously carefully studied, observed and optimized by the LOC.

After several days of meeting right at the waterfront without however seeing the sea, IGCC led the IUGS officers two days in the field. We were  first taken on an excursion to the geology of the Cape region led by John Rogers.Besides the impressive geology from the Precambrian to the Holocene, this area offers a spectacularly wealthy wildlife. The second journey, in the southeastern Cape area, was an outstanding experience devoted to geology and terroires in a valley called ‘Hemel en Aarde’—Heaven on Earth.

On the behalf of IUGS, I would like to thank Greg Botha in particular, but also Richard Viljoen, the LOC of 35th IGC and the whole crew behind them for this well-organized and generously hosted meeting.”

Communicated by Roland Oberhänsli (IUGS President).

From left: Wang Wei (Director, IUGS Secretariat), Xu Yagi (Part-Time Secretary, IGCC),Greg Botha (Co-President, Local Organising Committee, 35th ICG), Shuwen Dong (IUGS Treasurer), Prof Roland Oberhänsli (IUGS President), José P. Calvo  (Secretary General, IUGS), and John Rogers (field trip leader).


We would like to recall IUGS’ call for interested partners/evaluators, to review the geological interest of the four properties listed below that the  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will need to evaluate for the 40th Session of the World Heritage (WH) Committee in June 2016. Please send your expression of interest with indication of the desired site among the four to be evaluated to Marko Komac

( IUGS thanks you for your cooperation. The final deadline for evaluation is September 18.

Natural Properties

              * Lut Desert (IR Iran)

              * Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan)

              * Mistaken Point (Canada)

              * Archipiélago de Revillagigedo (Mexico)

Here is the summary justification for World Heritage Convention Criterion (viii) for the outstanding geologic value of the Western Tien-Shan. Justifications for the other three properties are available in IUGS e-bulletin #107.

Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan)

''A relatively small area combines a variety of geological structures that reflect successive stages of evolution of the Earth’s crust. Here can be  found sediments dated from the lower Proterozoic till modern era: the Cambrian,Ordovician, Devonian and Carboniferous systems, in which  traces of life of ancient times are found. In Karatau paleontological field, solidified sludge perfectly preserved footprints of plants and animals that lived in the pool and on the shores of the Jurassic seas around 150 million years ago. Prints of more than 60 species of plants, 100 species of insects and mollusks,crustaceans, turtles, ganoid fish were found there. There is no other place in the world with such a rich and interesting  burial of Mesozoic insects.''


The International Working Group on Man-Made Strata and Geo-pollution (MMS & GP) of the IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management (GEM) released an “International Declaration for Deterring the Geological Hazards that occurred in the 2011 Earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku” on June 18, 2011.It made three key points, the need for: (1) investigation of and identification of measures against damage from liquefaction–fluidization and ground wave

phenomena; (2) developing sound evacuation plans and measures particularly to defend against tsunami damage; and (3) investigation of the extent of radiation pollution resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and remedial measures. That declaration was summarized and reported at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (March 14–28, 2015 in

Sendai, Japan). Although four years have passed since the disaster, those three points remain very relevant today. Investigations since the complex disaster have  highlighted factors including destruction of breakwaters and evacuation routes due to

liquefaction and fluidization and dispersal of pollutants from soils and groundwater mainly associated with man-made strata as well as the destructive tsunamis and the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It is important to undertake

research on man-made strata and the underlying unconformity between these and natural strata as an important step towards disaster reduction.

The complete Declaration is available here.


IUGS’ Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG) will be holding a knowledge exchange and training session in Sicily next week at the University of Messina, Italy. This will include the first MSccourse on Forensic Geology. Training will be provided to forensic scientists, geologists and police/law enforcement (see Brochure).


This year, Geology will be presented live during the Tour de France from July 4–26,2015. Usually, while the race is in process,

various speakers present details about the local castles, churches and other architectural features present en route. This year, speakers

will add comments on the local geology due to the influential and successful efforts of IUGS’ Geoheritage Task Group. Note the Tour route

and imagine the fantastic geology that will be covered by the race.


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Prepared by:

Amaury Pourteau

Post-doctoral researcher

Institute of Earth and Environmental Science

Potsdam University — Germany

+49 331 977 5846