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pre- and post-Congress field trips to geologically significant areas across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. One trip, exploring the Scotia arc region, was the first formal geologic field trip ever to visit the Antarctic continent. During the Congress itself, 20 shorter trips studied aspects of the geology of the Washington, D.C., area.
The scientific program of the Congress addressed current problems facing the geological sciences, many of worldwide concern, and stressed the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of approaches to their solution. Two onehalf-day all-Congress colloquia shed new light on fields of major interest to the world earth-science community, dealing with planetary geology and world natural resources, which included invited presentations by international panels of experts in these fields.
The 28th IGC introduced several programmatic features not seen at previous Congresses. With the Youth Congress program, the IGC reintroduced and expanded an activity seen at only two previous Congresses. The Youth Congress provided 85 young people, aged 13–19, who accompanied their parents to the IGC, with entertaining and educational opportunities to increase their knowledge and interest in the earth sciences. Activities included hunting for fossil shark teeth, exploring local caves, hiking through the rocky Potomac River Gorge, going “behind the scenes” at museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and visiting the Goddard Space Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Grant programs that had been used in some previous Congresses to help defray expenses of scientists from developing countries became a formal part of the 28th IGC program. The Geohost Grant Program helped individual scientists, principally those from developing countries, to attend the Congress by partially subsidizing the expenses incurred within the United States. Selection to the program was competitive. A panel composed of representatives of the IGC, International Union of Geological Sci
ences, Unesco, and the Association of Geoscientists for International Development chose 50 grantees and 15 alternates from among 400 qualified applicants.
The Travel Grant Program, like the Geohost Program, helped individual scientists, principally from developing countries, to attend the Congress by partially subsidizing travel costs to Washington, D.C. This program which was funded entirely by Unesco, provided funds to 43 participants from 41 developing countries. Thirty-eight of the 43 grantees also received funds from the Geohost program.
A program of short courses and workshops provided participants ways and means to exchange and share stateof-the-art knowledge in areas of scientific or technological interest. Short courses were presented by discipline specialists in an instructional format to professional earth scientists who desired specialized training in a new discipline or merely wished to broaden their general knowledge. Workshops provided selective forums at which knowledge of new research could be shared and discussed among specialists in a subject area.
Poster sessions, a meeting presentation format growing in popularity, allocated wall space on which a presenter could hang maps, diagrams, photographs, and brief explanatory text. The presentation material remained on display for one-half day. The author was present during that time to interact with interested colleagues, explaining, discussing, and defending the posted results.
The IGC Gazette, part of the publicity and news media activities of the 28th IGC, was a 4-page daily newspaper that focused attention on scientific themes and issues of that day's symposia and poster sessions. The Gazette also featured articles and editorials about the organization and management of the Congress, the history and infrastructure of geological science, announced social activities, and kept delegates informed of lastminute schedule changes. News releases issued in advance of the Congress and daily news conferences, radio feeds, and interviews with scientists during the Congress ensured that word of the Congress, its activities, and advances in the earth sciences reached a wide national and international audience.
International Geological Congress Awards
3, 1992, in Kyoto. The Congress will meet in the Kyoto International Conference Hall, which is a fully equipped, modern convention facility located in the northern suburbs of Kyoto City. The site, noted for its beautifully tailored Japanese-style gardens, is a convenient base from which to tour old Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and other attractions.
The 29th will be the first IGC held in an active island-arc setting. Thus, the scientific program will focus on geologic processes and phenomena that characterize or are associated with island arcs. A range of field trips to geologically important areas of Japan and neighboring countries will emphasize island-arc geology and geophysics.
Abu Dhabi Image Mapping
The Spendiarov Prize from the USSR Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious award given at the IGC and presented to an outstanding scientist in the host country, was presented to Susan Werner Kieffer of the U.S. Geological Survey. Kieffer joined the USGS in 1979 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986. Kieffer, who is the first woman and the third American to win the Spendiarov Prize, was cited for her “contributions to our knowledge of the Earth and the planets” and for her prolific research in fields ranging from volcanology and planetology to thermodynamics and river hydraulics. Her research has included work on mechanisms of eruption for volcanoes and geysers, the prediction of thermodynamic properties of minerals, and the effect of shock waves during planetary impacts.
The Hans Cloos Medal, the highest award of the International Association of Engineering Geology (IAEG) was presented to David Varnes on July 13. Varnes, an engineering geologist with the USGS for the past 48 years was honored for his contributions to the scientific basics of engineering geology and for his service to the profession and the IAEG. A recognized specialist in the study of landslides, Varnes is now working on methods of predicting earthquakes. He has made significant contributions to science through the publication of more than 100 papers, booklets, and monographs. His book, “Landslide Hazard Zonation,” has become a classic in the field. Varnes also was cited for his contributions to the development of the IAEG.
-Claude M. Thomas
In seeking a sound scientific basis upon which to effectively manage and conserve their critical ground-water resources, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates sought the cooperation of the USGS. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between the USGS and the National Drilling Company, an agency of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a project was begun in October 1988 to exchange scientific and technical knowledge to augment the scientific capabilities of the National Drilling Company.
The project is designed specifically to assess the ground-water resources of the Al Ain and Liwa Oasis areas — the two major areas in Abu Dhabi where significant freshwater is known to occur. This project, which involves a staff of nine USGS scientists and support staff based in Al Ain, provides an opportunity to apply ground-water systems-assessment techniques and methodologies developed in the U.S. domestic programs in a foreign, arid environment having marked hydrologic, physiographic, and geologic differences from better known domestic terrains. New knowledge gained from
Looking Ahead: 29th International Geological Congress
Japan will host the 29th International Geological Congress (IGC), scheduled from August 24 to September
Figure 1. Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Landsat satellite image map. Note to the east the dark ophiolite rocks and the metamorphosed younger sedimentary rocks of the Musandam peninsula, in the southeast the agricultural town of Al Dhaid, and to the southwest the cities of Al Sharjah and Ajman.
the Abu Dhabi studies will in turn be applied by USGS scientists to enhance future domestic ground-water assessment programs.
The water-resources assessment project was hampered by three factors: (1) the lack of systematic map coverage of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at the 1:20,000 and (or) 1:50,000 scales, (2) the need to be able to locate water wells, and (3) the need to map the geology and hydrogeology quickly. Satellite image maps of the area have answered these needs. An image map of the country at the 1:250,000 scale was prepared and found particularly useful for delineating areas. This mosaic of nine individual
Landsat Thematic Mapper images was assembled by computer. The mosaic displays the data of band 2 (green-yellow), band 4 (near-infrared), and band 7 (middle infrared) of the Thematic Mapper. For the first time, an “adjustable” filter was used on the data from these various bands, which eliminates haloing and ringing in areas of high tone contrast, for example, contrast between dark ocean and light beach, ophiolite rocks and limestone, oasis vegetation, and sands (fig. 1).
More detailed image maps at the 1:20,000 scale for field work and at the 1:50,000 scale for compilation and publication were generated by merging data from two satellites. These image maps
Abu Dhabi road, 1:50,000-scale image map. Note the light green strips of irrigated acacias that protect the road, cultivated areas, and village of Al Khazna from drifting sands.
display the most useful radiometric information from the Landsat Thematic Mapper bands 2, 4, and 7 and add to it the sharpness of the 10-meter resolution of the French SPOT (Satellite pour l'Observation de la Terre) High Resolution Visible Panchromatic.
To date, 47 image maps have been completed in support of the groundwater research project in the Al Ain piedmont areas, and another 56 are being generated for the Liwa Oasis area within a short timeframe. The specifications and quality control of the work are performed by the USGS and most of the work is done by private contractors.
USGS personnel trained more than 60 foreign-national scientists and technicians either individually in-country or collectively in groups at scheduled regional training sessions. Examples include the marine geology course in Turkey (31 participants). More than 30 countries benefited from these USGS overseas training efforts.
Many staff scientists represent the USGS or the U.S. Government while they serve as officers, committee members, or participants in international organizations, commissions, and associations; for example, many hundreds of hours of effort were provided by USGS personnel, in cooperation with hundreds of other U.S. earth scientists, in the preparation and presentation of the 28th International Geological Congress in Washington, D.C., during July 1989. James F. Devine, USGS Assistant Director for Engineering Geology, was appointed Senior Science Advisor to the United Nations International Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction. He will serve in Switzerland from December 1988 to June 1990 to establish the Secretariat and implement the Decade.
Activities with sponsoring countries listed in the following text were conducted by the USGS in FY 1989 under bilateral agreements sanctioned by the Departments of State and of the Interior:
Other International Program Activities
The strengthening of earth-science institutions in foreign countries, training of foreign nationals, and exchange of scientists are activities integral to all international programs. During FY 1989, 79 nationals from 22 countries received training in the United States. Fifty-seven visiting scientists from 16 countries either conducted research at the USGS or at other facilities as arranged by the USGS.
Hydrologic network design. Bangladesh
Strengthening the Geological Survey of Bangladesh; mapping the extensive Ganges Brahmaputra Delta. Bolivia
Evaluation of SPOT/LANDSAT images
and map revision at 1:50,000 scale. Canada
Marine geology; geophysics; water resources; acid rain; ore deposit models; platinum group elements; Great Lakes seismicity; Arctic research; mapping data exchange; border digital mapping; atmospheric deposition. Chile
Seismic zoning; improved earthquake
resistant designs. China
Surveying and mapping research-cartographic applications of remote sensing and development of geographic information systems. Earth sciences research-pyrophyllite deposits; comparative geochemical anomalies in Xinjiang and Southwestern United States; modeling for Bayan Obo ironniobium-rare earth deposit in Inner Mongolia; exploration for gold and uranium deposits. Surface-water research-sediment transport; hydrologic equipment and measurements; hydrologic extremes; analytical techniques; hydrologic data exchange; cold regions hydrology; isotope research. Earthquake research-deep crustal structures in fault zones; premonitory phenomena; crustal stress; seismic networks; rock mechanics; intraplate
active faults. Costa Rica
Biochemical research; coal resource
assessment review. Dominican Republic
Study of biochemical corrosion of gates
of the Sabama Yequa Reservoir. El Salvador
Geologic hazards assessment; evaluation of seismic hazards and compilation
of seismic risk map. France
Oceanography; geophysics; radioactive wastes; minerals assessment; bore-hole geophysics application to water resources; sea-ice monitoring; remote sensing in polar regions.
Marine seismology; radioactive wastes; petroleum resource assessment; Antarctica research; sea-ice monitoring;
marine minerals assessment. Greenland
Ice-penetrating radar surveys. Hungary
Petroleum resource potential of the
Pannonian Basin; geophysics. Iceland
Geophysics; geology; hydrology. India
Multidisciplinary workshops; groundwater modeling and data-base development; identification of mutually benefi
cial joint projects. Indonesia
Volcano hazard mapping; institution development in marine geology; peat swamps as coal field analogs. Italy
Installation of digital seismographs; earthquake reconstruction; improvement of capability for early warnings of volcanic eruptions; Antarctic
Deeply buried mineral deposits; gold deposits; debris-flow hazards; sediment transport on continental shelves and in
Seismic network; remote sensing. Korea
Sedimentary basin analysis; groundwater evaluations; Antarctic research. Mexico
Border mapping cooperation and information exchange; structure and mineralization of the Sonoran Desert. New Zealand
1:50,000-scale mapping in McMurdo Sound of Antarctica. Norway
Digital sonar images data processing. Pakistan
Coal resources exploration and assessment; regional framework studies; institutional modernization of Geologi
cal Survey of Pakistan. Panama
Earthquake hazards mitigation; humid
regions hydrology. Portugal Massive sulfide deposits in the Iberian pyrite belt.