AOGS Axford Medal Award Recipient

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2012 - 2013
Professor Yun-tai Chen

Institute of Geophysics,
China Earthquake Administration

The Asia and Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) is honoured to present the 2013 Axford Medal to Professor Yun-tai Chen, for his significant contributions to the study of seismic source, both in theoretical and practical aspects in seismology, invaluable service in the international and Asian communities, and efforts to start up the AOGS activities.

Professor Chen carried out excellent studies on seismic wave propagation, seismic source, and the relation between seismic source process and deformation or gravity variation. In the 1980s, he published a series of papers with Prof. L. Knopoff (UCLA) on the dynamics of seismic source. Contribution of Professors Knopoff and Chen to the fundamental concepts of rotational seismology had the academic impact till the 21st century.

In the seismological studies in China, Prof. Chen was one of the pioneering geophysicists introducing seismic moment tensor. Since the 1990s he has devoted much effort to the inversion of rupture process of earthquakes, and conducted extensive studies on the source process of several significant earthquakes in China and its surroundings. Since the 21st century he has been working on the fast source determination serving earthquake emergency response. He is also one of the pioneering scientists introducing digital seismology and strong ground motion seismology into China, one of the countries with intense seismic activity and long history of earthquake observation and studies.

For his achievements, Prof. Chen was elected as the member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the fellow of the Academy of Sciences of Developing Countries (TWAS), and was conferred the AGU International Award in 2010.

Prof. Chen played a leading role in the international cooperation. He has been leading the Chinese National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), and has been serving as the IUGG Executive Member (2003~2011). He played an active role in the activities of the Asian Seismological Commission (ASC) of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI), by giving several keynote lectures in the Assemblies, and serving as the vice president of ASC since 2012.

Prof. Chen also played an important role in the international exchange in the study of earthquake forecast. In 2009, after the L'Aquila earthquake, he was invited as the member of the international expert panel by the government of Italy to carry out a comprehensive investigation of the state-of-the-art of earthquake forecast.

Prof. Chen made significant contribution to the launching of the Asia-Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) by encouraging Chinese scientists to participate in the AOGS activities. He served as the solid Earth section president of AOGS in 2004 and the editor-in-chief of the solid Earth section of the AOGS proceedings Advances in Geosciences in 2006 and 2007. In 2011 he presented the Axford lecture at the AOGS Assembly in Taipei.