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IAG/AIG Newsletter N° 29 (4/2013)

Lettre d’information n° 29 (4/2013)
Association Internationale des Géomorphologues
p. 103-108

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Words of the President

It is not too late to wish you all a happy new year, success in your projects!

As geomorphologists we are specially involved in the study of the geomorphological impacts of natural hazards and our role is very important for the world community.This is why on behalf of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG), I would like to offer our sincere condolences to all those who have suffered from the Typhon Haiyan in Philippines. As Geomorphologists we are in a good position to study the geomorphological impacts of such events in the past and to be part of prevention programs to reduce the impact of natural disasters in general. I invite all of our working groups and the global community of Geomorphologists to involve as much as possible in applying geomorphological pursuit to reduce the harm from such menace.

We have seen in Paris, during our last 8th International Geomorphological Conference, how strong and united we can be, specially our young group of Geomorphologists, to challenge such dangerous events. 2014 will be an important year to prepare our next regional meeting in Russia!

Eric Fouache, President, IAG/AIG"

The 8th ICG in Paris – Report by the organizers

The last 8th International Conference on Geomorphology in Paris (Aug. 27-31, 2013) was a great success. 1542 participants (including accompanying persons and exhibitors) from 74 countries have made the conference a truly international one. If a majority of delegates (912) have come from European countries, there was a large participation from other continents: 197 delegates from Asia, 109 from South America, 104 from North America, 63 from Oceania, and 36 from Africa, despite the difficulties and financial impacts due to the global economic situation. Actually, there were 879 regular participants, 416 students, 66 seniors and 75 accompanying persons. In addition, free access was provided to 80 people, including the 14 members of the IAG Executive Committee, the 3 keynotes speakers not members of the EC, the 20 IAG grant holders, the 29 young volunteers, together with 12 passes granted to relatives of keynotes speakers and Honorary Fellows.

During the opening ceremony, the 20 IAG grant holders were presented to the audience by Mauro Soldati (IAG EC, Young Geomorphologists Training Officer), with a special mention to Danang Sri Hadmoko (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia), who received from Monique Fort (Chairwoman of the Groupe Français de Géomorphologie) the Tricart Award for his outstanding research on Landslides in the Java Island.

Danang Sri Hadmoko

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A part of the audience during the Opening General Assembly in the Centre des Congrès de la Villette, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie

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Picture: C. Giusti.

The ambition of the Conference, dedicated to “Geomorphology for sustainable development”, was to bring together academic, researchers and practitioners. The Organising Committee received 1938 abstracts for oral and poster presentations, all of very high quality.

The conference programme offered a considerable variety of topics. The oral part of the programme consisted of 5 Plenary Lectures (D. Brunsden, V. Baker, A.-L. Coelho-Netto, A. Asrat, and X. Yang), 865 regular orals, and one Workshop devoted to Young Geomorphologists. Posters have been organised to be easily accessible during sessions, coffee breaks and lunches. There were many stimulating discussions within and outside the sessions, and the active involvement of conveners was much appreciated. The young generation of geomorphologists has learnt a lot: many of them were impressed by having the opportunity to discuss directly with senior colleagues who were known to them only through their textbooks and seminal papers.

Besides the meetings of the different Working Groups of IAG, the Conference also provided the opportunity to organize a Round Table on “Geomorphology in Europe”, together with Andreas Lang, Chair of the Geomorphology Section of the European Geosciences Union.

The social program, with the Welcome party at the Paris City Hall, the Luncheon for Honorary Fellows and Presidents, the “Cheese Party”, and the Farewell party in the “péniche” (barge) nearby the Eiffel Tower and along the Seine River, were among the most memorable and appreciated events.

In addition, field excursions welcomed 300 participants, with about 200 of them registered for inter-congress field trips (Underground Paris; Parks and gardens of Paris and surroundings; The 1910 Flood in Paris; Valley of the Seine River between Mantes and Vernon; Coastal erosion and soil erosion in Haute-Normandie; Landslides in coastal slopes of Pays d’Auge; “Sec-Iton” Walking in the bed of a karst controlled river, West of Paris). The others attended the post-Conference field trips (Swiss Alps – Zermatt Valley and Cervin; Volcanoes, basins and cultural heritage of the Auvergne region; Western North-Alps; Geomorphology of Pyrenean orogen; Normandy coast, soil erosion and landscape evolution; Intensive course for young geomorphologists).

Welcome party at the Paris City Hall.

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Picture: C. Giusti.

The organizing Committee is grateful to the sponsors and the 45 registered exhibitors for their interest and support to the conference, with a special mention to institutional bodies such as the Mairie de Paris, French Ministry of Research and Universities, CNRS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Ile de France Region, French Federation of Geosciences, and European Geosciences Union.

The presence in Paris of so many geomorphologists was a reward for all of the members of the French Group of Geomorphology, including Prof. Stéphane Costa (Chairperson of the Organizing Committee), Prof. Marie-Françoise André and Prof. Monique Fort (co-Chairs of the Scientific Committee). In addition, the strong commitment of the members of the Organizing and Scientific committees and of the session conveners contributed to bring in such a successful Conference.

Monique Fort, President of GfG and co-chair of the Scientific Committee,
Marie-Françoise André, Co-chair of the Scientific Committee,
Stéphane Costa, President of the Organizing Committee.

Report on the IAG Grants awarded at the 8th IGC

For the 8th International Conference on Geomorphology held in Paris on August 2013 a remarkable number of applications for IAG grants was received. Out of 97 applications received, 70 were eligible for grant awarding. The Selection Committee assessed the applications and finally 20 Young Geomorphologists under 35 years old have been supported. They came from 12 countries with a Purchasing Power Parity below 16,000 international dollars.

IAG Grant Holders provided enthusiastic feedback reports. Many of them express their emotion for being awarded:

“The mail received on 26 March 2013 from Prof. Mauro Soldati - IAG Training Officer which announced me that I’m in the Top - 20 young geomorphologists in the ranking for IAG grants, was one of my greatest fulfilled wishes.” (Titu Anghel, Romania)

“During the submissions to the conference, I signed up for the award titled YOUNG GEOMORPHOLOGISTS, and among the 70 candidates, I was selected among 20 young geomorphologists and could receive the award at the opening conference. It was a time of great academic satisfaction for me, because I was placed in a group of excellent young researchers from 12 different countries” (Fabrizio Listo, Brazil)

“I am grateful and hopeful. Firstly for winning and being part of the Young Geomorphologist Award, and secondly, for the opportunity given to young researchers, stimulating and increasing their participation in events of this magnitude” (Tulius Dias Nery, Brazil)

They were impressed by meeting famous scientists in their research fields:

“One of the most rewarding experiences was listening to and conversing with well-known and prestigious fluvial geomorphologists whose journal articles and book works I have referenced numerously throughout my short time practicing science in this field” (Rebecca Joubert, South Africa)

“[…] Some of the famous gemorphologists gave us an impressive lecture in session of aeolian systems and arid geomorphology […]. Moreover, Professor Xiaoping Yang's keynote lecture of 'Geomorphology and palaeoenvironmental changes in arid Asia' gave us a simple scene of environment changes in arid area, taking our mind back to the far away era of Quaternary” (Xiaozong Ren, China)

“During the conference, I presented my recent research work […] and discussed with famous professors […] about the mountain geomorphology and natural hazards” (Gordon G. D. Zhou, China)

“The Keynote lecture delivered by Prof. Denys Brunsden on a new branch of Geomorphology, i.e. Submarine Geomorphology was really memorable for me. I have become spell bound to see and listen his frontiers of research starting from other planets and satellites to the bottom of oceans” (Shreya Bandyopadhyay, India)

“At the Geomorphological Conference, I was glad to see many professors and graduate students who work at same research subjects, and to receive useful comments and suggestions during my oral presentation at the Session of Quaternary Geomorphology” (Orkhonselenge Alexandr, Mongolia)

“I had many stimulating conversations with several colleagues in the storm deposited boulder field and feel that great improvements to my paper have been made on the basis of their comments” (Andrew Green, South Africa)

“During the conference I have met number of senior scientists, with which I had the opportunity to discuss my research work, as well as future possibilities, and I received many useful comments and suggestions which will contribute to my scientific development” (Marjan Temovski, Republic of Macedonia)

“In the oral session of the aeolian systems and arid geomorphology, I presented my own work and received the feedback. This was a valuable experience for me. Simultaneously, the speech of Prof. P. HESSE on vegetation and sand transport response to variable rainfall, the speech of Prof. M. BOURKE on fog-induced slumping in a hyper-arid dune field and the speech of Prof. M. WILLIAMS on the application of OSL and radiocarbon dating gave me a deep impression and taught me a lot of things” (Deguo Zhang, China)

The attendance to field trips was for many of them an impressive experience:

“I also took part in the field trip of the conference on Valley of Zermatt and Cervin organized by Prof. Reynald Delaloye and his team, in Swiss Alps through which I have learned the detailed glaciological and geomorphological background of Swiss Alps. As a Geomorphologist, the field trip left me in awe with the vastness of knowledge that etched in the landform that surrounded us. It made me appreciate the value of understanding the surface processes that has formed and has been continuously shaping our landscapes today” (Manisha Tripathi, India)

Granted Young Geomorphologists during the Opening General Assembly.

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Picture: C. Giusti.

They also stressed the opportunity they had in building new scientific collaboration and focusing the future perspectives in their research fields:

“New approaches and novel results have begun to generate a new perspective on the interplay of tectonics with climate as well as surface processes, which is currently the focus of the tectonic geomorphology research. These progresses have been seen in the oral as well as poster presentations in this Paris conference” (Hongua Lu, China)

“I believe via this event, more knowledge and collaboration can be built and strengthen, and I promise to continuously play a major and active role as a young geomorphologist especially to increase scientific research in the tropics and promote modern geomorphology tools to the changing and pressing world” (Khamarrul Razak, Malaysia)

“To conclude, this experience offered me by the IAG was a great honor for me and will help me scientifically by the fact that I interacted with the best specialists in my field of study” (Daniel Iosif, Romania)

For some of them this opportunity was particularly important for the Country they represented:

“Participating for the first time in the IAG congress was also a special event not only for me, on a personal level, but also for my country, Lebanon. It is the first time that a young researcher from Lebanon participates in the IAG congress and I was given this opportunity to represent my country for the first time” (Carole Nehme, Lebanon)

“Recent developments in geomorphology both in concepts and practices such as natural hazards, particularly landslide and volcanic hazard provided the basis and applied knowledge and enriched my experience. Moreover, the discussion with other participants during the session of Volcanic Geomorphology gave me a lot of ideas on volcanic research. Indeed, during the Volcanic Session, I could successfully advertise the conference of next year that UGM will be the host: Cities on Volcanoes in my hometown, Yogyakarta” (Jean Tricart Awardes Danang Sri Hadmoko, Indonesia)

Finally, they all express their gratitude and compliments to the IAG Executive Committee and to the Organizing Committee of the Conference:

“I admired organisers’ opening towards, both, young participants and experienced ones (by grants, awards, honorary fellows or dedicated journal numbers)” (Gabriela Ioana-Toroimac, Romania)

“In Paris, not only I enjoyed the awesome nature and its fine monuments but also I found many good new friends in the IAG conference whom I never forget throughout my academic life” (Adel Sepehr, Iran)

“We are deeply grateful to IAG Executive Committee and the Organizing Committee of the 8th International Conference on Geomorphology for having sponsored our participation to the event. We especially thank Prof. Monique Fort (Co-chair of the Scientific Committee) for his assistance.” (Ghislain Tefogoum Zangmo, Cameroon)

Mauro Soldati, IAG/AIG Training Officer,
Marta Della Seta, IAG/AIG Webmaster.

In memoriam: Bojan Erhartič (1979–2013)

In mid-October 2013, geographer dr. Bojan Erhartič from the Anton Melik Geographical Institute ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana, Slovenia, lost his life in a plane accident.

Bojan was born in 1979 in Maribor. He earned his PhD in 2011 (Evaluation of geomorphological heritage in the Triglav Lakes Valley by geomorphological mapping). He had been increasingly working in the field of geomorphological heritage since then. His contribution is important because he successfully applied the method of geomorphological heritage assessment to the Alpine landscape on the example of the Triglav Lakes Valley, the area of the first nature protection Act in Slovenia (from 1924).

This area was also the main object of his photographic flight on October 17, 2013. His journey ended in the Soča river valley, while the photos he made on his last flight survived the crash. Bojan has presented his work in numerous articles and scientific lectures, including his dedicated work in the framework of the Working group on geomorphosites at the International association of geomorphologists.

Bojan Erhartič was also the President of the Ljubljana Geographic Society, an excellent photographer, tour guide and traveller; he wrote a very successful Yemen travel guide.

Bojan Erhartič.

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Picture: Urška Brezovnik.

Here is an extract from his bibliography, which has more than 140 units in total:

  • Loss of natural heritage from the geomorphological perspective: Do geomorphic processes shape or destroy the natural heritage?, in Acta geographica Slovenica 51-2, 2011, DOI:

  • Geodiversity and geomorphosite research in Slovenia, in Geographical Bulletin 84-1, 2012,

  • Including development topics and a Cultural Heritage Management Plan: Mercury heritage and Idrija, in Acta geographica Slovenica 53-2, 2013, DOI:;

  • Geotourism as a new development perspective of Slovenia, 2013,

We lost a devoted geomorphologist and good colleague. We will miss him.

Blaž Komac, Matija Zorn, Drago Perko, Anton Melik Geographical Institute ZRC SAZU.

In memoriam: Gennady F. Ufimtsev (29.02.1940 – 25.12.2013)

Russian Association of Geomorphologists (RuAG) with deep sorrow informs that the RuAG President, Professor Gennady Ufimtsev has passed away on December 25, 2013 at the age of 73 years.

Gennady Ufimtsev was born on February 29, 1940 in a small town of Mogocha in Transbaikalia. In 1962, he graduated from the Geological Prospecting Faculty of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) University and after that worked in State Geological Survey branches in Irkutsk and Chita (Baikal Region) as a Geologist and became Head of the Geological group. He defended his PhD thesis entitled "Landscape morphology and neotectonics of the Central Transbaikalia" in 1971. After the completion of his doctoral degree he had served the Tectonics and Geophysics Institute, USSR Academy of Sciences, Far-East Branch (Khabarovsk) in different positions as Research Staff and finally as the Scientific Secretary of the institute from 1971 to 1981. In 1981 he had joined in the Earth Crust Institute, Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch (Irkutsk) as a Scientific Researcher and Head of the Neotectonics and Geomorphology Laboratory. In 2010 he became the Consultant of the Laboratory of the Cenozoic. He defended a habilitation paper on "Tectonic analysis of landscape morphology in the East of the USSR" in 1984.

G. Ufimtsev was a top-level specialist on Tectonic and Theoretical Geomorphology. His scientific legacy includes more than 700 publications, including 12 monographs. He completed numerous studies on neotectonics and tectonic geomorphology of a number of regions in Far East, Baikal rift zone, major mountain systems of the World including Andes, Himalayas, Tien-Shan, as well as the synthesis on morphotectonics of Eurasia. Very specialities of his activity were cataloguing Siberian geomorphological monuments and popularization of geological and geomorphological knowledge. Several times his popular papers achieved yearly award of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. He gave lectures on Geomorphology and Quaternary geology in the Irkutsk University and in 1988 he was elected as the Professor at the Geology Department. Ten postgraduates defended their PhD theses under his supervision. He was an editorial board member in 3 academic journals, including "Geomorfologia" (Russian analog of "Geomorphology" issued since 1970), "Geography and Natural Resources" and "Geography at School".

Gennady F. Ufimtsev during an expedition into Northern Tien-Shan (Issyk-Kul Lake Region).

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Picture: A.Korzhenkov.

One of the important parts of the life of Ufimtsev was organizational activity. He initiated and supported biyearly scientific meetings on Theoretical Geomorphology (known as Irkutsk Geomorphological Seminars). Since early 1970’s he was the Executive Committee member of the Geomorphology Commission of Russian Academy of Sciences (GC RAS, founded in 1958), a national Organization of Geomorphologists. In mid 1990's, Prof. Ufimtsev together with Prof. D. Timofeev (died in 2010) made much effort to integrate with the newly formed IAG. In 1998, when he found that GC-RAS, being a governmental organization, could not be the National representative of IAG as per the IAG Constitution, he organized the independent Russian Association of Geomorphologists (RuAG). After that RuAG became the national member of IAG, G. Ufimtsev headed the RuAG and remained its President until the last day of his life.

The second of the two founding fathers of RuAG has left all of us. The vacuum created by his death is very difficult to fill up. His legacy both in published pages and in our minds will continue his service to geomorphological science, to which he devoted his whole life.

Members of Russian Association of Geomorphologists (RuAG).

BSG Post-Graduate Training Workshop, Windsor, UK

Two grants (300 euros each) were awarded to Young Geomorphologists of Europe to participate to the BSG Post-Graduate Training Workshop held in Windsor, UK, from 9 to 12 December 2013. The IAG Executive Committee received 11 eligible applicants, and after a selection made by an international committee appointed by IAG, the grants have been awarded to the following PhD students:

  • Karoline MESSENZEHL (Germany),

  • Mariacristina PRAMPOLINI (Italy).

We publish here part of their reports:

“One thing that made me particularly reflecting was not to assume that the output of a model tells us something about the real world. Instead, it tells us about the model. However, it became clear that modelling may provide an excellent tool to sharpen the research questions of our PhD projects and it may help – in combination with field observation! – to increase the understanding of geomorphic phenomena.” (Karoline Messenzehl, Germany)

“What I appreciated of the workshop is that it was a great occasion to know other Young Geomorphologists at the 1st year of PhD like me, with the same enthusiasm and doubts, and with whom I will keep in touch. I recommend the future Young Geomorphologists to take advantage on this workshop as an opportunity to understand how to deal with and develop a research project and to know other researchers.” (Mariacristina Prampolini, Italy)

Mauro Soldati , IAG/AIG Training Officer.

Upcoming Seminars / Conferences / Workshops / Training Programmes

Note: This calendar proposes a list of events organised by IAG, IAG working groups, and large international conferences concerning geomorphology. It is based on information transmitted by IAG members. For more information see also the IAG website:

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014. Vienna, Austria, April 27 – May 2, 2014. Deadline for early registration: March 31, 2014. Website:

United Kingdom
TRACE 2014. International Conference “Tree Rings in Archaeology, Climatology and Ecology”, Aviemore, Scottish Highlands, UK, May 6-10, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: March 5, 2014. Website:

EUCOP. 4th European Conference on Permafrost, Evora, Portugal. June 18-21, 2014. Website:

17th Joint Geomorphological Meeting “The geomorphology of natural hazards: mapping, analysis and prevention”. Liège, Belgium, June 30-July 3, 2014. Website:

IGU (International Geographical Union) Regional Conference. Kraków, Poland, August 8-22, 2014. Website:

International Workshop “Implications of Late Quaternary Sea Level Changes on the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea Coasts”. Şile, Turkey, August 31 – September 6, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: May 30, 2014. Website:

8th IAG SEDIBUD Workshop “Sediment Cascades in Cold Sediment Geosystems”. Zugspitze, Bavaria, Germany, September 1-4, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: March 31, 2014. Website:

3rd Slope Tectonics Conference, Oslo, Norway, September 8-12, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: May 15, 2014. Website:

13th Meeting of the Spanish Society of Geomorphology “Geomorphology to be applied”, Cáceres, Spain, September 9-12, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: February 28, 2014. . Website:

IAEG 17th Congress “Engineering Geology for Society and Territory”. Torino, Italy, September 15-19, 2014. Website:

International Workshop “Geomorphosites, lever of local socio-economic development: From European experiences to Maghrebian and African projects”, Beni Mellal, Morocco, October 2-4, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: April 30, 2014. An intensive course on Geomorphosites for Young Geomorphologists will take place on October 1st, 2014. Website:

International Conference “Georisk 2014. Improving geophysical risk assessment, forecasting, and management”, Madrid, Spain, November 18-21, 2014. Deadline for submission of abstracts: September 10, 2014. Website:

United States
International Symposium “Sediment Dynamics: From the Summit to the Sea”. New Orleans, United States, December 11-24, 2014. Deadline for registration: April 30, 2014. Website:

United States
AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, United States, December 15-19, 2014. Deadline for Session submission: April 9, 2014. Website:

Editor’s Note

The success of the IAG/AIG Newsletter depends upon the contributions that we receive. On behalf of IAG/AIG we would ask you to assist us by supplying information related to the forthcoming activities and innovations in geomorphology in your respective countries (commentaries, reviews of regional or national meetings and field trips, summaries of issues pertinent to geomorphology and announcements of future meetings and workshops. Your contributions should be forwarded to the IAG/AIG Publications Officer.

Published by Emmanuel Reynard, IAG/AIG Publications Officer, University of Lausanne, Institute of Geography and Sustainability, Géopolis, CH – 1015 Lausanne. Tel +41 21 692 30 65, Mobile +41 79 331 72 44. E-mail:

International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG/AIG)


Eric Fouache
Vice Chancelier, University Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, PO Box : 38044, Abu Dhabi UAE

Mobile : + 971 (0) 50 26 32 323. Email :


Irasema Alcántara Ayala
Investigadora Titular B, Riesgo de Desastres, Instituto de Geografía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Vox: (+5255) 5622 4335 / 5623 0222 ext. 45466. E-mail:

Mauro Soldati
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Largo S. Eufemia, 19 41121 MODENA, Italy. Tel.: +39-059-205 5842, Fax: +39-059-205 5887. E-mail:

Xiaoping YANG
Institute of Geology and Geophysics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences
P.O. Box 9825
Beijing 100029, China. Phone 86 (0)10 – 82998387,
Fax: 86 (0)10 – 62010846. E-mail:

Secretary General

Sunil Kumar DE
Department of Geography, North Eastern Hill University, NEHU Campus, Shillong - 793022, Meghalaya, India. Phone: (off) +91 364 272 3216, (mobile): +91 9862009202. E-mail:

IAG/AIG Account Number: 068-2376668-01 - DEXIA Banque, Av. Centenaire, 42 - B-4102 Ougrée, Belgium. Account IBAN: BE 43-0682-3766-6801

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