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IAG/AIG Newsletter No. 31 (3/2015)

Lettre d’information n° 31 (3/2015)
Association Internationale des Géomorphologues
p. 389-396


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I am pleased to inform the international community of geomorphologists that the new version of the IAG/AIG website has been published at the same address: The site was built with a new look, in accordance to the renewed IAG/AIG Newsletter style. The content has been streamlined with an upper-side menu and the homepage has been setup as “magazine-type”. This facilitates the immediate view of the latest posts, while an automatic archive of the older ones is built. With respect to the older version new widgets on the right-side bar have been included, linking to media and social networks, calendar and archives. I will be glad to receive any feedback, suggestion and material to enrich the content of the website.

Marta Della Seta, IAG/AIG Webmaster

Word of the President / Message du Président

The Regional Conference “Gradualism vs Catastrophism in Landscape Evolution” that was held at the University of Altai in Barnaul from July 2 to July 4, 2015 was a true success from a scientific point of view and in a friendly atmosphere. The two pre- and post-conference excursions around Lake Baikal and in Altai were remarkably organised to the greatest satisfaction of all participants. Numerous young geomorphologists attended, which is yet another proof of the dynamism of our discipline.

On behalf of the IAG, I wish to thank whole-heartedly the Russian Group of Geomorphologists, the organising committee and the scientific committee for the quality of their organisation. In the wake of this success, the website of the 9th International Conference of Geomorphology, which will be held at Vigyan Bawan, New Delhi (India) on November 6-11 2017 on the theme “Geomorphology and Society”, has been set up by the Indian Institute of Geomorphology. Make sure to visit it:

I wish you all a happy new year.

La conférence régionale de l’AIG « Gradualism vs catastrophism in landscape evolution », qui s’est tenue du 2 au 4 juillet 2015 à l’Université de l’Altai à Barnaul, a été un succès tant du point de vue scientifique que de la convivialité. Les excursions pré-congrès autour du lac Baïkal et post-congrès dans l’Altai ont été remarquablement organisées et ont enchanté les participants. La présence nombreuse de jeunes géomorphologues a témoigné une nouvelle fois du dynamisme de notre discipline.

Au nom de l’AIG, je tiens à remercier très chaleureusement le Groupe Russe de Géomorphologie, le comité d’organisation de la conférence et le comité scientifique pour la qualité de leur organisation. Fort de ce nouveau succès, c’est avec optimisme que le site web de la 9e Conférence internationale de géomorphologie « Géomorphologie et Société » qui aura lieu à Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, Inde, du 6 au 11 novembre 2017, a été mis en place par l’Institut Indien des Géomorphologues. Connectez vous nombreux :

Je souhaite à tous une bonne année 2016.

Eric Fouache, IAG/AIG President

In Memoriam – Harley Jesse Walker, 1921-2015

Harley Jesse Walker, 93, passed away May 30, 2015 from complications following heart surgery. Like many in U.S. geography’s first and second generations, Jesse Walker had rural Midwestern roots. He was born July 4, 1921 in Michigan. Soon after, his family moved from Michigan to Colorado and then in 1929 to California, a few months before the stock market crash. The family lived much of the next decade in a tent encampment near Morro Bay. Jesse’s father bought a boat and made a living from the sea, bartering fish for produce from inland farmers. Jesse had multiple jobs during the Depression years, but managed to save enough in high school to start college at Berkeley in fall 1939. An avid explorer of local environments, especially the coastal zone, majoring in geography was a natural outcome. With the onset of WWII, and Jesse’s childhood fascination with flying, he enlisted in the Naval flight school at the beginning of 1942. During the war he served as a Marine Corps pilot in the Pacific theatre learning coastal and Pacific island geography first hand. After the war he returned to Berkeley to complete his undergraduate studies (BA 1947), and then his Master’s degree in geography (MA 1954). His Master’s thesis was a study of rainfall in Mexico under the direction of John Leighly, but the initial inspiration came from a trip to Mexico with Carl Sauer in the summer of 1947.

Walker’s academic career actually began before finishing his Master’s degree. In 1950 on the recommendation of Wilbur Zelinsky (then at the University of Georgia) he was hired as Assistant Professor to help set up a geography program at Georgia State College in Atlanta. He was preceded the year before by his fellow Berkeley student, Reese Walker (no relation), also a Leighly advisee and participant in the 1947 trip to Mexico. The two Walkers quickly laid the foundations for the department. In 1956 Jesse Walker was named Chair. During his tenure at Georgia State, Walker also managed to do course work and fieldwork (in the Arctic) for his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University (“The changing nature of man’s quest for food and water as related to snow, ice and permafrost in the American Arctic”) under the direction of Fred Kniffen. He spent much of 1955-57 commuting by bus between Baton Rouge and Atlanta. At Georgia State he taught courses in anthropology and geology as well as geography and built up the library’s holdings in geography. Walker oversaw the hiring of several additional geographers including fellow Berkeley student Campbell Pennington. Walker spent the academic year 1959-60 in Washington, DC with the Office of Naval Research under the direction of Evelyn Pruitt. In subsequent years, the ONR would be an important funding source for LSU geographers doing coastal studies and foreign area fieldwork. Receiving his PhD degree in 1960, Walker was invited by Kniffen and Russell to join the LSU department as an assistant professor. In 1962 he became the departmental chair. The 1960s were boom times in America, and academia was no exception. The Department of Geography & Anthropology under Walker’s chairship (1962-1969) enjoyed healthy growth, doubling the number of faculty from five to 11. During this decade new geography faculty hires included: Charles “Fritz” Gritzner, Milton Newton, Robert Muller, Jonathan Sauer, Fred Simoons, and Donald Vermeer. Walker’s eclectic interests and abilities allowed him to teach a variety of courses, including climatology, geomorphology, human-environment courses, and special offerings on his Arctic and coastal research topics. Walker ended the decade with another ONR assignment, this time in London where he and his family spent the academic year.

During the decade of the 1970s Walker continued to help build the department having expanded the physical geography program in the directions of climatology and biogeography with new appointments and visiting scholars. During the late 1960s through the 1970s Walker helped bring in a series of visiting scholars for periods of a month to a year. These visitors included: H. Aschmann, D. Brunsden, E.E. Evans, H.G. Gierloff-Emden, D.B. Prior, C.O. Sauer, W.L. Thomas, J.K. Wright, and E. Yatsu. Similarly Walker was integrally involved in hosting symposia that resulted in published volumes in the School of Geoscience’s Geoscience and Man publication series. Walker also oversaw the creation of a number of new courses focused on coastal topics. Led by Walker, the LSU department became a major geographic center of coastal research and teaching. In 1977 Walker was named Boyd Professor, LSU’s highest academic honor and rank, thus joining Russell, Kniffen and Robert West (all with Berkeley degrees) becoming the fourth LSU geographer to achieve this status.

In 1970 the Walker family came to London on an ONR scholarship to develop contacts with European geomorphologists. He achieved great success because he and Rita, his very devoted wife, were such beautiful people that everyone warmed to them. He played a major role in encouraging research and in stimulating and arranging funding through Dr Hoyte Lemmons (and later Warren Grabau) from the US Army Research office for a series of conferences at King’s College and the London School of Economics on the future of Geomorphology. In time this led to the British Geomorphological Research Group hosting the first International Conference of Geomorphology in Manchester. This led to the proposal for an international society, which came to be the International Association of Geomorphologists. Jesse was immensely enthusiastic about this project, became the first and founding Secretary. He found much of the necessary funding, helped write the Constitution, attended every four–year congress (9th conference takes place in Delhi in 2017), and even at the age of ninety one, organised a lunch for all the Fellows, Presidents and contributors to the IAG in Paris. He became the Association’s first Honorary Fellow and should rightly be regarded as the Founder of the IAG. He wrote a huge quantity of papers and letters to achieve this. They stand as a memorial to one of the most committed and selfless scientists. This archive is now with the British Society of Geomorphology at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Now and again, in life, we meet a giant who left a complete legacy for all of us. A thorough teacher, a meticulous researcher, a prolific author, a good academic in every sense. He added, however, that energy and hard work that established his teaching and research school at Louisiana and then gave the time, funding and love to establish international friendship. This was a man, who with Rita, has left a wonderful memory for all of us and fully contributed from the gifts he had been given to the wellbeing of our community.

Walker’s formal teaching career ended in 1984 with his retirement, but he continued to oversee theses and dissertations until 1990. With retirement Walker may have been relieved of his teaching and administrative duties, but if anything, the pace of his research and service only accelerated. A world traveller with an impressive roster of places visited and conferences attended, in “retirement” Walker served as one of U.S. geography’s most seasoned and effective informal ambassadors abroad. Accordingly, he was awarded a number of honors, including an honorary doctorate from Uppsala, the Patron’s Medal of the RGS, Distinguished Career Award from the AAG, and recognition from a number of national geographic societies on several continents. He was a Fellow of various scientific organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His publications (books, articles, chapters) reflected his main research interests. Perhaps foremost are the Arctic topics, especially on his Colville River delta site (Alaska’s North Slope), his workshop during multiple field seasons. But Walker also did field work in tropical environments, including studies of Mauritius. More broadly, coastal places and processes were the objects of Walker’s global investigations, with special attention to East Asia (China and Japan) and Italy. As emeritus professor (thirty plus active years in this role!), when not travelling, or conferring with colleagues in the field, or attending conferences, he was certain to be in his carefully curated office or laboratory writing up yet more material or researching new projects. During these years he also contributed to the history of geomorphology, with various publications including a large co-edited volume on The Evolution of Geomorphology (1993). Similarly he wrote memoriam pieces for the Annals of the AAG on Fred Kniffen and Evelyn Pruitt and the entry for Richard J. Russell in Geographers: Bibliographical Studies.

Jesse Walker’s time and tenure at LSU, some sixty years – from start of his doctoral studies in the mid-1950s to the present – spans much of the department’s history. When he entered only the three Sauerians (Russell, Kniffen, West) and two of their students (William McIntire and John Vann) were on the geography staff. Walker not only oversaw the expansion and “diversification” of the faculty and program, but also subsequently helped keep the founding visions and directions in focus and on course. Perhaps more than anything, Jesse Walker stood out for his fidelity to the department, university, and discipline. But at the same time, he was very much his own person, not someone to be easily emulated. Perhaps more than most, he was a product of his times. He epitomized what Tom Brokaw had in mind when he coined the term “The Greatest Generation.” From Depression Era deprivation, to daring service in WWII, to post-war boom and building, the trajectory was clear – upward and onward. In Jesse Walker’s case, and to most of all who knew him, his was a generous run — an arc bent only slightly with time — that still possesses some momentum. He is survived by his wife Rita, sister Lois, their three daughters Winona, Angie and Tia, nine grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

Kent Mathewson and Denys Brunsden

Jesse Walker and his wife during the first IAG Senior Luncheon in Paris in August 2013

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Photo: Monique Fort.

Obituary of Michel Hermelin Arbaux (Paris, France, 23 June 1937 – Medellín, Colombia, 15 August 2015)

Michel Hermelin was a responsible and committed professional who contributed to the development of Colombian Geomorphology. With his effort as author and as editor he contributed to sharing scientific studies of our geomorphology.

He was interested in the history of the development of Colombian geology and geomorphology and did his best effort to disseminate the first studies made by European scientists that were published in other languages different from Spanish. He was continually involved in the dissemination of scientific knowledge and was always available to talk about scientific knowledge with an easy language that anyone could understand.

He was a government assessor. His work helped planners to involve the knowledge that geomorphology provides in the process to find solutions for different situations like landslides, natural hazards and land use.

He was a great friend, friendly host, and a family person. He liked to share a glass of good wine or a cup of Aguardiente too (typical Colombian liqueur).

His departure is a great loss for Colombian geomorphologic community. We believe that the best tribute is continuing working for the Colombian geomorphology development and share our knowledge about our findings.

Claudia Lalinde, President of the Colombian
Geomorphologic Node, Colombia

Michel Hermelín, delegate of Colombia to IAG.

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Photo: Claudia Lalinde.

Summary of IAG/AIG Executive Committee Meeting, 2 July 2015, 17:00-20:00, Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia

Members Present

  • Eric Fouache

  • Mauro Soldati

  • Xiaoping Yang

  • Sunil Kumar De

  • Morgan De Dapper

  • Emmanuel Reynard

  • Piotr Migoń

  • Andrei Panin

  • Marta Della Seta

Welcome (Eric FOUACHE)

Eric Fouache, the President of IAG/AIG welcomed all members of the EC and briefed the agenda of the meeting.

Condolence (Sunil Kumar DE)

To condole of all those departed souls of the following notable Geomorphologists and lives lost due to different natural calamities, the members of IAG/AIG EC observed one-minute silence:

  • Dr. Titu Anghel

  • Prof. Graham. J. Chapman

  • Prof. Jean-Claude Flageollet

  • Prof. George Kukla

  • Prof. Ross Mackay

  • Prof. Iulian Stanga

  • Prof. Albert Pissart

  • Prof. Jesse Walker

Apologies for absence (Sunil Kumar DE)

  • Irasema Alcantara Ayala

  • Heather Viles

  • Asma Mohamed Alketbi

  • Denis Mercier

Decisions on Training and Young Geomorphologists

Report is approved.

Resolved that the following Young Geomorphologists Scholarship will be offered to the selected candidates from different regions on different occasions:

  • BSG Post-graduate Research Training Workshop (Windsor, UK, 7-10 December 2015): 2 grants of 250 euros for PhD students in Geomorphology from Europe

  • IGU 33rd International Geographical Congress (Beijing, China, 21-25August 2016): Awarding of grants is under evaluation (visibility and role of IAG within the Conference to be assessed)

  • IAG Tectonic Geomorphology WG Summer School (Western Alps and Central Apennines, Italy, July 2016): 2 grants for Young Geomorphologists worldwide (aimed to cover cost of participation - not travel)

  • FORMOSE Intensive Course on Geomorphological Hazards, Azores, Portugal, Summer 2016 (promoted by the Council of Europe): 1 grant for Young Geomorphologists from Europe or worldwide (recipients to be defined according to the scheme and costs of the Course).

  • BSG Post-graduate Research Training Workshop (Windsor, UK, December 2016): 2 grants of 250 Euros for PhD students in Geomorphology from Europe

  • IAG International Conference on Geomorphology and related Intensive Course for Young Geomorphologists (New Delhi, India, 6-11 November 2017): Relevant number of grants to be awarded to Young Geomorphologists from less favoured countries (minimum budget allocated to the programme: 12,000 Euros). Possible granting of Young Geomorphologists from EGU, AGU and GSA through co-funding (to be confirmed at the next EC Meeting).

Mauro Soldati, Vice-president of the IAG/AIG is requested to explore the possibilities of the IAG-EGU co-funding for Young Geomorphologists.

Decisions on the report of Working Groups

Report is approved.

Resolved that the icons of the 13 active Working Groups would be kept in the main page of the website and the inactive or the past working groups will be shifted to the archives. Publication for each working group will be given importance.

Decisions on the report of the Publications Officer

Report is approved.

Resolved that at least one article would be published in the newsletter in order to popularize the IAG/AIG Newsletter.

Decisions on the report of the Webmaster

Report is approved.

The EC would like to thank Marta Della Seta, IAG/AIG Webmaster, for her hard work to prepare the new design of the IAG/AIG Website. The members proposed the following changes in the design:

  • IAG/AIG logo should be placed at the top left corner

  • All texts including the definition of Geomorphology should be in ‘sentence case’ instead of all Caps.

  • Name of the IAG/AIG Grant holders should be placed in the home page

  • A brief text about Brunsden Medal and Jean Tricart Scholarship should be given at the homepage

  • Young Geomorphologists section should be at the homepage

  • The link of the Journals, which publish the IAG/AIG Newsletter should be given at the homepage

  • The link and advertisement of IAG 2017, India should be at the top of the list at the homepage

  • Icons should be more balanced

It is resolved that the new website will be published in September 2015, along with the next IAG Newsletter, maintaining the address

Decisions on the report of the progress of the 9th ICG in India in 2017

The EC members are satisfied with the progress of the 9th ICG preparation. It is proposed that the logo in the 9th ICG website should be modified with the logo having IAG/AIG and the full name of the association in the concerned icon should be rectified.

Co-optation of new Members in the IAG/AIG EC

Resolved that both of the two proposed members Chris Houser ( and Louis Scuderi ( have been co-opted unanimously in the IAG/AIG EC, with the portofolios of managing Geomorph-List and strengthening links with the North American geomorphological communities, respectively.

Decisions on the approval of New National Scientific Members

The request for Turkey as the National Scientific Member has been accepted

Resolved that Iran will be invited to the next IAG/AIG Council meeting.

Morocco will have to submit its annual report only.

Candidature of next Regional Conference

Since no proposal for the venue has been received, it is decided that the matter will be discussed in the next EC meeting. Members proposed the options for Turkey or Poland.

Representation of IAG to the next IGU in Beijing

Resolved that three IAG/AIG Working Group Sessions will be proposed to the Organizing Committee of the 33rd IGU. If it is accepted by the Organizing Committee, further decision regarding grants will be taken by the IAG/AIG EC.

Eric Fouache, President
Sunil Kumar De, Secretary General

IAG Regional Conference “Gradualism vs catastrophism in landscape development”, 2–4 July 2015, Barnaul, Russia

IAG Regional Conference 2015 was organized by the Russian Association of Geomorphologists (RuAG) and the Altai State University (ASU). The conference was hosted by ASU, which is located in Barnaul – the administrative centre of the Altai Krai, one of the members of Russian Federation situated in the very south of the West Siberian Lowland in the vicinity of the Altai Mountains. The conference title reflected, first, the everlasting interest of the geomorphological community to the relative contribution of extreme rare events and common processes to the Earth surface shaping. Second, it was the tribute to the geographical location of the conference venue: Russian Altai is the world-recognized region of both the Pleistocene and modern geomorphological catastrophes and extremes, which was the subject of the post-conference fieldtrip.

The conference gathered 65 oral and 23 poster contributions presented by 81 participants from 23 countries: Russia (18), India (10), Italy (10), Poland (8), Belgium (5), China (5), Czech Republic (3), Canada (2), France (2), Greece (2), Israel (2), Spain (2), USA (2), Australia (1), Austria (1), Brazil (1), Bulgaria (1), Germany (1), Great Britain (1), Hungary (1), Mongolia (1), Romania (1), Switzerland (1). All contributions were collected into the volume of abstracts [1]. At the conference opening in the morning July 2, participants were welcomed by the conference President, ASU Rector Prof. Sergei ZEMLIUKOV, the Organizing Committee Chairman, Prof. Gennady BARYSHNIKOV (ASU, RuAG President), and the IAG President, Prof. Eric FOUACHE. IAG Vice-president, Prof. Mauro SOLDATI, and RuAG Secretary, Prof. Andrei PANIN (Moscow State University), introduced 14 young geomorphologists, which participation was sponsored by IAG and INQUA (project 1226F). After the opening ceremony, Prof. Victor BAKER (University of Arizona, USA) gave the invited lecture titled “Extreme Events and Catastrophism in Geomorphology: Some Historical and Philosophical Perspectives”. Morning session was continued with six plenary talks by Paul CARLING (Southampton Univ., UK), Monique FORT (Univ. Paris Diderot, France), Juergen HERGET (Bonn Univ., Germany), Goro KOMATSU (Univ. D’Annunzio, Italy), Piotr MIGOŃ (Wrocław Univ., Poland), Gerald NANSON (Univ. of Wollongong, Australia).

The afternoon session on July 2 and the next two days were given to six oral/poster sessions:

  • Gemorphological hazards and cataclysmic events, past and present (IAG jointly with INQUA TERPRO Commission) with keynotes by Olav SLAYMAKER (Univ. of British Columbia, Canada) and Victor BAKER (Univ. of Arizona, USA);

  • Gradualism and catastrophism in tectonic geomorphology (organized by IAG Tectonic Geomorphology Working Group), keynote by Alexander STROM (Hydroproject Institute, Moscow, Russia);

  • Extreme events and gradual change in process geomorphology, keynote by Xiaoping YANG (Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China);

  • Human aspects of geomorphology (Joint session of Geomorphosites and Geoarchaeology IAG WGs), keynote by Eric FOUACHE (Univ. Paris Sorbonne Abu-Dhabi, France/UAE);

  • Cenozoic and Quaternary landscape evolution under rock and climate control, keynote by Leszek STARKEL (Institute of Geography, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland);

  • Geomorphological techniques, keynote by Sergei BOLTRAMOVICH (Sankt-Petersburg Univ., Russia).

IAG Executive Committee meeting and Council meeting were held on July 2 and 3 parallel to the conference sessions. The conference was supported by two extensive fieldtrips (pre-conference – Lake Baikal region, post-conference – Eastern Altai). Post-conference fieldtrip included also the Intensive Field Course for Young Geomorphologists and Quaternary Scientists sponsored by IAG and INQUA (project 1226F).

Participants of the Regional Conference

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Photo: Organizing Committee.

[1] Gradualism vs catastrophism in landscape evolution. International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG) Regional Conference, July 2-4, 2015. Barnaul, Russia. Compiled by G. Baryshnikov and A. Panin. ASU Publ., 2015. 213 p. Link for downloading:

Andrei Panin, Organizing Committee Vice-Chair,
Moscow State University, RuAG Secretary

IAG Regional Conference Field Trips held in Siberia June 23-30 and July 5-11, 2015

The Federal District of Siberia encompasses 5 M km² and 40 M inhabitants. Our field trips visited four administrative units within the Siberian Federal District: the Irkutsk Oblast (768 000 km² and 2.4 M people) and the Buryat Republic (351 000 km² and 1 M people) (Field Trip A) and the Altai Krai (169 000 km² and 2.4 M inhabitants) and the Altay Republic (93 000 km² and 200 000 inhabitants) (Field Trip B).

Field Trip A Geomorphology and Geoarcheology of the Southwestern Baikal Region (June 23-30, 2015)

Leaders: Prof. Yuri Ryzhov, Head of the Geomorphology Laboratory and Professor S.A. Makarov from the VB Sochava Institute of Geography, Irkutsk State University and of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science.

Participants (15): Russia (5), Czech Republic (3), Poland (1), Austria (1), Belgium (1), Canada (1) and China (1)

Professors Ryzhov and Makarov and Baikal Field Trip participants from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Austria and Poland examining archeological remains close to Lake Baikal.

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Photo: Xiaoping Yang.

The first day was spent travelling to the shores of Lake Baikal at Listvyanka, where we visited the Baikal Limnological Museum. The overview of the environmental significance of Lake Baikal was comprehensive and set the stage for the rest of the week. Days 2, 3 and 4 were based at the Maryina Roschcha Hotel in Arshan, a settlement, which was devastated by a catastrophic debris flow on June 28, 2014. Arshan is located in the Tunkinskaya Depression, an intermontane tectonic depression at around 900 m a.s.l. in southwestern Buryat Republic. The Tunkinskaya Ridge of the Baikal Mountains rises to 3200 m a.s.l., giving a vertical relief of 2300 m. The vertical relief and an intense summer rainstorm account for the devastating debris flow (Makarov et al., 2014). We also explored the volcanic terrain on the floor of the Elovskoe Plateau, the structure of the Tunkinskaya branch of the Baikal Rift Zone, local glaciation effects and tectonic topography. On Day 5 we travelled to Sakhyurta, a tourist resort on the shores of Lake Baikal. Days 6, 7 and 8 were based on the recreation centre at Sakhyurta. The tectonic topography, contemporary erosional processes and coastal processes around Olkhon Island and the Maloe More Strait in Lake Baikal were explored from land and by boat. A team of archeologists from Irkutsk State University assisted us on Day 7. A magnificent farewell dinner was organized at Restaurant Maimai, in Irkutsk on the evening of Day 8. Informative observations about the Buryet people, the ecology of the steppe-taiga zone and the several globally significant World Heritage Sites were generously shared as we travelled.

Makarov, S.A., Cherkashina, A.A. and Atutova, Zh.V., 2014. Catastrophic debris flow in the village of Arshan, Tunkinsky district, Republic of Buryatia on June 28, 2014. V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Irkutsk. 111 p.

Field Trip B Russian Altai in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene: Geomorphological Catastrophes and Landscape Rebound (July 5-11, 2015)

Leaders: Prof. Andrei Panin, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Prof. Gennady Baryshnikov, Altai State University, Barnaul, Dr. Anna Agatova and Dr. Roman Nepop, Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Sciences (Siberian Branch), Novosibirsk, Prof. Paul Carling, University of Southampton and Prof. Juergen Herget, University of Bonn.

Professors Herget and Carling were also Tutors in the Intensive Field Course (IFC) for Young Geomorphologists (YGs). The decision to combine the IFC for YGs with the Altai Field Trip was precedent-setting for either IAG Regional or International Geomorphology Conferences. The presence of tutors was highly successful in facilitating interaction between YGs and mature specialists.

Prof. Mauro Soldati, IAG Vice-President and Prof. Olav Slaymaker, IAG Past President together with 13 of the 16 Young Geomorphologists from Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, India, Italy, Mongolia and Russia at the site of a landslide triggered by the 2003 Chuya earthquake (Photo: Ekaterina Lebedeva).

There were 16 Young Geomorphologists from 9 countries registered in the IFC, compared with a grand total of 60 Altai Field Trip participants from 22 countries as follows: Russia (12), Italy (8), India (7), Belgium (5), China (5), Poland (3), Australia (2), Canada (2), Israel (2), Spain (2), Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Mongolia, Romania, USA (1 each).

The first day we drove from Barnaul to Artybash on Teletskoye Lake. En route we stopped at the Republic of Altay national cultural museum in the capital city, Gorno-Altaisk. The overview of the cultural, historical and ecological context of the Republic set the stage for the rest of the week.

On Days 1 and 2, we were based on Artybash and explored the relation between Teletskoye Lake, the Biya River and the evolving drainage net from the Middle Pleistocene to the present day. Teletskoye Lake occupies a 60 km graben, glacially modified, and was not physically connected with the Biya River until late Middle Pleistocene (Baryshnikov et al., 2015). On Day 3, we drove 350 km from Artybash to Ongudai and were delightfully entertained by a local dance and song group at the Ongudai Tourist Centre. On Days 4, 5 and 6 we were based on a summer camp ground at Aktash, the most central location for exploring the catafluvial deposits of the Katun and Chuya valleys and specifically the Kuray and Chuya basins, with their unique collection of Altaian superflood phenomena. The giant dunes, the paleolake strandlines, ice-dammed lake deposits, the spectacular landslide and the seismogenic event that destroyed the village of Beltir were a fitting climax to the field trip (Agatova et al., 2014). The restaurant at Aktash served a splendid farewell dinner at the close of Day 6. Finally, on Day 7 we drove the 600 km from Aktash to Barnaul.

The Field Guide and a separate volume entitled “Russian Altai: superfloods, glaciation, human occupation”, offered superbly informative back-up materials for this field trip.

In conclusion, it is hard to overstate the excellence of the preparation for this field trip, the efficiency of its execution in the face of overwhelming logistical obstacles and the generosity of our hosts in sharing so much of their hard won field data.

Giant bar above the village of Inya (> 150 m high), deposited by a catastrophic outburst flood at the confluence of the major Katun River and its tributary.

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Photo: Piotr Migoń.

Baryshnikov, G.Y., Panin, A., Adamiec, G., 2015. Geochronology of the Late Pleistocene catastrophic Biya debris flow and the Lake Teletskoye formation, Altai region, southern Siberia. International Geology Review. DOI: 10.1080/00206814.2015.1062733.
Agatova, A.R., Nepop, R.K., Slusarenko, I.Yu.,Myglan, V.S., Nazarov, A.N., Barinov, V.V., 2014. Glacier dynamics, paleohydrological changes and seismicity in southeastern Altai (Russia) and their influence on human occupation during the last 3000 years. Quaternary International 324:6-19.

Olav Slaymaker, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Frontal part of a huge seismogenic landslide in the SW part of the Chuya Basin, triggered by an earthquake in 2003. Expedition trucks provide the scale.

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Photo: Piotr Migoń.

Young Geomorphologists

IAG grant holders for the participation in the Regional Conference on Geomorphology, Barnaul, Russia

With support of INQUA and IAG, 13 grants have been offered to young geomorphologists for their participation in the IAG Regional Conference in Barnaul and consecutive fieldtrip in Altai. The grant holders are:

  • Shreya BANDYOPADHYAY (India) – Support by IAG

  • Iliyan KOTSEV (Bulgaria) - IAG

  • Yuanyuan ZHOU (China) - IAG

  • Kapil GHOSH (India) - IAG/INQUA

  • Diganta KUMAR (India) - IAG/INQUA

  • Archana PATIL (India) - IAG/INQUA

  • Jonathan CRIPPS (Canada) - INQUA

  • Hanne HENDRICKX (Belgium) - INQUA

  • Ekaterina MATLAKHOVA (Russia) - INQUA

  • Alyeksandr ORKHONSELENGE (Mongolia) - INQUA

  • Vadim PELLINEN (Russia) - INQUA

  • Romy SCHLÖGEL (Belgium) - INQUA

  • Jonas SOUZA (Brazil) - INQUA

Their reports are visible on the IAG website:

Mauro Soldati, IAG/AIG Vice-President and Training Officer

Marta Della Seta, IAG/AIG Executive Committee Member and Webmaster

Working Groups

Here is the list of the IAG Working Groups for the period 2013-2017.

New Working Groups and their conveners:

Continuing Working Groups and their conveners:

Extreme Events in Geomorphology: Samuel Etienne (France);

Red Beds and Danxia Geomorphology: Peng Hua (China);

Geoarcheology: Kosmas Pavlopoulos (Greece);

Geomorphological Hazards: Bianca Carvalho Vieira (Brasil);

Geomorphosites: Paola Coratza (Italy);

Planetary Geomorphology: Susan Conway (UK);

Rocky Coasts Geomorphology: David Kennedy (Australia)

SEDIBUD, Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments: Achim Beylich (Norway): achim.beylich@NGU.NO

Tropical Rivers: Edgardo Latrubesse (USA);

Xiaoping Yang, IAG/AIG Vice-President responsible for the Working Groups

Tectonic geomorphology Working Group

The session “Catastrophism and Gradualism in Tectonic Geomorphology” organized by the WG “Tectonic Geomorphology” was successfully held during the IAG Regional Conference 2015 (Barnaul, Russia, 2-4 July). The main aim of the session was to present and promote multidisciplinary and innovative studies on tectonic geomorphology in different geodynamic contexts. Dr Francesco Troiani (Department of Earth Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy) and Prof. Efthimios Karymbalis (Department of Geography Harokopio University, Greece) chaired the session. The session was opened by the remarkable invited Keynote “Formation of upslope-facing normal fault scarps in the compressional neotectonics environment” by Professor Alexander Strom (Geodynamic Research Center, Branch of JSC "Hydroproject Institute”, Russia). Interesting oral presentations and posters by researchers from China, Russia, India, Greece and Italy followed.

On the occasion of Regional Conference, the WG members attending the event met to discuss on the WG future activities. The WG will propose a specific session during the 2016 EGU General Assembly (Vienna). Prof. Alain Demoulin (Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary, University of Liège) and Prof. Marcello Schiattarella (Department of Earth Sciences, University of Basilicata, Italy) were proposed to organize and chair the session that will focus on the topic “Geomorphic response to active tectonics: numerical and field-based approaches”. A Summer School, specifically addressed to young generations of researchers, will be organized in Italy in July 2016, that will cover both the Alpine and Apennine contexts. Profs. Marco Giardino and Giandomenico Fubelli (Department of Earth Sciences, University of Turin, Italy) are in charge for the organization of the event. IAG Executive Committee decided to support this initiative with two grants for Young geomorphologists worldwide.

More information on:

Paola Fredi, Department of Earth Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Upcoming Events

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:

United Arab Emirates

Conference “Karstology in Arid Regions”, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 20–27 January 2016. Website:


2nd International Conference of Aerial Archaeology “From Aerostats to Drones: aerial imagery in Archaeology”, Rome, 3–5 February 2016. Website:


International Coastal Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 6–11 March 2016. Website:


2016 European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly, 17–22 April 2016. Website:


11th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP 2016), Potsdam, Germany, 20–24 June 2016. Deadline for abstract submission: 15 December 2015. Website:


Conference “Source to sink – From erosion to sedimentary archives”, Chambéry, France, 26 June – 1 July 2016. Website:

United States

8th International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics (River Flow 2016), Saint-Louis, USA, 12–15 July 2016. Website:


International Conference of the Carpatho-Balkan-Dinaric Geomorphological Commission (CBDGC), Postojna, Slovenia, 13–17 September 2016. Website:


13th International Symposium on River Sedimentation (ISRS 2016), Stuttgart, Germany, 19–22 September 2016. Website:

New Zealand

17th ANZGG Conference “Integrated Geomorphology”, Wairarapa, New Zealand, 5–10 February 2017. Website:


9th International Conference on Geomorphology, New Delhi, India, 6–11 November 2017. 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:

Deadline for the next issue: 31st December 2015

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 IBAN Number: BE92 9730 9811 4423
Adress of Bank: Argenta Spaarbank, Vierhekkenstraat 3, 9031 DRONGEN, Belgium
BIC (Bank Identification Code): ARSPBE22

Full list of the committee members:

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