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IAG/AIG Newsletter No. 29 (3/2013)

Lettre d’information n° 29 (3/2013)
Association Internationale des Géomorphologues
p. 501-505

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From the Editor’s Desk

Dear Geomorphologists,

We thank you all for your kind help and co-operation in enabling us to publish the newsletter on time. We hope that you continue this co-operation in order that future issues of the newsletter can be published on time. The present issue of the newsletter is a special issue on the 8th International Conference on Geomorphology.

Emmanuel Reynard ( and Sunil Kumar De (

1. The 8th ICG

The 8th International Conference on Geomorphology of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG/AIG) took place in Paris at the Cité des Sciences de La Villette from August 27 to 31, 2013. The main topic of this 8th Conference was "Geomorphology and Sustainability". Organized by the Groupe Français de Géomorphologie (GFG) and open to all scientists and practitioners, this Conference included 26 scientific sessions, 5 key-note lectures and one Workshop devoted to Young Geomorphologists. The participants have attended fourteen field trips in various parts of France and neighbouring countries.


A report on the Conference will be published in the next Newsletter.

The official activities of the Conference started at 9.30 a.m. on 27th August 2013. Prof. Michael Crozier delivered his Presidential address on “Geomorphology and Society” and the Organizing Committee at the Inaugural Function has awarded the IAG/AIG Honorary Senior Fellows, as well as the Denys Brunsden Medal and the Jean Tricart Award. IAG Awards Policy can be downloaded on the IAG website (

The conclusion of the Presidential Address was that there is ‘geomorphology to be applied’ and that its application is desperately needed by society. Given the immensity of current global change and its impact on the wellbeing of mankind, perhaps we should learn from our hydrology cousins of ‘geomorphology for survival’. The document “The Value of Membership” can be downloaded on the IAG website (

Honorary Fellows of IAG/AIG: Andrew S. GOUDIE, Mario PANIZZA, Paolo A. PIRAZZOLI, and Ying WANG

First Brunsden Medal: Mauro SOLDATI

Second Jean Tricart Award: Danang Sri HADMOKO

2. New IAG/AIG Executive Committee

The Election for the New IAG/AIG Executive Committee (2013-2017) was held on 30th August, 2013 at 04.30 p.m. and following members have been elected:

Eric Fouache (President), Irasema Alcantara-Ayala (Vice President), Mauro Soldati  (Vice President), Xiaoping Yang  (Vice President), Sunil Kumar De (Secretary General), Morgan De Dapper (Treasurer) and Emmanuel Reynard (Publications officer).

In the First EC meeting of the newly elected Committee the following members have been co-opted to form the full-fledged EC for the said period:

Asma Mohamed Alketbi, Asfawossen Asrat, Denis Mercier, Piotr Migoń, Andrey Panin, Marta Della Seta, Heather Viles

3. Address of Prof. Eric Fouache, the incoming President of IAG/AIG – Paris, France

More than 1400 Geomorphologists from all over the world have been participated the 8th International Conference in Paris. As the newly elected President of IAG/AIG my first duty is to congratulate the French Group of geomorphology and the organizing committee for this success!

It is a great honour as well as a huge responsibility to be the President of our association. Let me first thank all the national delegates from the core of my heart, who participated the 8th International Conference in Paris and placed the trust on me. I cannot express my feeling in words that being a member of the French School of Geomorphology how much proud I am to carry out this beautiful task as the President.

I wish to make it clear right from the start that I will not be the president of the French-speaking community of Geomorphologists only but the president of all Geomorphologists and I wish it to be a teamwork, as it was under the presidency of Mike Crozier, whom I want to thank very much for creating a friendly atmosphere among the members of the IAG/AIG Executive Committee. We will keep this spirit with the new members of the Executive Committee, whom I would like to congratulate for their election or cooptation.

Our association was created in 1989 and is thus now twenty-four years old. If we want it to survive during the next quarter of a century, it is essential and urgent for us to reinforce, right from now, the structural foundations that will ensure its sustainability.

I have five main aims for this term:

  • To carry on developing our policy of support to young Geomorphologists,

  • To continue our support to less favored countries and the innovative activities of the working groups.

  • To ensure legal sustainability, by finding a legal basis for our association in a country whose laws allow an international NGO to be ruled by non-nationals

  • To ensure financial sustainability. We need money to develop the Working Groups, to support young Geomorphologists and to support less favored countries. For that we need to innovate, to find new sources of funding.

  • To provide all the necessary support for the success of our next regional conference, which will be held in Russia, and of the next international conference, which will be held in Kolkata in India.

I am convinced that we can succeed, all together, borne by the strength and the energy of the new generations of Geomorphologists and the thematic renewals within our discipline. The high percentage of young Geomorphologists among the participants in this 8th IAG conference is a very encouraging sign and we must not let this enthusiasm and this dynamics subside!

To Summarize: Yes We Can!

Eric Fouache, President IAG/AIG, Vice Chancellor of the University Paris Sorbonne, Abu Dhabi

4. IAG/AIG Executive Committee Meeting

The first IAG/AIG Executive Committee Meeting of the newly elected EC Members was held on 31st August at 10.30 a.m. Minutes of the meeting is as follows:



Saturday, 31 August, 2013; 11:00-12:00

Centre des Congrès de la Villette, Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris

1. Apologies

Emmanuel Reynard and Xiaoping Yang  

2. Welcome and Congratulations

Eric Fouache (newly elected President) welcomed and congratulated the newly elected members: Mauro Soldati (Vice President), Irasema Alcantara-Ayala (Vice President), Xiaoping Yang (Vice President), Sunil Kumar De (Secretary General), Morgan De Dapper (Treasurer) and Emmanuel Reynard (Publications Officer).

3. Distribution of Portfolios to the elected members

The following portfolios have been allotted by the EC to all elected members:

Vice Presidents

  • Irasema Alcantara-Ayala (Mexico): International Relations and communication promoting Latin America

  • Mauro Soldati  (Italy): Training Strategy and Young Geomorphologists

  • Xiaoping Yang (China): Working Groups. Asia and Pacific

Secretary General

  • Sunil Kumar De (India): International Conference 2017


  • Morgan De Dapper (Belgium)

Publications Officer

  • Emmanuel Reynard (Switzerland): Newsletter

4. Co-option and responsibilities/portfolios

The elected members have unanimously decided to co-opt the following members with individual responsibilities/ portfolios:

Co-Opted Members:

  • Asma Mohamed Alketbi (UAE): Regional Group Middle East

  • Asfawossen Asrat (Ethiopia): Africa – Creation of African Regional Groups

  • Denis Mercier (France): Fund raising

  • Piotr Migon (Poland): IUCN

  • Andrey Panin (Russia): Regional Conference 2015

  • Marta Della Seta (Italy): Website and training

  • Heather Viles (UK): International publishing

5. Working Groups (2013-2017)

At the 8th IAG conference in Paris, August 2013, the IAG Council decided about the following: (a) approved four proposal for new working groups within IAG, (b) ratified one working group provisionally approved during the term 2009-2013, (c) approved extension of activity of nine groups from the previous term.

New Working Groups and their convenors:

  • Dendrogeomorphology: Markus Stoffel (Switzerland)

  • Landform Assessment for Geodiversity: Zbigniew Zwoliński (Poland) and Marco Giardino (Italy)

  • Submarine Geomorphology: Vassilios Kapsimalis (Greece) and Aaron Micallef (Malta)

  • Tectonic Geomorphology: Paola Fredi (Italy)

Ratified Working Groups and their convenors:

  • Extreme Events in Geomorphology: Samuel Etienne (France)

Continuing Working Groups and their convenors:

  • Red Beds and Danxia Geomorphology: PENG Hua (China)

  • Geoarcheology: Kosmas PAVLOPOULOS (Greece), Stéphane Desruelles, Vanessa Heyvaert and Yasuhisa Kondo  

  • Geomorphological Hazards: Irasema ALCANTARA-AYALA (Mexico) and

  • Sunil Kumar DE (India)

  • Geomorphosites: Emmanuel REYNARD (Switzerland) and Paola Coratza (Italy)

  • Planetary Geomorphology: Mary Bourke (Ireland)

  • REEForm: Reef and reef landform responses to climatic and environmental change: Chris PERRY (UK)

  • Rocky Coasts Geomorphology: David Kennedy (Australia) and Wayne STEPHENSON (New Zealand)

  • SEDIBUD, Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments: Achim BEYLICH (Norway)

  • Tropical Rivers: Edgardo Latrubesse (Argentina/USA)

6. Future activities

Eric Fouache stressed upon the following future activities and the rest of the members supported it:

  • The first priority will be given to formulate a legal base of the IAG/AIG

  • To define MOUs clearly with other institutions EGU, Inqua, etc. A common format may be framed for defining so.

  • To bring back the lost scientific members. Secretary is requested to establish relationship as well as to keep regular touch with all the national delegates.

  • To establish contacts with IAEG (International Association of Engineering Geology).

  • To strengthen the link between IGU and IAG.

Other issues to be addressed

It would be desirable that an American geomorphologist becomes part of the Executive Committee as co-opted member

Young Geomorphologists

Decision taken to support two PhD students in Geomorphology from Europe (except UK) to participate in the BGS Post-graduate Training Workshop to be held in Windsor in December 2013 (budget devoted 600 euros).

Next EC meeting

The members of the EC Meeting have unanimously decided that the next EC meeting will be held at Vienna after the EGU Conference. The EGU will be held during 27th April-2nd May, 2014. This would be a full EC meeting. Eric Fouache proposed one EC meeting should be held at AbuDhabi in future.

EC-Members contacts

Eric FOUACHE, President

Sunil Kumar DE, Secretary General

5. Young Geomorphologists Section

a. Tricart Award and IAG/AIG Grant Holders for the year 2013

Tricart Award

In order to honour the achievements and spirit of the late French Geomorphologist Jean Tricart, the French Geomorphology Group (Groupe Français de Géomorphologie – GFG) has created the Jean Tricart Award since 2009. This award of 1000 EUR would be given to an outstanding young (<35 years) Geomorphologist from a developing country, in particular from those countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa which Jean Tricart was particularly involved with.

On the basis of the recommendation of the Selection Committee the second Tricart Award has been received by Danang Sri HADMOKO (Indonesia) for his outstanding contribution in the field of Applied Geomorphology at such a young age.

IAG/AIG Grants

A remarkable number of applications for IAG grants for the Paris Conference were received. Out of 97 applications received, 70 were eligible for grant awarding. The Selection Committee appointed by the IAG Executive Committee assessed the applications and finally 20 Young Geomorphologists less than 35 years old have been supported. They come from 12 countries with Purchasing Power Parity below 16,000 international dollars. The IAG/AIG grant for the year 2013 has been awarded to (alphabetical order):

Orkhonselenge ALEXSANDR (Mongolia), Titu ANGHEL (Romania), Shreya BANDYOPADHYAY (India), Tulius DIAS NERY (Brazil), Andrew GREEN (South Africa), Danang Sri HADMOKO (Indonesia), Gabriela IOANA-TOROIMAC (Romania), Daniel IOSIF (Romania), Rebecca JOUBERT (South Africa), Fabrizio LISTO (Brazil), Hongua LU (China), Carole NEHME (Lebanon), Khamarrul RAZAK (Malaysia), Xiaozong REN (China), Adel SEPEHR (Iran), Marjan TEMOVSKI (Macedonia), Manisha TRIPATHI (India), Ghislain ZANGMO TEFOGOUM  (Cameroon), Deguo ZHANG (China), Gongdan ZHOU (China)

Mauro Soldati , IAG/AIG Training Officer

b. Report on the IAG/AIG International Workshop on “Objective Geomorphological Representation Models: Breaking through a New Geomorphological Mapping Frontier”, in Salerno, Italy, 15 - 19 October 2012

The IAG/AIG Workshop on “Objective Geomorphological Representation Models: Breaking through a New Geomorphological Mapping Frontier”, organized by the University of Salerno (Department of Civil Engineering), the Roma Tre University (Department of Sciences) and the European Cilento & Vallo di Diano Geopark (Italy), was held at Fisciano Campus, University of Salerno (Italy).

The Workshop included two days of indoor paper/poster sessions (October 16-17) preceded by an Intensive Course on “GIS-based Geomorphological Mapping” for young geomorphologists (October 12-15) and followed by two days (October 18-19) boat excursion on “Multiscale Object-based Hillslope, Fluvial and Coastal Geomorphology” along the coast of Licosa Headland (Cilento & Vallo di Diano European Geopark).

More than fifty participants have attended the workshop from ten countries representing four continents. Five key-lectures, twenty-eight oral papers and twenty-four posters were presented in the indoor sessions dealing with different aspects of modern techniques, tools and applications of geomorphological mapping with special regard to multi-scale object-based models.

The pre-workshop Intensive Course on “Objective Geomorphological Representation Models”, performed in the Fisciano Campus, University of Salerno and CUGRI (inter-University Centre for Great Risks), was attended by four young European geomorphologists whose participation was financially supported by the IAG (one scholarship), Salerno University (two scholarships) and European Cilento & Vallo di Diano Geopark (one scholarship). A proficiency certificate was delivered to the participants during the indoor sessions.

Giandomenico Fubelli, Roma Tre University, Italy

Domenico Guida, Department of Civil Engineering, Salerno University, Italy

Delivery of proficiency certificates to the intensive course

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Boat excursion at Licosa Cape – Cilento and Vallo di Diano European and Global Geopark

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c. A report on the workshop ‘Modern Dune Survey Techniques’ held at Gobabeb Training and Research Centre in September 2012

Workshop organiser:
Dr Kevin H. White (

Other workshop leaders:
Professor Charlie Bristow (, 
Professor Mark Bateman (

SAAG Conference Organiser: Dr Frank Eckardt (

With funding from the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) and with student scholarships provided by the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG), a training workshop in modern dune survey techniques was held at the Biennial Congress of the South African Association of

Introductory lectures in the first workshop session (G. Wiggs)

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Geomorphologists, held at Gobabeb Training and Research Centre in September 2012. The workshop comprised three activities. The first was the use of Leica Differential GPS equipment to undertake a survey of a dune profile, covering topics such as use of real-time satellite correction signals versus base-station/rover survey methods, vertical and horizontal accuracies, and data processing issues. The second activity was collecting a GPR survey of the dune transects using a Pulse EKKO 100 with a 1000 V transmitter and 100 MHz antennae (Bristow et al., 2005; 2007). The third component of the workshop was the use of a SUERC portable OSL reader. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) is the only dating technique that can be used to directly date dune sand (e.g. Bateman et al., 2011). It relies on sunlight exposure of quartz grains resetting radiation charge built up within the quartz grains. Once buried, naturally occurring background radiation builds up this charge again and, if quartz grains are measured without sunlight exposure, this built up charge can be used to establish a burial age in the range 10-100,000+ years. However, full OSL dating is resource and time intensive both in the field and in the required follow-up laboratory work. A long held ideal would be able to determine the age of dunes in the field. New field-based OSL technology developed by Sanderson and Murphy (2010) and tested in complex sedimentary environments (Bishop et al., 2005; Muñoz-Salinas et al., 2011) has two main advantages over traditional OSL dating. Firstly, because it can be used to guide field sampling for full OSL ages. Secondly, because it is rapid (only a few minutes per sample), a large number of readings can be taken relatively quickly, enabling the establishment of relative chronologies either vertically within a stratigraphy or spatially across a dune field.

Field session of the workshop (G. Wiggs)

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The IAG kindly funded three bursaries to support the attendance of young African geomorphologists at the conference and workshop. The three recipients selected by IAG were Nandipha Mabuza (Swaziland), Christel Hansen (Namibia) and Johanna Niipele (Namibia).

The workshop took place over two days. The first session began indoors (Figure 2) with a presentation by Kevin White (University of Reading) on Differential GPS surveying techniques. Mark Bateman (University of Sheffield) then introduced optical dating methods. Charlie Bristow (University of London) wrapped up the presentations with an introduction to ground penetrating radar (GPR). Conference participants were then guided across the Kuiseb River to Station Dune where Bristow and White set up the DGPS and GPR equipment which was used for the demonstration (Figure 3) and where Bateman demonstrated how to sample dune sands for Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating. The IAG sponsored students formed a small team of three to run the GPR taking the console and one antenna apiece, they collected data along a transect up the west flank of Station Dune (Figure 4). Meanwhile White supervised the collection of DGPS data.

The Gobabeb Research Station was an ideal location for the workshop because it is conveniently located within walking distance of large linear dunes, allowing a large group of conference goers to gain first-hand experience of new dune survey techniques. The sponsored students very well received the workshop, and the attendance of a large number of interested and enthusiastic students (and other researchers) from southern Africa at the workshop made it a rewarding experience for all concerned. The success of the workshop has highlighted the demand for similar training opportunities. We have kept in contact with the sponsored students to see how their experiences of the workshop have influenced their future studies. Nandipha Mabuza is now at the University of Witwatersrand undertaking Masters research on GIS and ecology. Christel Hansen has started a PhD on diurnal frost environments in high altitude and latitude environments in Marion Island and Western Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica and the Eastern Cape Drakensberg in South Africa. Johanna Niipele is lecturing at University of Namibia and is looking for a suitable PhD opportunity.

Kevin H. White, University of Reading, UK

6. Upcoming Seminars/Conferences/Workshops/Training Programmes

United Kingdom

BSG Post-Graduate Training Workshop, Windsor, UK, December 9-12, 2013. Two IAG/AIG grants are proposed for European country PhD students. Call for grants on; Deadline for applications: November 5, 2013 to


European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014. Vienna, Austria, April 27 – May 2, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: January 16, 2014. Website:


EUCOP4. 4th European Conference on Permafrost, Evora, Portugal. June 18-21, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2013. Website:


17th Joint Geomorphological Meeting “The geomorphology of natural hazards: mapping, analysis and prevention”. Liège, Belgium, June 30-July 3, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: January 31, 2014. Website:


IGU (International Geographical Union) Regional Conference. Kraków, Poland, August 8-22, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission: January 15, 2014.Website:


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


13th Meeting of the Spanish Society of Geomorphology “Geomorphology to be applied”, Cáceres, Spain, September 9-12, 2014. Deadline for applications: April 30, 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: & Sunil Kumar De, IAG/AIG Secretary General, Department of Geography and Disaster Management, Tripura University (A Central University), Suryamaninagar - 799130, Tripura(West), India. Ph. (mobile): +91-98620 09202, Fax: +91-381-2374802, 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:


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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