Professor Adam Marian Dziewonski (1936–2016)

Acta Geophysica, Apr 2016

Marek Grad, Aleksander Guterch

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Professor Adam Marian Dziewonski (1936–2016)

Professor Adam Marian Dziewo ski (1936-2016) 0 Aleksander Guterch Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences 1 Marek Grad Institute of Geophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw - terior structure. His first works were about the structure of the upper mantle inferred on the basis of surface wave dispersion. Adam Dziewo ski was one of giants of science; his greatest achievements concerned: (1) studies of the Earth’s free oscillations and inner core, (2) development of the Preliminary Reference Earth Model, PREM, (3) studies on earthquake mechanisms based on centroid moment tensor inversion, and (4) global seismic tomography. His accomplishments in these four areas are the milestones in seismology; each of them alone would suffice to call its author a giant. In the epoch of “analog seismology”, the digitization and then analysis of seismograms from the great Alaska earthquake of 1964 enabled him to identify and correct the modes of free oscillations of the Earth and consequently to demonstrate that the inner core is solid. In 1981, Adam Dziewo ski, jointly with Professor Don L. Anderson, developed the Earth’s structure model, named the Preliminary Reference Earth Model, PREM, which has been and still is the basic reference for other models of the structure and geodynamic processes. After nearly 40 years from its publication, the PREM model continues to be widely used, with some 200 citations per year (making up a total of over 5000). Adam Dziewo ski is the author of a method for studying the earthquake mechanisms on the basis of seismic wave recordings (inversion of the centroid moment tensor). The Harvard Seismology Group that has been led by him is now publishing results of earthquake mechanism studies for several hundred greatest earthquakes every year. Adam Dziewo ski invented the global seismic tomography, which yields a three-dimensional model of the Earth’s interior structure based on millions of measurements of seismic wave travel-times between the source and the seismic station. Taking advantage of the differences in seismic wave propagation velocities, it is possible to map the Earth’s interior. For instance, it is possible to observe the geometry of cooler lithospheric plates submerging into warmer Earth’s mantle, down to the boundary with the liquid outer core (layer D ). This is essential in the study of dynamic processes responsible for the drift of continents, earthquakes, recent tectonic movements, and volcanism. Adam Dziewo ski was very strongly involved in organizing modern seismological stations network, indispensable for obtaining the highestquality observational materials, giving insight into the deep structure of the Earth. For many years, he has been Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Incorporated Research Institutions of Seismology (IRIS), a large consortium of universities and research institutes in the field of seismology and Earth interior research. ADAM M. DZIEWO SKI – OBITUARY Recognizing the outstanding contribution of Adam Dziewo ski to our understanding of the Earth’s interior, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences honored him with the Crafoord Prize in 1998. The Crafoord Prize, funded in 1980, is awarded every year, on a rotating scheme, in one of the five disciplines that are not covered by the Nobel Prize: Mathematics, Astronomy, Geosciences, Biosciences, and Rheumatology. It was first granted in 1982 in Mathematics. The 1998 Crafoord Prize, in Geosciences, was awarded by Adam Dziewo ski jointly with his close collaborator, Professor Don L. Anderson (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA), for their fundamental contribution to the knowledge of the structure and processes in the Earth’s interior. The Crafoord Prize is being granted by the same Committee as the Nobel Prize, and it is also presented by the King of Sweden. Adam Dziewo ski had been keeping close, friendly contact with the Polish geophysical community. He was member of Advisory Board of Acta Geophysica.


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Marek Grad, Aleksander Guterch. Professor Adam Marian Dziewonski (1936–2016), Acta Geophysica, 2016, 317-319, DOI: 10.1515/acgeo-2016-0014