Alexandria, VA - The American Geosciences Institute is pleased to recognize Dr. Hiroo Kanamori with the Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal at the 2015 American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention and Exposition. Kanamori has been described as "a towering figure in seismology and geophysics." His discoveries have allowed geoscientists to better understand large earthquakes, and determine how they may impact earthquake and tsunami-prone communities.
A leader in understanding the physics of earthquakes and their tectonic environments, Kanamori has developed scaling relations between various earthquake parameters including the energy and moment, and created an energy-based magnitude scale (denoted as Mw), now in widespread use. This has allowed geophysicists to more precisely calculate the energy released during an earthquake. In addition, Kanamori has applied this to fundamental studies of: great subduction zone and tsunami-generating events, volcano-generated seismograms, and near-real-time tsunami and earthquake warning systems. He has led a prestigious academic career, authored numerous publications, and is recognized by his peers as being generous with his time for students, colleagues and the media.
He is an active member in the Seismological Society of Japan, the American Geophysical Union, the Seismological Society of America, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Many of these same institutions have recognized him for his contributions to science and society with awards and honors.
In a speech made last year at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Kanamori said this of his career, "I have been fortunate to be at the right place at the right time as a geophysicist and seismologist...fortunately my move [to CalTech] coincided with a time of spectacular development in seismic instrumentation, theories, and communication technology, which all contributed to making seismology a truly quantitative and exciting field."
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.