The 1997 Beno Gutenberg Medal is awarded to Vastislav Cervený in recognition of his outstanding theoretical contributions in the field if seismology and science prospecting.
Vastislav Cervený graduated in 1956 in physics from the Charles University, Prague. In 1962 he received his PhD and in 1978 his DrSC at the same university. In 1964 he became associate professor and in 1987 full professor at the Institute of Geophysics, Charles University.
From the beginning, his work was oriented on studies of theoretical, and later on, numerical aspects of wave propagation in complex media. His name is closely connected with the development and the application of the “ray method” and its various modifications and generalizations. He wrote two books on this topic and he is just finishing the third one on “Seismic ray method”. It will be the most comprehensive one. Many of his contributions opened new fields of application of the ray method, so e.g., his paper on ray computations in anisotropic media (1972) or his papers on the Gaussian beam summation method.
As a university teacher he influenced a whole generation of students of theoretical geophysics, and he is, therefore, rightly considered as the founder of the Prague school of the ray method.
Professor Cervený is well-known among the entire geophysical community and respected for his outstanding research. This has resulted in numerous invitations to many places all over the world. He spent between three months and two years in places like Moscow, Halifax, Toronto, Cambridge, Paris, Karlsruhe, Stanford, Frankfurt, Kiel, Berkley, Salvador-Bahia, Utrecht, Delft and Taipei.
He is an organizer of the popular series of workshops entitled “Seismic waves in laterally inhomogeneous media”. He has been a member of several Editorial Boards of geophysical journals. He is a chairman of the Subcommission on Seismic Waves in Heterogeneous Media, IASPEI. Since 1994, he has been a chairman of the consortium project “Seismic waves in complex 3-D structures” sponsored by several oil companies and universities. He is an Honorary Member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
Newsletter 63, 31, 1997