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Vladimir I. Keilis-Borok

Lewis Fry Richardson Medal 1998

Vladimir I. Keilis-Borok

The 1998 Lewis Fry Richardson Medal is awarded to Vladimir I. Keilis-Borok for his outstanding contributions to the study of the nonlinear dynamics of the lithosphere, in particular to the development of the concept that the active lithosphere is a hierarchical nonlinear system.


Vladimir Keilis-Borok is Director of the International Institute for Earthquake Prediction and Mathematical Geophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He has been an important pioneer in the development of the concept of the active lithosphere of the Earth as a hierarchical nonlinear system, and in establishing its basic features. The latter include the existence and nature of long-range interactions, identification and characterisation of the symptoms of near-critical states, and determination of the limits of predictability. He also established crucial links between mathematical models of nonlinear systems, based on ideas of chaos, pattern recognition etc., and the analysis of real observations of the Earth, at a time long before such nonlinear ideas and models became fashionable. He was also an early pioneer of the application of theoretical ideas from nonlinear systems to problems of very real practical importance, especially in the controversial area of earthquake prediction, but also in seismological inverse theory and in the analysis of geophysical risk assessment. He has pursued an immense breadth of research interests during his long and productive research career, including work on socio-economic and political instability which, in some respects, parallels that of Richardson himself. It is with great pleasure, therefore, that the first award of the Lewis Fry Richardson Medal is made to Professor Keilis-Borok for his outstanding contributions to the study of the nonlinear dynamics of lithosphere, in particular to the development of the concept of the active lithosphere as a hierarchical nonlinear system.

Newsletter 71, 25, 1999

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