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Harry W. Green II

Harry W. Green II
Harry W. Green II

The 2018 Louis Néel Medal is awarded to Harry W. Green II for his seminal contributions to the mechanism of deep-focus earthquakes, rock rheology, mantle dynamics and the dramatic improvement of a solid pressure-medium apparatus.

Harry W. Green II started his career by studying the deformation of quartz using a solid-pressure medium apparatus and through transmission-electron-microscopy observations under the guidance of David Griggs. Green made a seminal contribution to our understanding of the mechanisms of deep-focus earthquakes, which had remained enigmatic for many years, through the discovery of transformation-induced faulting, often referred to as the ‘anti-crack’ mechanism. He greatly improved a solid-pressure medium apparatus by developing a molten-salt assembly. This improved the accuracy of stress measurement by more than one order of magnitude, and extended the range of attainable pressures by a significant factor. This apparatus allowed him to determine the rheological flow laws of eclogite and other important mantle rocks, including quantification of their activation volume, and to study the faulting associated with transformation and mineral dehydration, all under realistic mantle conditions.

Overall, Green made many original and high-impact contributions to a wide range of problems including ultra-high-pressure metamorphic rocks and mantle dynamics, resulting in an astonishing record of high-impact papers on novel, often controversial, but always interesting and thought-provoking topics. He changed the way the community thinks about a wide range of phenomena in rock physics.

Green made great contribution to the wider community working in rock deformation and Earth dynamics by serving as the President of Tectonophysics Section of the American Geophysical Union, co-founding the Gordon Conference of Rock Deformation, working with and educating many early career scientists and by giving many engaging and accessible lectures throughout the world. His infectious enthusiasm has stimulated and motivated the research activities of an entire generation of colleagues, competitors and early career scientists alike. Green’s contribution has previously been acknowledged by the community. He received the Bowen Award, the Roebling Medal and was elected as a fellow of many prestigious societies and organisations.

Green made influential and long-lasting contributions to a variety of outstanding problems in high-pressure rock physics and associated fields, and is a worthy recipient of the 2018 Neel Medal.

Harry W. Green II passed away shortly after the Louis Néel Medal Committee had recommended him as a recipient. The EGU Council has decided to award him the medal posthumously at the 2018 EGU General Assembly.