Newsletter - November 2019

Greetings Members and Affiliates of Tectonophysics,


The AGU Fall Meeting is a little over a month away, and it's going to be an exciting and busy gathering, especially as AGU celebrates its Centennial. Follow things on Twitter: @theAGU, (hashtags #AGU100, #AGU2019). Please keep an eye out for several Tectonophysics Section Highlights listed below. We look forward to seeing you there!


The Tectonophysics Section wants your input! With AGU turning 100 and the Plate Tectonics Revolution about half that age, the Tectonophysics section has a lot to celebrate! As part of that celebration, we would like your feedback – specifically:


What Does Tectonophysics Mean to You?


We invite you to share your thoughts and related images or photos. Your quotes and images will be displayed during the AGU Fall Meeting and on the new Tectonophysics website. The Tectonophysics Centennial and Communications Committee will pick their 5 favorite quotes and 5 favorite images that will be shared through the AGU Twitter account @theAGU. The quote and image with the most likes will win AGU swag!

  • Click HERE to write up to 140 characters to share what Tectonophysics means to you!
  • Click HERE to send your best photos. Be sure to state your name and a provide brief description of the image.


Volunteer for Tectonophysics: Volunteer Judges are needed for the Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) ( competition that takes place at the Fall AGU Meeting. Tectonophysics will be giving out 10 awards this year, each with a $100 prize. This award is a notable recognition for students that helps to advance their careers. The award relies on volunteers from the community to serve as judges during the meeting. Requests for judge volunteers will be sent in the 2 to 4 weeks before the AGU fall meeting. Please respond and sign up.  If you would like to serve the Tectonophysics Community in other ways, please reach out to any member of the Tectonophysics Executive Committee, listed below.


Tectonophysics at AGU Fall Meeting


Earth's Interior Neighborhood for Monday, December 9, at Centennial Central ( A major component is a set of eight plenary sessions in the Centennial Theater. These scientific sessions will feature emerging as well as well-known scientists reviewing the connections between the Solid Earth and Habitability. Centennial Central will also showcase digital representations of science (photos, sounds, videos), offer multiple networking opportunities, and foster lively discussions. Please drop by.


Tutorials of interest to the Tectonophysics community will also be offered throughout the week. The full listing and details can be found at here



T24A Centennial Session: The Giants of Tectonophysics III follows two popular Giants sessions held during last year's AGU Fall Meeting. Come celebrate the contributions of some of the great pioneers in the fields of geophysics, marine geology, rock mechanics, and more, including Inge Lehmann, David T. Griggs, Xavier Le Pichon, Donald W. Forsyth, Richard O'Connell, Daniel E. Karig, J. Casey Moore, and Eldridge Moores. The full schedule is here



The Joint Seismology and Tectonophysics Business Meeting and Reception will be held on Tuesday evening, December 10 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at the Marriott Marquis Golden Gate C1 B2. Please join us as we honor this year's fellows and awardees, and enjoy an opportunity to network with your colleagues. Please note, you must register for this event on the AGU registration page, and there is a nominal charge.


The Geodesy, Seismology, and Tectonophysics Joint Early Career and Student Networking Luncheon will be held on Thursday, Dec 12 from 12:30-1:30 pm, in the Marriott Marque Golden Gate A & B2. Again, please register for this event on-line, and pay the nominal charge to meet and dine with new friends and colleagues.

Early Bird Prices for AGU Registration end on November 7, so go on-line and register now! There will ne NO extensions for the Early Bird Registration price. Do not wait until the last minute to register.


In other news:


New Tectonophysics Website: AGU has launched a new website, highly interactive and personalizable. In tandem, the Tectonophysics Section boasts an updated website and on-line content. Check it out at And thanks to Gene Yogodzinski for the spectacular home page photo of the Shaler Pluton, Unalaska Island, Alaska. Please let us know if you have comments or suggestions about additional information that would be useful to the Tectonophysics Community.



Plate Tectonics Paradigm Interviews: Tectonophysics has been a major contributor to our current understanding of Plate Tectonics. In recognition, we are excited to share the first phase of video interviews with scientists that played key roles in the development Plate Tectonic Theory (! The interviews, conducted in conversational format, capture pivotal moments in Earth Science discoveries. The videos are informative and appropriate for groups at all levels of expertise. Instructors may find them useful as supplements for teaching Plate Tectonics. These interviews will continue to be conducted and added to the website throughout Fall 2019, in honor of AGU's Centennial!


2019 AGU and Tectonophysics Honorees:

Congratulations to our primary Tectonophysics members receiving 2019 honors:


AGU Fellows: Jean Braun, Taras Gerya, Toshihiko Shimamoto, and John Suppe, as well as all other members of the 2019 Class of AGU Fellows.

Claudio Faccenna, of Università Roma Tre and UT Austin, will give the 2019 Francis Birch Lecture of the American Geophysical Union on Wednesday, December 11, at 2:00 pm. At this lecture, the Jason Morgan Early Career Award, will be bestowed upon Jacqueline Austermann, Columbia University. Also, congratulations to the 2019 Paul G. Silver Awardee, Judith Chester of Texas A&M, who will receive the award just before the Gutenburg Lecture on Tuesday, December 10 at 2:00 pm.


Our thanks to all of the Tectonophysics Committee members

  • Executive: Julia Morgan (President), Jean-Philippe Avouac (President-Elect), Suzanne Carbotte (Secretary), Ross Stein (Past President), Christine Regalla (Meetings), Roger Buck (Nominations), Kristin Morell (Early Career), Rachel Marzen (student).
  • Meetings: Christine Regalla (chair), Chung-Han Chan, and Marianne Karplus
  • Nominations: Roger Buck (chair), Walter Mooney, Kelin Whipple, Michele Cooke, and Giulio Di Toro
  • Fellows: Jean-Philippe Avouac (chair), Julia Morgan, Wayne Thatcher, Joann Stock, David Bercovici, and Sean Willett
  • Jason Morgan Early Career Award: Eric Dunham (chair), Julie Rowland, Rob Govers, Magali Billen, and Yann Klinger
  • Paul G. Silver Outstanding Service Award (Tectonophysics members): Julia Morgan and Jean-Philippe Avouac
  • OSPA and Early Career: Suzanne Carbotte, Bobby Reece, and Ylona van Dinther 
  • Centennial and Communications: Margarete Jadamec (Chair), Mark Behn, Jay Patton, Jessica Bean, Bob Stern, Kirstie Haynie


Support Tectonophysics and Contribute to the Austin Challenge Student Travel Grants.

The Tectonophysics section relies on our member contributions to fund actives such as student travel grants, Fall Meeting events, and other section programs. No contribution is too small; please consider donating today by visiting the AGU donations site and clicking on Tectonophysics. Individual donors who donate $50+ will also help the Tectonophysics Section take advantage of the AGU Section Incentive Program, which enhances primary member donations by giving an additional $1,000 - $5,000 to section funds, depending on participation rate!

We also encourage you to donate to the Austin Endowment for Student Travel (, for first-time student attendees to the AGU Meetings. Your donations will be matched by Jamie Austin, a long-standing member of AGU, up to $1 million!  You will hear more from AGU about this opportunity. Also, your 2019 donations to the Austin Challenge Grant will count toward the T section incentive Program mentioned above.

Your generosity can help make AGU's Centennial Year very special!

Newsletter - July 2019

1. AGU Abstracts Are Due 31 July! (Including for Invited, Centennial, and Named Lectures)
Fall Meeting abstracts are due Wednesday, 31 July.

There are more than 60 exciting sessions in Tectonophysics alone, so you have plenty of options from which to choose! Descriptions of all of the Tectonophysics sessions can be found here.
Recall that Fall Meeting will be back in San Francisco this year, from 9 to 13 December. We look forward to seeing you there.

2. AGU Tectonophysics Centennial Sessions 
To celebrate 100 years of AGU, Fall Meeting 2019 also will feature unique Centennial sessions that have been grouped as SWIRL sessions. Note that these do not count against your AGU one-first-author limit. All first authors may submit one standard contributed abstract and one abstract to a Centennial SWIRL session. Centennial SWIRL sessions in Tectonophysics include the following:
T024 Geology and Geodynamics of the San Francisco Bay Area
This is an interdisciplinary session designed to address the impact of the integrated geological history of the Bay Area bedrock on modern geodynamic and landscape processes.
T056 Giants of Tectonophysics III
In honor of AGU’s Centennial celebration, and building on two stimulating sessions at Fall Meeting 2018, this session will reflect upon the past 100 years of Earth science and the discoveries that led to the plate tectonic revolution. 

3. Centennial Interviews: Plate Tectonic Paradigm Shift 
As part of AGU’s Centennial effort, the Tectonophysics Centennial Committee is building a library of interviews with people who have played significant roles in the plate tectonic paradigm shift. Highlighted scientists include Xavier Le Pichon, Donald L. Turcotte, Donald W. Forsythe, and Gordon West. You can find these interviews on the Tectonophysics website.
Many thanks to the members of the Centennial Committee—Margarete Jadamec, Mark Behn, Bob Stern, Jay Patton, Kirstie Haynie, and Jessica Bean—for all they are doing to showcase the historic advances in Tectonophysics in this Centennial year.
4. AGU Celebrate 100 Grants
To help mark its Centennial, AGU is continuing to award Celebrate 100 grants up to $5,000 to reimburse the expenses of grassroots engagement activities that showcase the benefits of Earth and space science.
5. AGU Student Travel Scholarships
There are a number of scholarships available to help support Fall Meeting travel for students. The deadline for the Fall Meeting general Student Travel Grant is 7 August. Check here for a list of all grants and scholarships.
6. Volunteer Opportunities
Would you like to support your professional community, and learn more about AGU and the Tectonophysics community? There are many volunteer opportunities in the Tectonophysics section and through AGU. If you are interested, please contact one of your Tectonophysics officers (email addresses below), and/or sign up via Volunteer Central.
We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!
Juli Morgan (, President, Tectonophysics Section, AGU
Jean-Philippe Avouac (, President-elect, Tectonophysics Section, AGU
Suzanne Carbotte (, Secretary, Tectonophysics Section, AGU

Newsletter - November 2016

Oil Spill

T-section Newsletter – November 2016

As we prepare for the 2016 Fall AGU meeting I thought I would update you on some developments in the Tectonophysics section.

All change at the top

My term as President will end at the end of December after which President-elect Ross Stein will take over. Having worked closely with Ross over the past 2 years I am pleased to be able to say that the section will be in very good hands. We wish him well in the years ahead.

As you know, we recently held our bi-annual elections along with those of other AGU sections and so many congratulations to Juli Morgan and Jolante van Wijk who will take over from Ross and Juli Morgan as President-elect and Secretary-elect respectively at the end of December.

Co-sponsorship with EGU and JpGU

We continue to receive requests from our membership to increase the sponsorship of sessions at meetings of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and the Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU). Co-sponsorship is much appreciated by our international members and leads to improved understanding between our section and our sister communities so if you are organizing a session that you would like us to co-sponsor please let us know.


Thanks to Juli Morgan and the IT staff at AGU, the new look section webpage is now up and running. The site lists all of the T-section committees and their membership. There are also links on the site to a Tectonics research paper feed and to large national and international programs such as EarthScope and IODP.

Exec. Comm.

The Exec. Comm. meets at Fall AGU and last year we held the first meeting with Early Career and Graduate Student representatives, Rebecca Bell and Gabe Lotto. Rebecca and Gabe contributed new ideas on a section-focused event for graduate student and early career scientists, which we hope to implement next year. In the meantime, we have allocated section funds to support 11 undergraduate (4), Masters (1) and graduate students (6) attend the Fall AGU meeting. 4 of these students are working in US-based research institutions and 9 are working overseas.


Union Fellows

First, let me congratulate the T-section Class of 2016 Fellows. This year, we were awarded 5 new Fellows with T-section as their primary affiliation and one additional Fellow with T-section as a secondary affiliation. They are:

  • Steven Constable
  • Uri ten Brink
  • Andrea Tommasi
  • Kelin Wang
  • Bob White
  • Sean Willet

Our allocation of Fellowships by the Union Fellows Committee compares well to previous years. Thank you to Chair Ross Stein and the rest of the Fellows Nomination Committee for their hard work in reviewing the nominations.

Jason Morgan Early Career Award

This continues to be a prestigious and sought after award and this year competition was again fierce. Congratulations to Whitney Behr of the University of Texas who receives the award for her thorough explorations of the kinematics, mechanics and rheology of deformation in continental lithosphere, experimental rock mechanics, and Quaternary geomorphology to determine geologic fault slip rates. Whitney will receive the award at Fall AGU, just prior the Birch Lecture, on Wednesday 14 December at 16:00 hrs.

Thank you Chair Tim Stern and the rest of the committee for their hard work in reviewing the nominations.

Birch Lecture

The T-section Birch Lecture has been a feature of AGU meetings since 1992 and honors the seminal works of Francis Birch on the structure and composition of Earth’s interior. Congratulations to Maya Tolstoy of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who receives this honor for her contributions to Marine Geophysics, especially to the tidal triggering of seafloor earthquakes, the transmission of hydroacoustic waves generated by natural phenomena and the possible links between climate-driven sea-level change and ocean floor topography. We hope you will come along to Maya’s lecture, which will follow the award of the Jason Morgan Early Career Award to Whitney.

Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service

This is a shared award with Geodesy, Seismology and Tectonophysics and this year it was our turn to Chair the award committee, which comprised the Presidents and President-elects all three sections. We received a number of excellent applications and after careful consideration recommended the award to Rob Reilinger of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rob receives the award for inspiring so many researchers and students, in so many countries, to collaborate in the construction of a vast geodetic observatory centered on the Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia and for his seminal works on the geodynamics and seismicity of this earthquake prone region.

Honors Nominating Committee

The T-section has a standing Nominating Committee. Their charge is to encourage nominations of outstanding members of the section for AGU service and awards at both the Union and Section level. The committee takes a comprehensive look at potential nominees across the section, including international members, women, and other underrepresented groups. Currently, the committee comprises Chair Susan Beck and members Thorsten Becker, Dietmar Müller and Basil Tikoff and they would welcome any suggestions that you may have of nominees for AGU service and awards.

Volunteer to be a Judge for OSPA

We are keen to extend our award schemes across the entire T-section membership so would like to bring your attention to the Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) program. The program received a record number of applications this year. Please consider serving as a judge to help pick the best Tectonophysics student presentations. You can register on the OSPA Portal (,judges), and then select presentations you are willing to judge. Your generous time commitment and constructive feedback is vital for student growth and development, and helps to build our section. Please, direct questions to the two T-section OSPA coordinators: Juli Morgan ( or Kristin Morell (

Section Name Change/Augmentation and Re-organization

Last year we raised the question of a name change for the section. Some of you believe ‘tectonophysics’ is somewhat arcane, whereas ‘seismology’ and ‘geodesy’ are not. For example, many people refer to themselves as seismologists and geodesists, but few as tectonophysists. Some names/augmentations that have garnered informal support are:

  • Tectonophysics, Geodynamics, and Structural Geology
  • Tectonophysics, Active Tectonics, and Geodynamics

We welcome your views on this either by email ( or by talking with us at Fall AGU.

In the meantime, AGU’s Affiliation and Engagement Task Force has been meeting and deliberating on the organization of sections in the light of the many changes that are occurring in the Earth and Space science community, especially with regard to its becoming more interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary and using more online and social media platforms for collaboration. The Task Force Chair is T-section member Bob Detrick who will present its recommendations to Council at the Fall meeting. We look forward to hearing the recommendations of the Task Force, especially as it concerns re-organization, not just of our section, but for all sections and focus groups in the AGU.

Fall AGU

We look forward to seeing you at Fall AGU this year nd at the Tectonophysics and Seismology Joint Reception at 18:30 on Tuesday 15 December in the San Francisco Marriot Marquis Salons 12-15!

Tony Watts (AGU Section President, Tectonophysics)

Ross Stein (AGU Section President-elect, Tectonophysics)

Julia Morgan (AGU Section Secretary, Tectonophysics)

Greg Hirth (AGU Section Past President, Tectonophysics)