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National Geophysical Committee


The history of the National Geophysical Committee of Russia dates back to the 1950-s.

1957 was announced as the International Geophysical Year (IGY). The programme of the IGY involved activities in seismology, gravimetry, and geoelectricity. The decision to hold the IGY was supported by International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, International Scientific Radio Union, and International Council of Scientific Unions.

A Special Committee for the IGY (CSAGI), headed by Sydney Chapman (UK), was formed to coordinate the activity of different countries and to develop the general scientific research programme. Dr. Lloyd Berkner (USA) was initially appointed as the vice-president of CSAGI. Then this post was assigned to a prominent Soviet scientist, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of USSR Dr. Vladimir Belousov.

Like in other IGY participant countries in the Soviet Union an Interdepartmental Committee for the IGY preparation and planning was formed by a governmental decree. This organisation was headed by a prominent geophysisist, academician Grigory Gamburtsev. After his death in 1955 the Committee was headed by the AS USSR vice-president academician Ivan Bardin.

As the vice-chairmen the following were appointed:

  • corr. member Dr. Vladimir Belousov, an outstanding geologist
  • corr. member Dr. Yuri Boulanger, a prominent gravimetry analyst
  • prof. Dr. Nikolai Pushkov, an authority on geomagnetism
  • academician Dr. Theophan Davitaya, an authority on meteorology

Dr. Valeria Troitskaya was appointed as the academic secretary.

Within the Committee the following Sections were organized:

  • Global geophysics
  • Meteorology and atmospheric physics
  • Geomagnetism
  • Aurora and airglow
  • Solar activity
  • Cosmic rays
  • Ionosphere
  • Meteor
  • Latitude and longitude
  • Oceanology
  • Glaciology
  • Seismology
  • Gravimetry
  • Space rockets and artificial satellites

These sections developed a detailed plan of the USSR participation within the IGY. It was coordinated with programmes in other countries and main objectives introduced by the CSAGI.

In January 1961 on the basis of the Soviet IGY Committee an Interdepartmental Geophysical Committee under the AS USSR Presidium was organized.

Its functions involved:

  • coordination and planning of complex geophysical research within international projects and programmes;
  • providing USSR participation in certain bodies within the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG);
  • providing international scientific data exchange;
  • publishing the results of the international projects and programmes.

For nearly 30 years (1961–1990) the Committee was directed by Dr. Vladimir Belousov. From 1960 till 1963 Dr. Belousov was in the office of the IUGG President.

On the basis of the Interdepartmental Geophysical Committee in June 1992 the National Geophysical Committee of Russia was formed. The Committee became the national representative of Russia in the IUGG.

From 1993 till 2004 the National Geophysical Committee of Russia was directed by a well-known seismologist, corr. member of RAS Gennady Sobolev.

On 26 December 2006 (by the decree of the Bureau of RAS Branch of Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry and mining sciences 13000.11-99) аcademician of RAS Dr. Alexei Gvishiani was approved as the President of the National Geophysical Committee of Russia.


November 28, 2019. GC RAS has digitized two popular scientific films, which were stored in the archive. The films were made with the assistance of the Interdepartmental Geophysical Committee of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The main consultants for the films were: Director of the Interdepartmental Geophysical Committee, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences Vladimir Belousov and Scientific Secretary, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Valeria Alekseevna Troitskaya.

November 28, 2019. In a warm and friendly atmosphere, the Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics of RAS (IEPT RAS) celebrated its 30th anniversary. Director of GC RAS, Corr. Member of RAS A. A. Soloviev, scientific secretary R. I. Krasnoperov and Head of the laboratory of geophysical data B. A. Dzeboev took part in this event.

November 21, 2019. GC RAS successfully implemented the project “Sphere-Education” for the Boarding School of the Russian Ministry of Defense. A unique educational institution for the daughters of military personnel adopts the best cultural and historical traditions of noble maidens of Russia. The innovative contribution of GC RAS to the Boarding School's educational program was highly appreciated by the teachers. Proposals were received to expand the functionality of the project, which means further fruitful cooperation.

November 15, 2019. From November 2 to 10, 2019, Deputy Director for Development of GC RAS A.I. Rybkina took part in the international summit of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) as chairman of the CODATA delegation. The event was held in Canberra, Australia and traditionally brought together leading experts, representatives of ministries and scientists in the field of Earth and space exploration.