Great achievements of Adam M. Dziewonski

PREMThrough the IRIS community some sad news reached us today: Adam M. Dziewonski, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, passed away 1st of March 2016. Dziewonski, a Polish-American geophysicist, was a GIANT in seismology. Among others, we owe him the first direct proof of the solidity of the inner core, and the Primary Reference Earth Model (PREM), which he built with Don Anderson, also recently deceased, and which to this day is widely used as a reference seismological model. He was the founder of global seismic tomography, and we also owe him the development of the CMT (Centroid Moment Tensor) inversion methodology and the associated earthquake catalog, which for many years he oversaw at Harvard.

Importantly, among his many other contributions, he was one of the founders of IRIS and its active supporter for many years. He will be greatly missed.

Text modified after Barbara Romanowicz’ post on the IRIS list.

Source: Dziewonski, A.M., and D.L. Anderson. 1981. “Preliminary reference Earth model.” Phys. Earth Plan. Int. 25:297-356.


By Koen Van Noten

Koen Van Noten is a structural geologist who completed his PhD at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and currently holds a postdoc at the Seismology-Gravimetry division of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. He investigates the influence of site effects on intraplate earthquake ground motions by Did You Feel It?” macroseismic data and near-surface geophysical techniques such as H/V Spectral Ratio analysis and Electrical Resistivity Tomography.

Koen’s role as an early career scientist is to help (PhD) students in seismology, structural geology and near-surface geophysics to promote their results in various ways. You can reach him at

This guest post was contributed by a scientist, student or a professional in the Earth, planetary or space sciences. The EGU blogs welcome guest contributions, so if you’ve got a great idea for a post or fancy trying your hand at science communication, please contact the blog editor or the EGU Communications Officer Laura Roberts Artal to pitch your idea.

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