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1906 Valparaiso Earthquake Centennial

The International Montessus de Ballore Conference will take place at the University of Chile, in Santiago November 6-8, 2006. This conference will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1906 Valparaiso Earthquake and the ensuing development of the Chilean Seismic Network created by Fernand Montessus de Ballore.

Three very large earthquakes shook the Americas in 1906. The first hit in January in the Colombia-Ecuador region, the second in April in San Francisco, California, and the third in August in Valparaiso, Chile. In all three cases, the earthquakes caused the massive destruction of cities and a large number of casualties. The year 1906 marked the beginning of seismology as a scientific field. Chile, one of the most seismically-active countries in the world, decided at the time to install a seismic network which has been in operation until now. Its implementation and the associated investigations were entrusted to Fernand Montessus de Ballore, a French scientist formed at the Ecole Polytechnique. Since these pioneering times, Chile has continued to bolster its research in Seismology and maintained a very close relationship with France and Europe in this field.

During the last century, seismic source investigations have revealed considerable information about earthquakes, though scientists are still unable to predict when they will occur. The anniversary conference in November will be devoted to state-of-the-art technologies in earthquake and seismology research. Some of the world's foremost experts will present an overview on seismic source mechanics and subduction processes.

This conference will be an excellent opportunity to reinforce the links between Chilean and French scientists working in institutions like CNRS, IPGP, ENS and IRD. During the event, the University of Chile and CNRS will launch an International Associated Laboratory (LIA) dedicated to seismology and related phenomena.



Contacts :

> Roger Frety
Head of the CNRS Office in Chile.



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