European Seismological Commission

In Memory of Valentin Ulomov


Principal researcher of the laboratory of seismic hazard of Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences suddenly passed away on June 6th, 2017. He was a wonderful person, an outstanding seismologist and a wise leader. He had exceptional organizational skills, ability to communicate with many specialists, and was a stunning speaker.

Ulomov Valentin Ivanovich was a corresponding member of AS of the Uzbek SSR, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, State prize winner of Russian Federation and the Uzbek SSR in science and technology. He was born on January 7th, 1933 in Tashkent to a family of teachers. In 1955 he graduated from the department of geological prospecting of the Central Asian Polytechnic Institute, specialization “Geophysical methods for exploration of mineral deposits” and qualified as mining engineer-geophysicist.

His academic career began in 1955 at the Geophysical Institute of AS USSR (from 1956 – Institute of Physics of the Earth, AS USSR) as research assistant. In 1959 a young active scientist was asked to lead the Tashkent seismic station of IPE AS USSR (Tashkent, the Uzbek SSR). In 1960 in this position he was transferred from IPE to the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences. There, for many years, he worked as a deputy director of sciences of the Institute of geology and geophysics, and later he worked in the newly organized Institute of seismology of the Uzbekistan AS. During the infamous Tashkent earthquake in 1966, it was Valentin Ivanovich who provided people with the latest news about the progress of seismic process.

In 1990 he was invited by the head of the USSR Academy of Sciences and returned to IPE, formed there the Laboratory of continental seismicity, became its head and headed the work on the creation of the new map of the General seismic zoning of Russia.

The academic career of Valentin Ivanovich was quiet successful. He defended his master’s thesis “Study of depth structure and dynamics of the Earth’s crust of the South-East Central Asia according to seismology data” in 1964 in Institute of Physics of the Earth, AS USSR (Moscow), in 1974 he defended his doctoral thesis “Investigation of the depth structure and dynamics of the Earth’s crust of Central Asia in association with the problem of earthquake forecast”. In 1964 he initiated the creation of the Center of seismic observations of Central Asia and Kazakhstan in Tashkent and was its head for 15 years, in 1966 – the Institute of seismology, AS Uzbekistan. In 1984 he was elected as a corresponding member of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences.

His field of research was fundamental and applied seismology, structure and dynamics of lithosphere, physics of earthquake source and prediction, global and regional seismicity, seismic regionalization and seismic zoning. V.I. Ulomov supervised a number of scientific topics, projects and programs of the RAS, actively participated in developing the international cooperation in the question of seismic hazard estimation. In 1997 under his leadership using new methodological principals was created a set of maps of General seismic zoning of Northern Eurasia – GSZ-97. In 2000 maps of GSZ-97 became part of Construction Norms and Regulations (CNaR) “Construction in seismic regions”, and in 2002 were awarded the State Prize of RF in science and technology.

V.I. Ulomov actively participated in the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program (GSHAP) as a project coordinator of Northern Eurasia. Program was started under the sponsorship of the UN/UNESCO in 1992 and was completed in 1999 with the publication of Global Seismic Hazard map - GSH MAP, one of which fragments was the map constructed for Northern Eurasia.

Valentin Ivanovich continued to improve technical approaches and information database of General seismic zoning map. In the second half of the 2000s he organized and headed the team of specialists from many academic and industrial institutes and organizations for updating GSZ-97 maps. The results comprised a set of maps of RF general seismic zoning of the next generation (GSZ-2016), designed to replace the GSZ-97 maps that served their prescribed time.

The scientific heritage of Valentin Ivanovich is extensive. He is an author of more than 400 scientific monographs, articles, inventions, author of the discovery of previously unknown natural phenomenon of predicative nature – radon emission before earthquakes. V.I. Ulomov is a prize winner of “International academic publishing company “NAUKA/INTERPERIODICA” for the best publications in journals of RAS in 2008. In 2017 Valentin Ivanovich actively participated in writing articles for the Great Russian Encyclopedia and the National Atlas of the Arctic.

Valentin Ivanovich worked hard and productively, sometimes to the detriment of his health. He died as a soldier, on duty. A few hours before his death he was actively exchanging emails with his colleagues. Passed away a coryphaeus of science that held the modern engineering seismology and this loss, unfortunately, is irreplaceable.

Valentin Ivanovich was a man of big heart. His heritage is priceless. It is enough to look at the materials that are generously posted on his personal website - This website was entirely created by the author and performs educational and historical-biographical function. It is well-deserved popular not only among colleagues-seismologists, but also among construction workers, graduates, students and schoolchildren. V.I. Ulomov was an outstanding draftsman. He painted oil portraits, nature, still lifes, made pencil sketches.

Pines by Ulomov  

V.I. Ulomov. Pines on the dunes in Lielupe. Jurmala (Latvia). 1977. Oil on canvas.

 The bright memory of Valentin Ivanovich Ulomov will forever remain in the hearts of those who had the opportunity to meet him, work and be friends with him.







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From the ESC Working Groups:

Visit the website of the newest WG titled Harmonizing Internet Macroseismology in Europe 

Contribute to the Portal of the ESC WG on Communication here

Get to know the website of the FAULT2SHA Working Group and find out forthcoming activities! The WG promotes a new initiative, open to all researchers interested in contributing to discussions on topics that could improve the assessment of seismic hazard.


Find out about the Young Seismologist Training Course here.


What were the past General Assemblies of the ESC like? Find out! Interesting documentation has been made easily accessible.

This list summarizes the files.


Sadly we announce the loss of esteemed and beloved colleagues and friends:

Older obituaries can be found here.