European Seismological Commission

In Memory of Alfonso López Arroyo

Lopez ArroyoAlfonso López Arroyo (1927–2017) 

On 9 July 2017, the Spanish seismological community lost one of its leading figures, Alfonso López Arroyo.

Born in Madrid, Spain, López Arroyo obtained his Licentiate in mathematics in 1950 from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, his Master of Science in geophysics in 1954 from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, and the degree of Doctor Ingeniero Geógrafo in 1961 from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), Madrid, Spain. From 1952 to 1956, he was an assistant professor at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, and from 1956 to 1958, he worked as a geographical engineer at the IGN. From 1958 to 1965, López Arroyo was the director of the Seismological Observatory of Malaga.From 1966, he occupied leading positions in the sections of geophysics and seismology, and in 1980 he became deputy director of geophysics and geodesy at the IGN.

López Arroyo served in many important positions related to seismology, such as president of the section of seismology and physics of the Earth’s interior for the Spanish National Commission of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, secretary of the Spanish Permanent Commission of Seismic Codes, and founding member and president of the Spanish Association of Seismic Engineering. He also participated in the organization of a number of important workshops, conferences, and congresses, especially the 10thWorld Congress of Earthquake Engineering in Madrid in 1992.

López Arroyo, together with Gonzalo Payo, director of the Observatory of Toledo, and José M. Munuera, director of seismology at IGN, began modern studies of seismicity and seismotectonics of the Iberian Peninsula and was a pioneer of the studies of seismic engineering in Spain. His contributions to seismology cover a wide spectrum from the most theoretical aspects of earthquake science to the practical applications of engineering. López Arroyo cultivated many cutting-edge subjects in seismology, seismic engineering, and geophysical methodologies. In particular, he worked on the characteristics of Spanish earthquakes, wave propagation, and the structure of the Earth, especially its inner core, and many aspects of earthquake engineering. His keen understanding, his wide spectrum of knowledge and experience, his generosity, and his kindness have been always an incentive for and a positive influence on his many collaborators, who recognize him as a leading figure in the Spanish seismological and earthquake engineering community.


Agustin Udias Vallina

Antoni Roca Adrover




From the ESC Working Groups:

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

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