FIRST CONGRESS OF THE
BALKAN GEOPHYSICAL SOCIETY
by Dr. George N. Sideris
Athens, September 23, 1996
The first congress of the Balkan
Geophysical Society was held at the Zappeion Conference Center,
from 23 to 27 September 1996, in Athens, Greece. It was organized
by the Balkan Geophysical Society and it was hosted by the Hellenic
Geophysical Union. This was the first meeting of the geophysicists
and the geoscientific members of the Geophysical Societies of
the Balkan Peninsula Countries.
The Balkan Geophysical Society
was formed in May 1993, in Florina city, Western Macedonia,
Greece. The idea to create the Society was for the first time
introduced to me as President of the Hellenic Geophysical Union
during the meeting. Of the 36 th international Geophysical
Congress in Kiev, Ukraina,, in September 1991. It was Dr. Dimtcho
Josifov, President, at the time of the Bulgarian Geophysical
Society that not only suggested but insisted on that great idea.
We do have to be very grateful
to those of us for having the courage, the motivation and the
energy to start this Geophysical Society in this sensitive and
the same time very interesting part of the world.
Fortunately, the new political
environment in the Balkan Peninsula Countries, the Black Sea
and Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Communist Regime
has became much more transparent but, unfortunately, we still
have to spent time, energy and money in order to get visas for
scientific collaboration and project execution.
We, as geophysicists know very
well that the political boundaries are not necessary geophysical
boundaries and in order to locate, explore and extract the mineral,
energy and the oil resources for the development and growth
of our countries, we must collaborate, exchange ideas, interpret
geophysical data and evaluate geological phenomena that, in
many cases, are being influenced by sources in shallow or/ and
great depths into the Earths interior.
We do know that the infrastructure
of the countries of this part of the world needs serious improvements
in areas like geotechnical projects, reliable telecommunications,
information avenues and clean environmental issues. To achieve
these goals we must collaborate towards the formulation of common
project proposals where each one of us has an important role.
We should use geophysical methods and techniques in order to
serve and be more useful not only to our native countries but
to the neighboring ones as well. The improvement of the electronic
and computer technologies will help us a lot in order to achieve
the above mentioned goals.
The Balkan Geophysical Society
realizes the importance and wants to promote international cooperation
as well as the preservation of local or regional coherence.
Like the seismic or the acoustic wavelength which needs content
of a wide spectrum in order to be useful, we want to promote
a wide spectrum of cooperation.
We have been successful to include,
so far, in our Society five members and we are looking forward
to accept the other two remaining countries, i.e. Croatia and
the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, of the Balkan Peninsula
The 1st Balkan Geophysical Congress
and the Technical Exhibition was a very good forum for cooperation
and communication. The fact that this 1st Congress
of our Society has such a positive acceptance, during these
difficult times, that we live in, shows the necessity for further
collaboration and communication between our shelves.
In response to changes to the
mining industry and the increased importance of environmental
problems, recently, more emphasis is given to geotechnical problems
including engineering, ground-water, and environmental investigations.
Today our charter is also to promote the application of geophysics
to more shallow target exploration and site analysis problems.
The Balkan Geophysical Society
in close collaboration with the presidents and the members of
the faculties of the Balkan Geophysical Societies is well aware
that the Balkan Peninsula Countries do not use the geophysical
methods and technology to the extend they should for the benefit
of their economic growth. For these reasons we should all of
us, work together in order to convince the native governments
of the Balkan Peninsula Countries to use geophysical techniques
and methodologies, plus improving each country s infrastructure
and economic growth.
Many geophysicists of the Balkan
Peninsula Countries, of the Black and Mediterranean Seas Countries,
the Countries of the Former Soviet Union, the European Union
Countries as well as the geophysicists of the North America
Countries had gathered here in Athens in September 1996 to exchange
information and discuss scientific problems in Geophysics and
Seismology of the South-Eastern European Region. From the Geophysical
point of view this region is currently considered as the most,
geodinamically, complicated part of the European Region and
the most seismically active one.
Our invitation had a remarkable
by our colleagues and thus 282 scientific contributions which
were accepted, have been presented in our technical programs.
In addition to that the participants who have been officially
registered were 381 (including the exhibitors), from 33 countries.
The Congress took place simultaneously in 2 halls of the Zappenion
Conference Center and had comprised totally 20 scientific sessions,
2 round tables (Earthquake Prediction and Environmental Protection),
1 managerial session (New Frontiers of Hydrocarbon Exploration
and Exhibition in South-Eastern Countries), 1 workshop (Seismic
Imaging and Reservoir Characterization) and a very important
technical exhibition that featured state-of-the art equipment
and services for geoscientific and oil industry applications.
Expressing the wishes of the presidents
of the participating geophysical societies, my collaborators
of the Organizing Committee and all the geophysicists who have
carried out the reviewing process of the contributions, for
their valuable assistance, I ask all the colleagues of the Balkan
Peninsula Countries as well as any other colleague coming outside,
but interested in this part of the world, to continue collaborating
with our partners towards the next Balkan Geophysical Society
In conclusion, I will take this
opportunity to thank my colleagues and members of the Balkan
Geophysical Society for the excellent job that they have all
achieved. I wish, on behalf of the Balkan Geophysical Society,
every success to the works of the second as well as the following
Geophysical Congresses and the related Technical Exhibitions
that will take place in the future. Finally I would like to
wish a very successful Presidency to the Turkish Delegation
who has the responsibility of the Presidency of the Balkan Geophysical
Society for the years 1997-1999.
The First Congress of the Balkan
Geophysical Society had passed in the World of the International
Geophysical Society Congresses as a very successful one. It
is in our hands to continue this success throughout the next
Century and not only. Let us do our best, all of us, to materials
and fulfill this difficult but also wonderful target.