International Union of Geological Sciences

International Union of Geological Sciences
Formation1961; 61 years ago (1961)
TypeINGO, standards organization
HeadquartersFounded in Paris, France, secretariat in Beijing, China
Region served
Qiuming Cheng (Canada/China)
Key people
Sec.Gen.: Stanley Finney (US)
Treasurer: Hiroshi Kitazato (Japan)
Parent organization
International Science Council (ISC)

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the field of geology.


The IUGS was founded in 1961 and is a Scientific Union member of the International Science Council (ISC), formerly the International Council for Science (ICSU), which it recognizes as the co-ordinating body for the international organization of science. Currently geologists from 121 countries (and regions) are represented in the IUGS. A broad range of scientific topics are covered by its commission, task groups, joint programmes and affiliated organizations. IUGS promotes and encourages the study of geological problems, especially those of worldwide significance, and supports and facilitates international and inter-disciplinary co-operation in the earth sciences. The Union's Secretariat is currently located at the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing, China.


IUGS is a joint partner with UNESCO for the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) and also participates in the Global Geoparks Network (GGN). The Geological Society of London oversees the production and distribution of IUGS Publications. The Geological Society of India produces and distributes the Union's quarterly journal, entitled Episodes, as well as providing editorial support. Interested parties can download the latest issues of Episodes free of charge.


IUGS runs seven international commissions, covering the following topics:

The latter commission (CGGB) is the youngest: its establishment was approved on 31 August 2016 in Cape Town at the Fourth Ordinary Session of the IUGS Council meeting. It had been a task group since 1998, with a precursor existing since 1988.

International Geological Congress

Stamp of India released on the eve of 22nd International Geological Congress in 1964.

The International Union of Geological Sciences is the main scientific sponsor of the International Geological Congress (IGC), which takes place every four years. The first congress was in France in 1878 where a few geoscientists gathered to share new finds and the aim was to create a framework and a platform for geoscientists to meet at regular intervals. The event has been growing bigger with each congress.

Brisbane hosted the 34th congress in August 2012 and Cape Town the 35th in 2016. Delhi was to host the 36th in March 2020 as a collaborative effort by Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Because of Covid, the congress has been postponed twice and is currently re-scheduled for August 2021. Its theme is to be "Geosciences:The Basic Science for a Sustainable Future".

First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites

To celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its establishment, in October 2022 IUGS published a list of 100 sites around the world that it holds to be significant in the development of the earth sciences.


The IUGS Scientific Awards of Excellence:

  • IUGS – Émile Argand Award
  • IUGS – James M. Harrison Award
  • IUGS – Award for Geoscience Information
  • IUGS – Award for Structural Geology
  • Vladimir V. Tikhomirov History of Geology Medal by the IUGS Commission on the History of Geology (INHIGEO).
  • Digby McLaren Medal by the IUGS Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS).

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-01-08 15:55 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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