Kanamori Wins Milling Medal

Hiroo Kanamori, Caltech's John E. and Hazel S. Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, was awarded the Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal by the American Geosciences Institute at the 2015 American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention and Exposition. The medal recognizes "scientific achievements and service to the Earth sciences having lasting, historic value."

Kanamori is perhaps best known for developing the moment-magnitude scale, which assigns a magnitude to an earthquake based on the amount of energy it releases and which has replaced the Gutenberg-Richter scale for scientific purposes. His research into the genesis and propagation of a diversity of earthquake types, including slow tsunami earthquakes, megathrust earthquakes, outer-rise earthquakes, and intraplate earthquakes, has helped develop hazard-mitigation plans and real-time early-warning methods.

Kanamori earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Tokyo (BS '59, MS '61, PhD '64) before coming to Caltech as a postdoctoral researcher in 1965. After stints at MIT and the University of Tokyo, he returned to Caltech as a full professor in 1972 and became the Smits Professor of Geophysics in 1989. He served as the director of Caltech's Seismological Laboratory from 1990 until 1998 and became the Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, in 2005.

Kanamori is also a foreign associate of National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of the American Geophysical Union's Walter H. Bucher Medal and William Bowie Medal and the Inamori Foundation's Kyoto Prize, and he has been declared a member of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star, by the government of Japan.

Written by Douglas Smith