The need for fundamental understanding of the physical processes occurring in and around the Earth has been recognized for centuries. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go before such understanding is complete. This knowledge is crucial to problems such as groundwater contamination, air pollution, weather prediction, ocean hydrodynamics, oil reservoir production, and discovering new oil reserves.
Despite their seemingly disparate natures, these geoscience applications have many common mathematical characteristics. The techniques used to describe and simulate the physical processes which occur are applicable across a broad range of areas.
The study of geoscience applications through experiments, theory, and computation requires interdisciplinary collaboration between engineers, mathematicians and scientists. By bringing together such researchers, meaningful progress can be made in understanding and predicting the complex physical phenomena which occur in these problems. SIAM is addressing this need through the Activity Group on Geosciences and a series of conferences devoted to geoscience applications. Previous conferences were held in Houston, Texas in 1989 and 1993, and San Antonio, Texas in 1995. This conference is the fourth in the series. Due to the large number of abstracts received, we have extended the conference by half a day.
On behalf of the organizing committee, I enthusiastically welcome you to the Fourth SIAM Conference on the Geosciences.
Clint N. Dawson
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